The first sign was on the day of her funeral.
The weather forecast called for rain, and in the middle of December that meant cold rain. Maybe even snow. But there was nothing to be done about it. It was raining in our hearts anyway. Tears were ever present in our eyes.. might as well be falling out of the sky too.
Her funeral was beautiful and despite the weather, so so many people came to pay their respects. It was sprinkling as we left the church for the cemetery, and we took small comfort in the fact that the time there would be spend mostly under a tent.
But an amazing thing happened. As soon as we got to the cemetery, the skies cleared. And I don't mean they cleared as the storm passed, the way any storm would. No, the skies cleared just above us. You could look up and literally see a punch of blue sky over our little section of Floral Haven, while all around us in every direction was still dark, ominous looking clouds.
My brother commented that it was her first week in Heaven and they were already letting her control the weather. It was a sign to us. The clouds were surrounding us. There were going to be storms. But Mom was no longer suffereing and she was probably even dancing in heaven.. and that pretty much punched a hole through the clouds where we could see the blue sky. And we could for an instant feel her joy.
More signs would come. Megan would be both scolded and comforted by a shooting star late New Year's Eve when she was stranded, broken down on the highway. A sign that Mom was sending help.. and she did. A couple stopped to help saying only that God had sent them that way.
I think we have all had little signs and sometimes I wonder if signs could be so subtle we may even miss them. Mom was so soft spoken when she walked on this earth. I never heard her raise her voice. And when she was mad, she was more apt to stick her tongue out and blow a little raspberry at the offender than actually voice her irritation.
But it seems that when it comes to Daddy and his health, she has found her Heavenly Voice.
As I mentioned in my last post, Daddy was undergoing a new treatment called Provenge. The side effects of this treatment were pretty much the same as the side effects for any transfusion. Basically Daddy experienced weakness and flu like symptoms. And with each progressive infusion, the symptoms seemed to intensify. Finally he had his third and final treatment and was taking some time to recover.
I was at work while Mark was hanging out with Daddy who was still so weak, he was having trouble steadying himself when he stood up. It was about 2 in the afternoon and my boss and I were straightening up the lunch room after a late lunch. Suddenly I heard a huge clap of thunder. There were no clouds in the sky to speak of, so I looked at Joyce and asked if that was thunder. She remarked that she hadn't heard a thing. As I headed to my office, I heard it again. I didn't think much more about it.... UNTIL....
I talked to Daddy later that day and he said I needed to call Mark and ask him something. At this point, Daddy went all mute, like he always does when he gets a bit emotional. I teased him a bit telling him that I couldn't ask Mark until I knew what I was asking him about. Daddy finally got out that Mom had talked to them today.
I immediately called Mark and got, as Paul Harvey said, the rest of the story.
About 2, while I was having lunch at work, Mark and Daddy were sitting in the living room. Mark announced that he had to go because he had some laundry to do. Daddy, who was weak and not feeling well, said that he too needed to get up and do laundry. Mark told him he better not until he was feeling stronger and Daddy argued that he would be ok. At this point, a huge clap of thunder came out of a sunny sky! Mom was telling Daddy in no uncertain terms to stand down. There would be no laundry done that day. Daddy said "Yes, Dear." and just for good measure, the thunder boomed again.
When I heard that story I knew without a doubt that it was Mom because I heard it too, even though others in my office standing right next to me did not. She was speaking to her family, and she was making sure we were taking care of beloved, since she couldn't be there to do it in person.
So on this third thankful day of November, I am so very thankful for those little signs, the not so little signs, and the very loud signs, that let us know that Mom has not gone far and we will see her again very soon.
Sometimes it just doesn't feel soon enough though.