The miracles were prolific before he passed. Could there still be miracles for us?
This week marks the four year anniversary since we lost our dear son, James. There is not a day, sometimes not an hour that I don’t think of him. He was with us for an amazing seven years from his pancreatic “c” word diagnosis until his passing. It would have been nine years if we had counted the time from when his symptoms began.
For a large part of that seven year period, our refrigerator displayed a white marker board. I’d written an Albert Einstein quote upon it.
” There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We certainly needed and felt the presence of those miracles back then, but after he left his earthly existence it was different. I’d invested so much energy into doing what I could to help him, that my miracle mindset was dramatically subdued.
I remember a few days after his passing, I did tell his wife I’d heard if one sees a cardinal that it is a sign of our loved one. She then reminded me that he loved mourning doves. I acknowledged that was true.
Back at our place the next morning, my husband and I were relaxing with our tea and coffee on the deck. Our attention was drawn to the electric wire across the front of the yard. Not only was there a cardinal perched upon the wire, but also a mourning dove! What’s more is that they were singing a duet!
This seemed to be quite magnificent evidence that our loved ones can send marvelous signs to us from the other side! Perhaps miracles had not forsaken my life after all!
There are days, however, when I especially regret not having our son here. One such time was a month or two ago. There was a video someone posted on Facebook of a mother and her young adult son (From Jordan Rabjohn Music) singing the duet, Rise Up. Here is the video.
You can see and hear how this inspirational pair tugged at my heart strings. It made me long to have James here so we could sing our own duet. When he was a young boy, he, his sister and I would sing little childhood songs, then later we would vocalize along with pop music on the car radio or our home stereo system. He, of course, had vocal music in elementary school. In middle school, his vocal music teacher told him he was quite good at singing. Even though he was a sax and guitar player who loved to dance for the sheer fun of it, he opted to not take vocal music in high school. Alas, especially now, our duet was not destined to be.
Just last week, I had an interesting series of dreams. It started early one morning, shortly after 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. I’d briefly awoken, then fell peacefully back to sleep. Following that, I had a string of what seemed to be abandoned dreams, immediately and disappointingly becoming aroused after each. The first was a cheerful, bright yellow Volkswagen, covered in hippy style flowers, pulling into our driveway from the east. Then, blip, it was gone. In the second dream, I was one of a group of four standing together, facing east beneath our large maple tree north of our home. Then, boop, it disappeared. The third and last was a beautifully elaborate peacock drawn in ink upon a circular, pale golden-brown parchment paper. Then bop, this one left as well. It seemed strange and quite disconcerting to have these snippets of what appeared to be starts of wonderful dreams, then I would become abruptly alert. I figured I may as well get up as I was certainly wide eyed by now.
I did write all this down, pondering a potential meaning. Could these three unfulfilled dreams perhaps represent stunted hopes: having James in the earthly realm or experiencing a so called normalcy of post pandemic life…?
As my eyelids grew increasingly heavy, I eventually returned to bed around 7:00 a.m. Immediately, I dived into an unbelievable dream. James was strikingly dressed in a black tux and white shirt, strolling about a room and singing a cappella. I listened and watched in awestruck gratitude. Mysteriously, I joined in by harmonizing with him on the refrains of a melodic song I’d never heard or sung before! My heart leapt with joy! Afterwards, I gave him a big hug, requesting that we do this again. He agreed! What a beautiful dream!
The evening of that same day, guess who was on our electric wire out front? Of course, it was a mourning dove and a cardinal! I truly do not see them together often. When I do, it seems it is a special day that for some reason is strongly connected to James. The next morning, I began writing this very post. In the middle of composing it, I looked out our kitchen window. There was Mr. Cardinal on the wire again, along with a mourning dove. The cardinal was inch by inch slyly hopping ever closer to the mourning dove. Entertainingly, the dove was fluffing up its feathers as if to make itself appear more intimidating as the diminutive red bird approached! Well, sighting these two birds in an unprecedented consecutive pair of days confirmed that this time had a substantial connection to James.
In pondering my brief dreams which barely dared to play peek-a-boo, I’ve decided they were vignettes of the larger dream that was to come. Remember, there was the cheerful Volkswagen, the four figures standing together, and the beautiful peacock within the circle. These minuscule dreams seemed to be introducing a grand dream in which I would be cheerful, feeling the four (of our original family) can still connect and that there is continual beauty in the circle of life.
Do you wonder the title of the song James was singing? It was an unfamiliar version of “I Believe in Miracles”! Yes, miracles!