Hello fellow readers, ThePress takes a hiatus between Christmas and New Years’, so I don’t have a weekly column to share. But I’d like to share the story of Bill’s stones with you, my faithful online readers.
One of my most frequented meditative walks is climbing Camp Road’s steep slope, then up to Mohican Outdoor Center in Blairstown, NJ, contiguous with the Appalachian Trail. Since my dear brother Bill passed away a few days before Christmas, a year before last, heart-shaped stones pops out of the crowd. I pick up one, sometimes two, and place them near the stream or lake. Bill’s stones, I call them.
Recently, as I made my way up to Camp Road, my heart sank as I approached the spot where the heart-shaped stones rested. Bill’s stones were gone.
As I moved closer, I noticed a heart-shaped shadow imprinted on the wooden guardrail along the stream, a leave-behind of minerals that made up each stone. Therein lies the lesson. We leave behind what we are made of -“It’s all about love,” I hear Bill say – his conclusion of what life is all about shared his last days.
I continued my walk that day to reflect who would have brushed away the stones and why. Was it to be malicious? Or maybe Bill took them to heaven, I chuckled to myself. There was no evidence of Bill’s stones below the guardrail where I collected them after all. Perhaps a sign that Bill sent to say he is still here. Like the mysterious vibration of my cell phone when no calls, texts, or emails were coming through the first time, I took this meditative walk soon after Bill passed away.
Thank you for the message, dear brother. I couldn’t help myself, of course. Three more hearts showed up along the road, so I placed them on your mark of love left behind. Forever in our hearts.
Wishing you Joy, Hope, and a Happy New Year with love and light, Mary
‘Hope Road’: song and lyrics by Bill Stone:
My dear friend Ruth Ratliff edited a home video of Bill sharing his song a few days before crossing over with footage of brother Rick and I singing ‘Hope Road’ at his memorial service then later to our Mom. It would be an honor should you wish to listen to Hope Road’ by Bill Stone.
I invite you to read a previous column inspired by my brother Bill titled Lesson of the Leaf. His message, the Lesson of the Leaf, is the title of a memoir underway.