Signs… by JoAnn

A chalkboard with the words listen to your inner voice written on it.

Ever had something happen to you and thought it might be a sign? Maybe a sign to choose a different path in life or a sign that danger is ahead. Personally, I have always believed in signs such as these. To me, they are our instincts sending up a red flag.

The first time I took notice of such a sign, I was 22 years old and a mother to my oldest daughter. She was about 18 months at the time. I had planned a day out for the two of us. We lived in a rural area, about an hour’s drive from the closest large city. I had planned to drive us to my favorite restaurant, where we would enjoy a nice lunch. The drive would be a treat on such a beautiful Fall day. About halfway to our destination, I had a bad feeling come over me, and I felt like I should turn around and go back home. At first, I thought it was just anxiety about driving alone in the car with my baby—something I didn’t do very often. The feeling kept haunting me, though, and it wouldn’t go away. I thought surely there was nothing wrong; it was just me and my nerves again. When we got to the restaurant, the waitress who seated us suddenly began to cough. It bothered me that she may be coming down with something, and now here I am with my baby in her presence. We ended up having a nice lunch and made it home safely. Within 24 hours, my baby girl was running a fever and coughing. She had the flu. My mind raced back to when that waitress had coughed. I realized I should have listened to my instincts and returned home that day. Avoiding the waitress, and hence avoiding my little girl being sick. From that day forward, I have always listened to my inner voice and taken notice of signs. I tried to raise each of my daughters to do the same.

I have read many stories of people receiving signs from loved ones who have passed away. Signs that their loved one is near them and saying a friendly hello, or an I love you. When my own dad passed away, for months after, I would find nickels around my home. I’d walk from one room to the next, and there on the floor, as if it fell from the sky, would be a nickel. I wrote a missive about it titled “Daddy’s Nickle” on this website if you want to read it. You see, nickels were something that my daddy would give me as a little girl. Then he would take me to his favorite little corner store and let me pick out penny candies. It was something that only he and I shared, and there was no doubt I was finding the nickels because of him. If not, it was God’s way of easing my grief.

This past week was my daddy’s Birthday, which made me miss him badly. He would have been 98. I decided to try and take my mind off of my sadness and do a little house cleaning. I ran across a box that I had been meaning to go through. It was sealed, and I had no idea what was inside. I opened it and realized it was full of old photographs. I immediately found a black and white 8×10 photo of my dad back in the 1960s. I had not laid eyes on that photo in many years. I was so happy to see my dad’s face on his Birthday! I continued with my cleaning and decided to look through a plastic tote I had been meaning to clear out. Inside was a little velvet box containing my mama and daddy’s wedding rings along with my daddy’s keys. He had left them at my house the last time he visited me. I also wrote a missive about those keys and their significance if you would care to read it. It is titled “Daddy’s Keys.” Again, a gift was given to me on my dad’s Birthday, precisely when I needed it. I was beginning to realize that perhaps my daddy was trying to provide me with comfort that day. He was trying to tell me that he was still very near me. I placed the photo & wedding rings in a safe place, with plans to frame the photo later. I hung the keys in a place where I can see them every day.

A couple of hours later, I decided to go out. When I opened my front door, there was the biggest, most beautiful black and blue butterfly I had ever seen. It was like it had been waiting for me to open the door. It fluttered before me, then was quickly gone. But I knew. I knew it was a sign from someone I love dearly and miss so much.

I’m very thankful for the blessing of signs that protect me and help heal a broken heart. I wonder if people can become so busy in their lives that they miss the signs given to them. What a shame that would be.

Happy Birthday in heaven, Daddy!