For me, typically, Sundays have not been by favorite day of the week. Sunday means that tomorrow Mark goes back to work, Scottie goes back to school, and all the hectic weekday activities start anew. I always feel gloomy and sadder than usual on Sundays.
Today felt different than usual. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that my sweet hubby let me sleep until noon (I desperately needed that). Perhaps it was the fact that the sun was shining so beautifully through the front window while I sipped at my coffee that was the ideal strength - not too weak, not too strong - and the perfect temperature. Seriously, there's nothing like my first cup of coffee to set the tone for the day. In any case, I wasn't grumpy about Football Fest (I actually enjoyed watching with Mark today), I wasn't dreading my chores that needed doing, and I wasn't fighting the persistent weighty depression that I have to muscle off of me daily in order to function.
While Mark napped on the couch I performed my most hated household duty (cleaning the big bathroom) without grumbling and sighing. I straightened up our bedroom and did laundry (Honestly, folding fresh clean laundry is something I love). I worked on Amazon wish lists, emptied the dishwasher, and swept up enough of Jax's hair to make a nice toupee if I was so inclined. I worked on some of the Christmas gifts I'm making and read some interesting articles online.
Then, with tears trailing down my face, I began to compose this blog entry.
You see, as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a little bit ago, I stopped on a post made by an acquaintance. There was absolutely nothing to catch my eye and make me stop scrolling. It was simply a small photo of a blond-haired woman with a nice smile next to the title of an article: Ten Signs That Deceased Loved Ones Give to Let us Know They are Around. Without a second thought, I clicked on it, and read. As I read, I started to cry. The things that this lady, a psychic medium, says about loved ones who have passed and then try to communicate with those of us they left behind, hit me hard.
I haven't cried about my Dad in quite awhile. After he passed on April 6th of this year, I had a very hard time coping with the loss of him from my and my brother's life. When I went to bed that night, I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned in my dark, quiet bedroom as memories played continually in my mind. And questions - so many questions - plagued my grief-stricken heart. Dad was an emotionally closed-off man much of the time. I found myself asking, Did he love me? Was he ever proud of me? Was I a disappointment? I felt so desolate, knowing that I would never really know what he was thinking, how he was feeling. As I lie on my right side facing Mark's side of the bed with my eyes closed, trying to find a sense of calm, a bloom of light shone through my closed eyelids as if someone had turned the bedroom light on. My eyes flew open and I realized the light was coming from behind my back, on my dresser. It was my cell phone. It hadn't made a noise. I hadn't received a call or text. It was not plugged in and it had full battery life. It simply inexplicably lit up. "Daddy, is that you?" I whispered into the quiet of the night. There was no reply, audible or otherwise, but with a full heart and teary eyes I rolled back over. I fell asleep.
I have related this story to several people and not one of those people seemed to think there was anything significant about the phone lighting up like that. I started to feel uncomfortable telling the story because it felt so significant to me - so meaningful, and the reactions of others to this amazing event made me feel doubtful that what I feel happened - Dad let me know he was there - didn't actually happen.
The day after we lost Dad, my son and I went and had dinner together at Applebee's. My heart was so heavy as we sat down. Going out to eat was something I did a lot with Dad, and I was really feeling it. Just then the Doobie Brothers' song "Long Train Running" came on the restaurant's sound system. I burst immediately into hysterical sobs. My poor 13 year-old son tried desperately to console me. This had been one of Dad's favorite songs, and one that ALWAYS made me think of him. I was so embarrassed that this song had "coincidentally" come on in such a public place and I reacted so extremely to it.
Day followed day and functioning was especially difficult knowing one of my parents was gone. I wouldn't hear his laugh again. I wouldn't get any more of his big bear hugs. A week after Dad died, in the midst of my grief-induced fog, I realized there were a few things we absolutely needed, and as much as I didn't want to, I had to go to Walgreen's. Pushing my shopping cart in a daze I suddenly heard over the store's soundsystem...."Long Train Running". To my horror I burst into painful sobs again, in public, with strangers glancing at me uncomfortably, giving me a wide berth. I thought to myself, Again?? Why does this keep happening?
It has been almost 8 months since my Dad gave up and surrendered to cancer. During that time I have heard "Long Train Running" countless times, in countless places. When it happens now, instead of crying, I smile as I think of my Daddy. One of my friends told me recently that "There are no coincidences", and I believe that. And after stumbling on the article today by Karen Noe, I finally know that all the little instances that I felt had significance actually did. I will never hear from my Dad's mouth whether he truly did always love me, was proud of me, felt happy that he was my dad. But I do know that there is a reason that certain things keep happening to me. I DO know that yes Daddy, it's you. Thank you.
Read Karen Noe's article here:
Than have a listen: