Sometimes, when we lose someone close to us, it can feel like they are gone forever. Gone are the emails and phone calls, the talks and the visits. They leave a void, some bigger than others, but always present.
When my Dad died almost a year and a half ago, my heart broke. Without my Daddy, the first man I ever loved, my forever protector, I had a huge hole in my heart. He was my biggest supporter, and loved every single thing I ever wrote. I could always count on my dad to “like” pretty much anything and everything I posted to Facebook, especially on the One Crazy Kid Facebook page. He died before I had my first piece go viral, one that is still really special and personal to me, and before I was published for the first (or second or third) time on Huffington Post, but I know he would have been smiling down on me that day for sure. I missed him, though, and have continued to do so every day. So many times I wish for a text or Facebook message saying “Good job Bran!”, with a silly cat face emoticon, something to say he was thinking of me. You don’t realize how much you miss those things till they are gone.
My Grama has been gone for almost 6 years, and every once in a while I forget, and go to email a contest entry to her. She loved entering contests, and boy, was she ever lucky. She won all kinds of things, from food and tickets to a desktop computer back in the day. That was something we often did together. We would watch out for fun contests to enter, then share them with the other person. Same went for freebie offers. My Grama found tons of them, gifts with purchase, free craft supplies, all kinds of little bonuses. I think that is where my love of those things came from. She was my crafting partner, the one who taught me to cross-stitch and knit, my scrapbooking enabler, stamper, fellow lover of stickers and pretty paper. She brought out my crafty side, and whenever I am in a Michael’s, or in the craft section of Walmart, I can feel her presence, just there with me, admiring the newest pens and craft trends, the paper and the stickers.
I’m not a deeply religious person. I consider myself more spiritual, in that I believe in something, but I don’t attend church regularly or pray before every meal. Especially since my dad died, though, the idea of Heaven has been really important to me. I don’t think that it is quite how we envision it in movies or books, and I’m pretty sure my dad isn’t sitting in the clouds watching hockey and eating hot wings, although it would be awesome if he was.
I do, however, think that the essence of who our loved ones are is there somewhere.
Where, I’m not quite sure, but I feel it is somewhere. There are signs, often when you need them the most, to tell you that they are near.
The scientist, sceptic in me wants to disprove that,to argue that it’s not possible and to write it off as coincidence, but the other part of me believes. It brings me comfort to think that somehow, somewhere, my dad is still with me. I know he is. I keep being reminded, usually when I need it but don’t realize it.
The signs are there, you just have to have your eyes and heart open enough to really see them.
Over the last few months, my dad has made his presence known to me a few times. I had hand surgery a couple of months ago and was so nervous and scared going into it. Although I was technically awake during the surgery, in reality I was pretty heavily sedated. Once it was done, the anesthesiologist reversed (for lack of a better word) it and I woke up, still in the operating room. Music was being played throughout the surgery, and the last thing I remember thinking before it started was that it was a fun mix of Top 40 type stuff. As I opened my eyes and came around from sedation, I heard the opening notes of House of the Rising Sun, my Dad’s favourite song. I knew in that moment, without a shadow of a doubt, that he was letting me know that he was with me.
On my birthday a couple weeks ago, I was heading out for my morning walk and was just starting up my music. I have a large number of songs on my Spotify playlist, and the first song that came up just happened to be Bebot by the Black Eyed Peas, a song in Tagalog about being Filipino. I looked up to the crack of sun streaming through the clouds and simply said ” Hi Dad”. I knew.
Yesterday, I got a really cool one. I was just standing on the front porch reading something on my phone and listening to music through my headphones, when all of a sudden I heard a tiny peep. I looked up to see a hummingbird close enough to my face that I could have touched it. We looked at each other for a second, making direct eye contact, and then it zoomed away. I’ve never even seen a hummingbird here in the 8 years that we’ve lived here. I had something that was stressing me that I was dealing with later that day, and it felt like a little “you’ve got this” kind of sign. I’m not sure who sent it, my dad or my grama, but I believe that someone did.
We all have those things that we hold tight to ourselves, those things we believe because they bring us hope or joy or comfort. Maybe it’s just coincidence, maybe it is grasping at straws in an attempt to hold onto something precious and dear. Who knows? Life is a rocky journey and we all need something to believe in, right?
Do you think that we can get signs? Or is it just coincidence? Either way, it is comforting to me and I will continue to allow myself open to receiving them for as long as I can.