The other day my uncle and I were visiting my elderly grandfather in the assisted living community. His little apartment was just as I remembered it from the early summer- the last time I was here. We sat in the wicker chairs with green cushions that rested on the off-white carpet in the living room, knick-knacks from his former home in Pennsylvania serving as unobtrusive decorations. The sun streamed cheerfully into the apartment despite the heavy grey winter clouds that were scattered throughout the sky. My grandfather can no longer remember what he was doing an hour ago, much less six months ago. Nonetheless, he is always friendly to the “strangers” that come around. Sometimes he can remember that we are family or that he knows us from somewhere. We were looking at old photo albums, and we came across a sweet picture of my grandmother and me from when I was just a few months old.
“Ah, that’s my wife,” Grandpa said, smiling a little. “She died some time ago. I miss her.”
As we pored over more pictures, I kept thinking about Grandma. She died over three years ago, and one of the things that always reminds me of her is the way the sun pokes through thick clouds and sends concentrated rays of light down so that from a distance, it looks like spotlights are exploding from the clouds, each of them illuminating a small portion of the land below. Grandma always used to smile upon seeing those rays of sun. She used to say that those were angels looking down from heaven and watching over those people, praying over them. I miss Grandma too, but I know that one day I’ll see her again.
We left the retirement community a little while later, briskly walking out to my uncle’s car. I was deep in thought over Grandpa, who couldn’t remember much of anything yet he remembered Grandma. I slid into the passenger seat and was greeted at my window by a beautiful sight: out of the thick gray clouds just over the nearest hill, a handful of bright rays were bursting.