We stood, arms entwined, watching the rainbow arch long and low against the horizon.
“It’s beautiful!” Mom said, her small frame shivering a bit beneath my arm. “You don’t often see a rainbow in February.” I tightened my arm around her shoulders, giving her a love-filled hug. A February rainbow wasn’t the only rare thing about this day. Since my mother and stepfather moved away over a year ago it has become rare for me to spend a whole day with her. My heart had felt heavy as I packed the car for my long drive home.
Bright sunshine was suddenly interrupted by a light shower and the raindrops dampened my mood and leaving even more. But then I noticed the drops were reflecting the gold of sunshine. A wide, vivid rainbow appeared just as suddenly. I hurried inside to tell the residents at the Open Door Personal Care Home about the rainbow. While some of them went to the front porch, Mom and I stood together on the small porch near my car. We watched until it faded. Then with a final hug and “I love you” I left for home.
As I drove, my mind tumbled over the responsibilities that lay before me. God had provided a good job for me and a way to make a living in my widowhood, but I sighed about the things my current schedule prevented. I wish there was a way to visit Mom more often…or spend a few days with her! This year she will turn eighty-nine. One of these years I’ll have to say goodbye to her too. I admitted to myself that it was difficult for me, as a nurse and her daughter, to watch my mother be cared for by my stepsister (even though Sarah is also a nurse and has shared her pleasant home with elderly folks for many years).
Before I’d traveled twenty miles, a second rainbow appeared. This time I could see no rain, and the rainbow peeping between clouds was a much shorter, narrower version of the first one. Nevertheless, it was the second February rainbow I’d seen in one day. Lord, are You trying to tell me something? I whispered.
Imagine my surprise when a third rainbow appeared! This time it was half of a full arch and it reached high into the sky and then disappeared behind the clouds. The end that touched the ground spread iridescent color at the foot of a mountain. I drove on in wonder as the rainbow seemed to travel ahead of me. Now its colors splayed upon a field. Next the end of it hid behind a hill. Then it reappeared against the mountain. I drove through a wooded area, expecting the rainbow to fade. But when my car emerged from the trees, there was the same rainbow, brighter than ever. I checked my odometer. This rainbow is lasting a long time!
My car became a hallowed place of worship as it chased a rainbow for over eleven miles.
Two days after my three February rainbows I got a call from the emergency room. Mom had taken a walk and fallen on ice. She was to be transferred to a larger hospital nearer my home.
When I called my sister to tell her what had happened, she said, “We are going to claim those three rainbows you saw as a promise that God will take care of Mom.”
At 3 o’clock the next morning I brought her home from the hospital. The doctors had been able to numb and reset her broken arm. Even though she’d fallen face first onto cement, all other bones x-rayed were unbroken and a scan ruled out any bleeding on the brain. She had a nasty black eye, swollen completely shut, but she looked beautiful to me. I helped her get ready for sleep and settled her into my recliner, elevating the broken arm on a pillow. Then I curled up on the love seat and sighed with contentment as I became her caregiver. Amazingly, my home care client was hospitalized so I did not have to report to work until he came home.
We had four days and nights together. My sweet Mom and me. A page-full of visitors signed my guest book when they came to cheer her. When she was strong enough to return to her home, I drove her there, thanking God for the time we’d had together. I’ll admit I shed a few tears on the return trip home but my client had returned from the hospital and I was due to report to work within an hour of my arrival home. I would return to making a living and visiting my mother and stepfather infrequently.
“I was so wishing I could spend a few days with you!” Mom told me when she said goodbye.
I guess those three February rainbows in one day were God’s promise of what was to come.
Bio: I live in a little house I’ve named “Attended Ways” on a tree-lined street in a happy town. I gratefully reflect on the 29 years of marriage to John, and our years of raising five children. Seven years ago John slipped Home early after a nine month battle with cancer. I now support myself and find fulfillment in being a Pediatric Home Care nurse. Words have always been my friends, and I’ve gathered them together into an inspirational book for women, Daughters of Eve, Daughters of God and The Manners are Homemade Series for young children.I enjoy grand-parenting, poetry, and collecting or reading books for children.