I think the hardest part of grief is wondering whether or not our loved ones are watching over us.  Do they have a window in heaven where they can look over us anytime, anywhere?  Do they see our every move and do they walk by our sides and talk to us?   Do they hold us when we cry in bed telling us everything will be alright?  We would all like to know the answer, and if heaven had visiting hours, it sure would make the pain and heartache a little bit easier to manage.

I believe in signs.  They are everywhere for me.  The day after my husband passed was when I felt like I received my first sign from him.  One of his biggest pet peeves was when I would leave the ironing board out in our bedroom.  I remember walking into our room and tripping over the iron chord.  I took that as my first sign.

I couldn’t stand the site of his truck in our driveway, so I moved it around the corner for about a week.  I remember thinking to myself, “It’s time to park his truck back at the house” so I reluctantly went to retrieve his truck.  As I started the car the song that was playing on the radio was “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell (it was one of the songs that we played at his Celebration of Life).

There have been so many signs that I cherish in my heart every day and I’m convinced his spirit is just too strong to leave this earth.  I believe that he’s watching over me every second of every day.  I talk to him daily.  About a month ago I was at dinner and someone had been curt with me.   I remember envisioning him looking at me with that fire in his eyes and saying to me, “Don’t take that shit.  You’re better than that.”  I also remember the day I launched my blog.  I was walking to get coffee and I envisioned him next to me giving me a kiss and telling me, “I am so, so proud of you.”  Growing up I had always watched movies where the dead talked to their loved ones.  I thought it was silly until I found comfort in it myself.  I truly believe there is life after death and I am an even bigger believer that our loved ones are with us at all times; talking to us, guiding us and loving us.  It’s what gets me through the days and it’s what gives me hope.

hopeI have had a lot of heartache in my life from the passing of loved ones.  My father passed away from a brain tumor when he was 53 years old (I was 23 when he died).  After my husband died, I felt like the thoughts about my dad dissipated a bit while I was focusing my grief on my late husband.  However, this morning I was watching a show called “Manzo’d With Children” on Bravo.   The daughter was getting married and there was a scene where her father gave her a Cartier Love bracelet.  I became sad; not because I wanted a Cartier Love bracelet, but the fact that my father died before I got married always left an emptiness inside of me; it’s every girl’s dream to have their daddy walk them down the aisle and have their first dance with their father.  So many emotions came over me this morning during that scene that I started to cry.  The thought that the two loves of my life were stripped from me at an early age was just a bit too much to bear this morning.  As much as I try to stay positive, there are times when I feel cheated because others get to enjoy their fathers as they grow old and others get to live long lives with their spouses. Just then when I grabbed my phone, Facebook memories popped up and I remember posting this photo a year ago of a picture that was taken of me speaking at my father’s retirement party when he was dying of cancer:

My dad

I share this photo with you today because I took this as a sign to never forget that my father loved me with all his heart.  This was a sign from him telling me that I don’t need a Cartier Love Bracelet for me to know how much he loved me; I think the expression on his face says it all.  It made my day.  You see, I feel that through all of the tragedy, I am the lucky one.  Because it’s signs like these that remind myself just how much I was loved.  And THAT is the best gift I could ever ask for.