“This past week I was walking through the grocery store and saw a mom wearing a shirt that said, ‘I’m so crafty, I make people.’ She noticed my tribe of 5 and we joked that I needed to buy that shirt too, especially after mentioning I was expecting another in April. We chatted about the little human armies we are creating, how we have no idea when we will feel ‘done’ having children, and how much we love this job we’ve signed up for. After our conversation we bode goodbye with a salute to keep on being awesome mama’s.
I knew then that I wanted to make this little phrase on my letter board at home and hold it alongside my growing baby bump. I figured it would be a cute little addition to my expanding belly and people would get a kick out of it. After all, this is the fifth baby I’ve been blessed to carry, even though this is actually child #6 for us.
My plan was to just make a silly sign about my reproductive system, but Heaven had different intentions in mind.
When my 6-year-old daughter got home from school, I bribed her with Halloween candy to take a few quick pictures outside of me holding my sign. She is actually getting really good at this whole picture taking thing, as well as enjoying the special treatment to do so. She would have done it without the candy, but I was trying to sweeten the deal here.
She stood on the bench and took a few pictures before I approved of one. It was a tad windy this afternoon so the wind had blown a little piece of my hair from one side of my head to the other. It wasn’t a huge detail…but you know, it was enough for me to request she take a few more. I showed her the hair and we laughed at how silly it really did look. So I told her if she noticed anything else like that, to let me know and I’ll fix it.
I stepped back and started to smile towards her for more pictures. She took my previous advice into consideration and said, ‘Mama, there’s a light coming into the picture!’ and I sort of knew what she was talking about. In the previous pictures some sunlight had come through, but it gave off good lighting. So I just thought she was paying attention to the details of pictures and told her, ‘it’s okay, just keep snapping pics!’ She looked at me a bit oddly, and said ‘okaaaaay…’
I laughed and just kept hearing the ‘click, click, click’ of the camera. After a few seconds I walked over to her and opened up the album to review the pictures. She was right, there was a light. But this wasn’t any ole sunlight in a picture. This was a beam straight from Heaven itself.
My dad died in 2016. He died two weeks after his 50th birthday and I was only 25. I had time to prepare for it as he had pancreatic cancer, but he was my best friend. I was never ‘ready’ for this life changing event. Sometimes I still pretend it’s just been a few weeks since we’ve last spoken in order to get through the heartache of missing him. Most days it just seems unfair that I had to lose him in the trenches of mothering infants and toddlers. He died when my 4 baby girls were aged 3 and younger.
He gave me custody of his son in the midst of our torment before he passed away. I think it was more-so his parting gift to me, being able to keep a piece of him forever. By being able to raise his son, I would still have a little bit of him in my everyday life. But I still lost my best friend.
Sometimes the rawness of this reality can knock me to my knees. This pregnancy has been exceptionally harder for me emotionally, knowing I won’t have any physical pictures of my dad holding this baby. All 5 of my other children have loads of pictures of themselves with him. But I will have zero for this baby. I’ll never be able to see my dad’s face when he meets this little baby for the first time. I’ll never watch this baby be rocked to sleep by him in his rocking chair. I’ll never hear him say that he loves this baby. There’s so many things that will never happened because he’s gone.
I just keep praying for him to show up in some way or another. And he does show up. He sends my kids and I pennies on the ground that we find all the time. He sends me signs in the form of numbers constantly. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t continually skeptical of these events. I’m always questioning whether or not it really is him or if I’m just imagining it. While I keep a journal of these incidences, and that is definitely enough to make anyone believe it’s real, I’m still asking for more. I still ask him every day to make himself more obvious.
When I see his signs, I always know it’s him. I always know with my entire soul that he is right there with me. When I opened up the pictures on my phone and I saw that light beaming down, I knew. I smiled and I shook my head a little, while I laughed. There he was, showing up for me in an extremely unmistakable way. It was like he was saying, ‘is this going to work for you, Molz? Is this obvious enough? I did good, right?’ You did good, Dad. Great, actually. Thank you.
Now I have my first picture of my dad with this child growing inside of me. I expect there to be many more throughout the years, each showing him in different ways. But this one is exactly what I needed from him when I didn’t even know what I wanted. His signs are always unexpected, even when I ask for specific things. He’s always surprising me and pushing me to pay attention to the smallest of details. His love and presence now comes softly and camouflaged. It takes effort and interpretation. But he’s here. He’s always here. And I’ll always be looking for him.
I have three grandparents in Heaven as well. I believe they showed up, too. The light in that photo is so strong it’s hard to deny their presence as well. If anything, I feel blessed and supported by those who walk invisibly beside me. Their constant watchfulness and security brings about a lot of peace. Their love continues to radiate all around me and they make quite the effort every now and again to prove it.
So while my goal was to share a silly quote, I’m glad the outcome brought about a much bigger significance. I hope others keep looking for their loved ones’ signs. I hope others start to learn the subtle messages and find peace in the little ‘winks’ they discover. Heaven doesn’t have to feel so far away if we believe our loved ones are close by.”
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