The Crane that Brought Back a Message of Love – A True Story


Johanna sat there quietly at the memorial and remembered their past. Thirty years had gone by too fast and now suddenly Bruce was gone. What would she do without him?

While she wept softly, a crane slowly walked beside the white picket fence. He began to watch her carefully “as the wise flower elves wept in the hollows”. How could he explain to her that he was there. Flying over the fence in a gentle swoop, “he felt the drops of dew, and kissed cold tears from the grass”.

The crane tried to get closer to Johanna with one measured step at a time. The “grass blades parted with sighs” as he was trying to tell her that he was there. Bruce had only been gone for just a few brief days, but had returned to tell her that he loved her. Yes, he would always remember the joy from the life they had shared together.

The delicate bird stopped during certain moments when people spoke of the memories they had shared with him. Cocking his head from time to time he listened to words and tried to remember—for this is all he had now.  Attempting to make a sound so she might turn her head; a silent noise stuck in his throat, and now she would never know he was there.

Three people watched the bird closely from their seats, and he knew they realized who he might be. The three mourners had already decided that he was not really a proud graceful crane walking across the grass – he was simply the departed in another form, trying to tell his wife he was okay.

The spoken words of love suddenly stopped, and everyone became silent. The crane knew he must go; but somehow had to tell her that he had read the beautiful card she had made for him.

“The heavens part the high planets, blade parts back and edge; not even eternity can part souls that are sealed in love.”

“Yes”,  he thought. Eternity will never separate our souls as we are forever sealed with love. Remember that my darling; never ever forget he seemed to say with his eyes.

And with that, as quickly as he had appeared, he was suddenly gone. Those that had seen him spoke quietly, and told each other their thoughts. They knew that when the heavens had grown clear, he had come.

His soul had descended “when the mountain brims grew bright” to speak of his eternal love for her. Others would tell Johanna later that her husband had been there to tell her that he loved her one final time.  After that day there is no doubt in my mind that we never lose the people we lost— not even after death.

In memory of those who we loved.

This was a true story that happened to me at a private funeral in Napa Valley in California. I wrote this piece a few hours after I left the memorial servic and forwarded it to her later.  I also used a handful of selected words used in a scattered “here nor there fashion”  from the memorial card Johanna had made for her departed husband, Bruce.  The selected words she used were from : Journey’s End (Ferdalok)

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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