How The Spirit Moves

How The Spirit Moves

Almost 40 years I was given the gift of a life time, a deeply personal and tender interaction with god that changed my life forever. On a chilly early winters eve, November 1978, my family got the crushing news that our dad had passed away (on) from a sudden and massive heart attack. The grief, confusion and fear that followed in those first few hours rattled every fiber of my being and I felt like I had been chewed and swallowed up completely. I remember the darkness in my room as I cried myself to sleep, darkness everywhere.

Later that evening when we made the pilgrimage to Tremont Street, a long time and loyal friend of my mom’s was there helping, cooking and loving in any way she could.

As the phone calls were coming in and plans were being made there was time we sat around our old kitchen table managing the shell shocked feelings and just being together.

Elaine Guilmette, one of my mom’s best friends welcomed me to sit close to her and I did. As I snuggled my 9 year old body in to her big warm arms, she gently rubbed my head and my shoulders, held me close and said nothing, just let me be… I stayed in that deeply comforting position for well over and hour just being loved and nurtured as I survived chaos.

Elaine’s presence that night changed my life and shaped my heart.
It’s very telling those that around when you need help the most…
Over the decades that followed, whenever I saw her, I always told how much her affection and loyalty comforted me that painful night.

Showing up
Being present
Being of service (the kind that’s needed, not the kind you plan on giving)

This is how the good lord works, and he works through ordinary people.

God, however you envision her, is only truly experienced through the people that live that love. A greeting, an authentic inquiry into someone else’s well being and occasionally intimate acts of kindness like comforting the heart broken, are things we need to do for one another if god is to be a living growing part of our world.

Elaine went home to god last week but her love and example lives on in me and through me.

Thank you Elaine you beautiful, dignified open hearted servant of the planet. Rest in Peace sweet sister.



4 thoughts on “How The Spirit Moves

  1. Joyce Beauchesne

    there are truly people who leave footprints on our lives, Peter, and it sounds like you had one of God’s best leave them on yours! Such a beautiful tribute to Elaine and I am so glad you had the opportunity to let her know what her kindness, care, and comfort did for you! Yes, angels walk amongst us, and you certainly experienced the genuine goodness
    of a very special one!
    Thinking of you ever so fondly, Peter.

    1. Cris Dobrosielski Post author

      Thanks for the thoughtful ideas and sentiment Mrs Beauchesne. Almost as good as experiencing the love from this angel was the multiple opportunities later in life to let her know just how deeply important her care was at the time. I believe that’s another aspect of how the spirit moves, saying thank you when you can.

      Love at the time and place of need, expressed gratitude (when possible) and at least as important is paying it forward. That’s the transforming and healing power of god.

      Goodness and love to you and your entire family.

  2. Matt B

    Awesome bit of reflection Chris! Honored to have you as a friend.

    Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

    1. Cris Dobrosielski Post author

      Thanks for the soulful insight and encouragement Big Matt. Equally honored to have you in my corner. Continuing to do my best to walk in the good way…and I know you are too.

      Friendship, strength and honor,

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