Not Watching Over Anything

January 18, 2023

Her comment reads, “I’m sorry but once people leave this world they aren’t “watching over” anything or anyone here.” Years ago her words would have stung, in fact they might have even made my faith waver and my heart feel lonely. Today, her words don’t intimidate me. Instead, they make me smile because unfortunately she doesn’t know how wrong she is. Clearly she hasn’t experienced the way love can find you from heaven or the way people can show up for you from eternity. 

She simply doesn’t know.

She hasn’t experienced this profound display of love and influence.

But I have.

She hasn’t felt an undeniable presence of someone after they’ve passed.

But I have. 

I’ve experienced the continued love and influence of my mother– a mother in heaven.

I’ve experienced the calming of my nerves and the pacing of my rapid heartbeat, without anything in the room except the sudden smell of my mother’s old perfume and an incomprehensible feeling of comfort, love and light.

I’ve experienced the signs that show up when I’m paying close attention and especially when I ask for them. I’ve seen the red cardinals buzzing about and the butterflies that appear in the most serendipitous of ways and times. 

I’ve experienced the many things chalked up by society to be coincidence only to smile knowing it’s simply her showing up the way she always promised she would, even after death.

I’ve experienced the light that appears in my darkest of moments and the gentle breeze that finds me when I’m aching of loneliness and despair– comforting me in invisible but mighty ways.

I’ve experienced things that cannot be explained in any other way than a mother showing up for her daughter, beyond her last breath and final heartbeat. Things that no one can make me feel differently about because, while I didn’t see them, I felt them, deep in the pit of my heart and soul. 

This woman must not know the powerful and undeniable ways that mothers show up for their children. Ways that defy logic and reason and earthly understanding. Ways that are infinite and mighty. Ways that are immeasurable and mesmerizing. Ways that are priceless and assuredly one of life’s biggest blessings. 

This woman may not know, but I do. Oh, how I do. 

I won’t respond to her comment. I won’t try to change her mind. I don’t need to. Instead, I’ll smile knowing that my mother loved me too beautifully for this woman’s statement to be true. I’ll smile knowing that my mother is watching over me, and all of us, because she promised us she would. And a mother never breaks her promise. 

Mothers always find a way, even from eternity. 

And one day, if by some chance this lady ends up being correct, (which I don’t think will be the case), I’ll still feel proud of the beautiful ways I kept my mother’s memory alive and carried her presence with me into each new day. 

And in my heart I believe, if she hasn’t been “watching over” it all, it’s most likely because she wasn’t watching at all, she was experiencing it with us, invisible but present, in only the way a mother can from eternity. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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