Monday, April 29, 2019

Who's That Honking?

     Earlier this month, after running errands for the following day's family get-together, I was driving north on Capilano Road when I approached a red light at the Ridgewood Drive intersection, close to my home. First in line was a sedan, followed by a black pickup truck, then me. After the light turned green, the sedan was not quick enough off the mark as far as the truck driver was concerned, so they gave a short honk. It had only been a matter of maybe two seconds, but as far as the truck driver was concerned, that wait was too long. 
      I can also be impatient behind the wheel at times, but a honk two seconds in was pushing it. I was instantly reminded of my son. Mike had also had a pickup truck and liked to travel fast. It flashed through my mind that he too may have honked in that situation. Smiling to myself while slowly shaking my head from side to side with a silent 'oh Mike',  I started following the traffic up the hill. Moments later, I noticed the truck's license plate: MG 8600 which I immediately read as Michael Gibson, born in '86, and now no longer here. By the time I turned into my driveway, I was laughing and flooded with gratitude for this opportunity to add one more occurrence to my long list of fabulous experiences of feeling connected to my son.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Signs of Support

     Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of Michael's death. Rather than taking flowers to Boal Memorial on the actual date, as I have in the past, this year I decided ahead of time that I would go this morning - a mental health choice that I felt would make tomorrow a little easier and more uplifting.
     A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to participate in a community fundraiser - an afternoon Scrabble Tournament taking place on March 7th to raise money for grandmothers in Africa. My husband and I play Scrabble most evenings so I knew it could be an enjoyable event and said "yes", grateful for the distraction, the opportunity to support a good cause, and knowing I would have the support of this friend on a trigger day, another mother who lives with the loss of a child. Later this month will mark seven years since her adult daughter's accidental death.
     This morning, my plan was to walk my younger daughter's chocolate lab Barrett (related to Diesel and born four days before the fatal accident involving Mike, Kelly and Diesel), along the river for about an hour, then take him with me to Boal, which would be his first time there.  After getting into my car (which was parked in the carport), I reached over to close my door when I noticed one small feather lying on the ground nearby. Smiling to myself, I reached down and picked it up, then placed it on the seat beside me - thankful for this little sign.
     After fetching Barrett, I drove to Bridgeman Park, located beside Lynn Creek. Due to the ongoing construction in the area, I had not been there since last spring but today, it felt like the right place to go. I parked the car, leashed up the dog and let him out. He instantly beelined it to a fence post about 30 metres away, to take a pee. As I stood there waiting for him, I looked up at the post and could hardly believe my eyes -  a small, pink heart resting near the top! Obviously, the perfect spot for our walk together today.
     After our river walk, we visited Boal, then after dropping him off, I headed home. Later, I picked up my granddaughter after school and brought her back to my house. She immediately noticed the feather I had now placed on my kitchen counter and told me she had found one that looked exactly the same. Reaching into her backpack, she pulled out a twin feather. When I asked her about it, she told me she had found it while walking along Mosquito Creek during her class field trip this morning, put it into her pocket until she got back to school, then into her knapsack for safekeeping! The signs and loving energy of the day filled my well, placing me in good stead for tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Massive Amount of Maternal Energy

     When I awoke yesterday morning, I knew it was going to be a good day. For my belated birthday gift, I would be spending time with my oldest daughter and my granddaughter at a mother/daughter brunch and attending a performance of The Nutcracker ballet. The day began with an unexpected early morning phone call from my aunt in Germany, my mother's only sibling and my last remaining close relative on my mother's side. She still lives on the property where she and my mother were born and where their mother had lived from the time she married until she died. Our infrequent communication consists of a card and perhaps one letter a year, with an occasional phone call every year or two. She was calling with Christmas greetings and to catch up on the goings on of our family.
     An hour after I hung up, I left the house, adorned with the ring and gold bracelet I had inherited from my mother (both of which had been her mother's before that). I had consciously chosen these two pieces to emphasize the multi-generational maternal connection for this particular outing. When I arrived at my daughter's home to pick up the two of them, she told me that I'd never believe what she just found and handed me my mother's drivers license! She had noticed it earlier that morning on the floor amongst the shoes in her closet (around the time I was on the phone with my aunt). It had not been there when she had sorted through the shoe area a short time ago, but now there it was - lying in wait and in full sight. She couldn't even recall ever having it in her possession and thought the only connection might have been that after my mother's death, she may have taken it with her after looking through her Oma's personal items. My mother died in 2002 and my daughter has moved at least a half dozen times since then - uncanny.
     After settling in at the restaurant, while awaiting our meal, I pulled out a tiny notebook enclosed in cello wrapping from my purse, entitled "Great Games: classic pen and pencil games for two players". I had no idea what the inside of the book looked like but the title and cover was promising. I had purchased it early last summer, thinking it might come in handy with the grandchildren while awaiting a ferry or a meal in a restaurant and had been carrying it around unopened in my purse since then. After tearing off the cello wrap, I flipped through the wordless booklet and found it was filled with three versions of patterned pages: 1) graph paper, 2) evenly spaced dots arranged vertically and horizontally, and 3) miniature hexagons. Upon seeing the dotted sheets, I instantly thought of my mother - she used to play the game of Dots and Boxes on this kind of paper with my young children but I had completely forgotten about it until now. I then showed the page to my daughter, asked her who this reminded her of, and she instantly replied, "Oma".
     After enjoying the highly entertaining Nutcracker Ballet, we made our way down to the lobby where I decided to check the time and saw it was 3:15pm. In Germany, which is nine hours ahead, it was already quarter after midnight on December 10th - my Oma's birthday!
     A massive amount of maternal energy appearing over the course of a few hours, connecting my maternal grandmother, my mother, myself, my daughter, and my granddaughter.  A truly unforgettable day in this blessed life of mine.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Family Connections

     My new sister-in-law was curious about witnessing connection to spirit via mediums, so last night, we met for an evening mediumship demonstration at the International Spiritual Alliance (ISA) in order for her to experience it firsthand. She was hopeful about receiving messages from her parents who had both passed long ago. 
      It had been years since I last attended one of these ISA sessions and I was looking forward to the evening. I had never met the medium who would be giving the demonstration but having read up on her, I knew she was very experienced and I was confident that it would be a great event. Seeing the vivid rainbow while driving out there was a bonus.
     With about thirty people seated in the audience, I knew that time would not permit everyone to receive information from loved ones but I was hopeful that messages for my sister-in-law would come through. As it turned out, we would both hear from spirit.
     As has often been the case, it didn't take long for Michael's spirit to appear. About ten minutes in, the medium began describing the spirit of a young man she had with her: that he had died suddenly in an road accident, just as he had finally been getting on with his life. That he had been as shocked as everyone else because his death had happened so suddenly. The medium also picked up on Kelly's spirit and commented on how the two of them had planned on sharing their lives together. The medium then mentioned a ring worn on a pinky finger. I was fairly sure that Mike didn't have one - I thought perhaps Kelly had but this message wasn't resonating with me so we left it and moved on. Mike's spirit then mentioned kayaking and instantly the scene one of his friends had captured in a cabin photo flashed through my mind. The one of him capsizing in the lake. His message was about cautioning me to take care when kayaking and also, that he would send a sign for me to recognize the next time I was out on the water. I am planning to go on an ocean kayak outing with one of my daughters next month and look forward to seeing what appears. I also noted the fact that my sister-in-law is an avid kayaker and thought it was interesting that this topic would come up.
     About an hour later, near the end of the session, the medium's attention was drawn to my sister-in-law and the medium began describing the spirit of her grandfather, as well as providing evidence of him, referring to the small business he had established as a tailor, as well as other details. Soon her father, mother and little brother (who had died when he was young child), all showed up as well, with many messages that she took to heart. This was the first time I had witnessed so many family members coming through for someone - they had obviously all been eagerly awaiting this occasion. 
     After the evening wrapped up, my sister-in-law pulled up the sweater sleeve that had been covering her right hand to show me the two gold rings she was wearing on her pinky finger - simple gold bands she had made for her parents long ago, while working as a goldsmith. After her mother died, her father continued to wear his own ring and added his wife's band to his pinky finger until his death almost twenty years later. These rings were the only personal possessions she had of her parents and she had worn them here in the hopes of facilitating the connection to their spirits. She told me that she was sure it had been her father's idea to have Mike mention the pinky ring so that she would recognize the truth in all this. The mention of kayaking was also not lost on her. 
     It seems that Michael's spirit was keen to assist loved ones to make the connection with their granddaughter/daughter/ sister - this loving woman who is now also part of my family. She never met my son but certainly recognized his efforts on her behalf and appreciated his eagerness to share with her the incredible experience of spirit communication. That's my boy!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Seven and a Half Years

     My husband was long overdue for a new pair of runners but shopping for personal items is something he puts off for as long as possible. With a soon-to-expire gift card for a large sporting goods retailer, I suggested he go shopping after work yesterday, and offered to go along for moral support.
     After arriving at the store, we made our way over to the men's athletic footwear department, where we encountered a wall displaying close to a hundred different styles and models. As a Libra, making decisions can be challenging for him, and with this many options to consider, it could be overwhelming. After a short time, he enlisted the help of a young staff member (about 18 or 19 years old), and after explaining to the clerk what he was looking for in a shoe, the young man made a couple of recommendations, then went off to find the correct sizes.
     Seated on a nearby bench, watching the interactions between these two, I suddenly remembered a story one of Michael's friends had shared with us after Mike died, regarding the job our son had had at this same store when he was in his late teens. With minimal job training, it turns out that Mike would sell sporting goods to customers by making suggestions based on very little product knowledge, essentially faking his way through his shifts there. Thinking of that story now brought a huge smile to my face and I wondered how knowledgeable this particular staff member was. As the young man approached me, I looked up at his name tag and could hardly believe it - Michael! 
     September 7th - exactly 7 1/2 years since our son died. Sadness had begun draping itself over me the day before and had fully enveloped me by the time I awoke yesterday. Once I realized what the date was, I understood why. Thankfully, a couple of weeks earlier, I had randomly arranged to meet up for an afternoon walk with a long time friend for this day - an outing which resulted in a shift to lighter energy. Topping it off with this occurrence while shopping with my husband was a bonus - it made my day! And yes, my husband came home with a new pair of runners, thanks to Michael.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Magical Day


     With this glorious summer weather of blue skies and hot temperatures, my grandchildren and I headed over to Granville Island Wednesday morning. After playing at the water park for a couple of hours, we ventured over to the Magic Shop in the Kids Only Market - a place my granddaughter had been keen to revisit, due to her fascination with the tricks she had been shown there last fall.
      After much deliberation, the kids finally decided on which tricks to purchase - he, a squishy gel egg and she, a magic dragon box. We then returned to my place for a low key, lazy afternoon. After refueling with some snacks and cold drinks in the shade out back, my grandson and I lay down on the picnic blanket, gazing into the sky, while my granddaughter sat beside us perfecting her new magic trick. My grandson wanted to look for animals and other objects in cloud formations, but since we had a clear blue sky, we observed various birds in our surroundings instead - an eagle soaring high above us, a hummingbird zooming in to the feeder, blue jays and a woodpecker coming by to perch on our water feature for a drink, chickadees flitting from branch to branch behind us, and crows perching on the fence nearby. At one point during this magnificent bird show, I suggested we invite some clouds to present themselves in the sky so that we could play the game, so we did.
     Two rounds of Go Fish and a couple of Story Cubes storytelling sessions later, I happened to glance up and realized that at least half the sky was covered in clouds! No clouds had been forecast at all for the entire day, nor for the days on either side. I pointed them out to the kids and the three of us shared in the marvel that had occurred. An hour or so later, after dropping the kids off at their home, where they had eagerly showed their parents the newly acquired magic skills, I returned to my backyard and realized that the sky was completely clear again - not a single cloud in sight. I just shook my head and smiled at the heavens, heart bursting with gratitude for another beautiful, magically infused day.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Family Time at the Cabin

     During our recent cabin vacation, there was a late evening conversation with family members about Michael's spirit coming through at an ISA gathering a few weeks ago. For over an hour we talked about how highly detailed a medium's descriptions and messages from spirit can be, and we discussed the meaningful information received. Then, with bedtime approaching, it was time to let out the dog so one of Mike's relatives opened the front door and turned on the porch light, only to discover it promptly flashing on and off in uneven bursts of light for quite some time, before going completely dark and remaining so. We were all within view and our first thought while watching the spectacle was that maybe it was a burned out bulb, but simultaneously processing that they don't die out in that fashion. We soon understood what was going on, as this playing with light had occurred many times since Michael's death, to various family members in numerous locations, during times of conscious spiritual connection to him. However, this was a first for us at our cabin. The next morning, I flicked on the light switch to check out the bulb, and of course, it was totally fine and continued to shine, without incident, for the remaining week of our vacation. Another illuminating example of spirit interacting on a physical level. Mike reminding his family that he was right there with us. Too much fun!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Life Between Lives

     Over the past few months, I have been exploring Life Between Lives (LBL), the state our souls inhabit between incarnations. Numerous books, seminars and documentaries have covered this topic but I became aware, only recently, that it was possible to experience LBL under hypnosis, while incarnated in this life.
      After researching the topic, my curiosity was piqued. I booked a four hour LBL session with a very experienced and highly trained facilitator from the Newton Institute, who happened to be the first certified therapist practicing LBL in Canada. Coincidentally, she has worked in my community for years.
      It was a phenomenal experience, unlike anything I had ever had.  Meeting my soul group, being reacquainted with my spirit guide, recognizing my life purpose, and receiving some healing for the grief that still lingered deep within my womb seven years after my son's death, were all extremely helpful benefits of my LBL session. The incredible insights and understanding about my life experiences left me with a lasting sense of peace. Anyone open to receiving illumination regarding challenging events in their lives may want to consider this powerful experience. An opportunity for spiritual growth that is within us all.
P.S. - A good starting place to learn more about LBL is "Journey of Souls" by Dr. Michael Newton.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Name-Twin Milestones


     Within days of each other, long time name-twin friends of Mike and Kelly celebrated huge milestones in their lives - his close friend Mike got married, and her best friend Kelly became a mother. A mountain wedding, where I had the privilege of performing the ceremony, and the birth of a baby girl whom I look forward to meeting soon. This Mike and this Kelly are living life to the fullest, and it makes my heart sing to see them both put heaps of love and effort into creating lives worth living.

     Of course, it is also during times like these where my mind plays with the what-ifs: What if my Mike and his Kelly were still alive ... what would their lives look like now? Would there have been a wedding to enjoy, a birth to celebrate? Observing their close friends' milestones is always bittersweet, but the double name-twin element this time around temporarily added a little weight. However, staying connected to so many of their friends enriches my life deeply and it is a gift for which I am very grateful. And of course, I know that as their good friends celebrate love and life, Mike and Kelly's spirits are right there with them, enthusiastically cheering them on!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Seven Years

     Yesterday marked seven years without his physical presence, but now that March 7th has passed, the nausea and deep fatigue that set in earlier this week is beginning to wane.
     The sun was kind enough to make an appearance for my weekly forest walk with the chocolate lab yesterday morning. Strolling along the creekside trail, taking it slow for a change, fully present to nature's healing elements. Recognizing and breathing in the early signs of spring, of renewal. Chirping birds, filtered sunshine, purling creek, and flowering bulbs bursting forth through the decay -  sights and sounds to nourish my soul.
     For dinner, as we have done on each anniversary, our family replicated the simple meal of chicken fajitas that Michael and Kelly had prepared for us the evening before they left for that fateful cabin weekend. A meaningful way for us to mark this day.
    With yesterday behind us, and spring just around the corner, we embrace the additional light and renewed life before us.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Gifts of Sweet Moments


     Within the past 48 hours, I have been blessed with having three different people spontaneously share reminders of Michael with me. Considering it has been 6 1/2 years since he died, it is not common for me to hear this many references to him within such a short time. I cherish every precious moment and memory of Michael that friends continue to share. Receiving three so close together is a windfall.
     Two days ago, a close friend of mine texted to say that she was preparing to leave for her highway drive to the Okanagan, where she would be celebrating Christmas with her family. She told me that after lifting her suitcase off the dining room chair, she had pushed the chair back under the table and found a feather lying on the floor under the table. She said that for her, it was a sign that "someone" was wishing her a safe ride up.
     Later that same day, during dinner with another long time friend, who happens to work at Contact Printing, I was told that the microwave at the shop had stopped working this week, and that she and two of her coworkers had remembered that Michael had bought it used off Craigslist for the staff kitchen, about a year before he died.
     Then yesterday, a good friend of Mike's sent me a photo via Messenger that he thought I might like to see. It showed my son during his grade 12 year, seated in a semicircle with five of his friends, celebrating someones birthday.
     Today, our family will gather at Boal Memorial to decorate the little Christmas tree. Despite the cold, rainy weather, we'll hang ornaments, light the candles, and sing some carols while sending loving thoughts to Mike and Kelly. And through it all, I will feel buoyed by the gifts of these sweet reminders of my son.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Life and Death

     My husband and I recently attended a matinee of the animated movie Coco. No grandkids, just us two, in a theatre predominantly filled with young families. A Mexican friend (who had been our first homestay student nearly 25 years ago, and is now a father of five) had messaged me suggesting I would probably enjoy seeing Coco, knowing as he did of my interest in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). We rarely correspond these days but I am so glad he took the time to recommend this movie -  it was a rich experience for all ages. We followed the journey of a young boy named Miguel, who crosses over a colourful marigold petal bridge with his dog, into the spirit world in search of a deceased relative. There he discovers the reasons behind the rituals of Dia de los Muertos and learns more about the ongoing connection between the living and the dead.
     At times during the movie, I thought about my son Michael existing in that vibrant spirit realm - heartwarming. I also considered a few of the tie-ins between the movie and my life. Miguel (which of course is Spanish for Michael) is what we often called our son when visiting Mexico as a family. Also, our homestay student's youngest sibling (who we subsequently got to know very well, along with his whole family) is also named Miguel, and I continue to refer to these brothers as my Mexican sons. As well, that first homestay student and I are both linked to the two days of Dia de los Muertos celebrations through our birthdays, his being November 1st and mine the 2nd. Lastly, having signed up for Spanish classes this fall, I was able to understand a few more of the movie's Spanish language references than I would have before.
     Down the road, I look forward to watching Coco with my grandchildren, as their curiosity often prompts discussions of what Uncle Mike's spirit might be doing and where he might be. And although our family does not observe Dia de los Muertos festivities, we celebrate the familial connections between the living and the dead, with as much joy and love as we can.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Multi-Layered Spiritual Connection

      Seated in the living room lounge chair last Saturday morning, with my back to the floor-to-ceiling window, I was rereading notes I had made during the summer of 2015, after meeting up with a young person at their request. This individual had never met Michael but learned about the death of our son through a business connection. They contacted me thinking I might be interested to hear about an experience they had had involving Michael, and of course, I was. During our visit, the person described a vivid dream in which Michael had shared an incredible amount of very accurate information.
     The reason I now wanted to refresh my memory about the details the person had relayed to me was because I was planning to stop in at the Orchard Recovery Centre that afternoon. In the dream, Michael had referred to a "cool circle bench in a quiet space on the island" and the individual knew it was a connection to the Orchard. They subsequently found out that names of deceased clients were memorialized there as well. I had never heard of the bench nor the honouring of Orchard participants who had died. Curious to learn more, I had vowed to follow up the next time I visited Bowen Island with a car. Today would be my first visit back to the recovery centre since attending the weekly family education sessions during Michael's six week stay there in the spring of 2010.
     Now, after closing my notebook, my husband, who had been looking out the window while sitting on the sofa across from me said that while I had been reading, a hummingbird had approached my back, hovered behind me for a few moments, just over my shoulder, then flown off.  Simply perfect, because midway through those notes were the words, "Nocturnal hummingbirds much louder, bigger and more playful than usual. One hovered and seemed to stare at him for a while. Like a friend of his. Then flew away."
    After arriving at the Orchard early Saturday afternoon, I spoke to one of the counsellors who had worked with our family and found out that staff had likely added Michael's name to the memorial garden in 2011, but she strongly encouraged me to create a tag of my own. I was led to the outdoor space, then left there to experience it alone. The circle bench, unlike anything I have ever seen, was indeed located in a quiet space, designed with an elongated, low-angled back rest, allowing one's entire body to relax into it. When seated, one's gaze is drawn upwards, beyond the tops of the towering trees, into the sky beyond. A meditative memorial space in the woods. While writing a short message on the thin copper tag I had been handed, I noticed that there were two stuck together and that the pen was actually pressing the message onto both tags. So, as an added bonus, I was able to take one home, with the same engraved wording that now hangs in a majestic cedar.  A gift to remind me of this deeply meaningful, multi-layered experience of connection to Michael's spirit.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What's Up With Jack?

What's up with Jack? Jack was in the title, as well as the main character, of the book my granddaughter was excited to share with me three days ago, the first she's borrowed from her school library. A well written story about a highly creative boy.

Jack is the name of the musician I received an email from yesterday, who heads up a band I love, sharing a link with his fans to a song he wrote after the miscarriage of the child he and his wife had been expecting. Listening to his song, with both head and heart, reminded me of the miscarriage one of my daughters had a few years ago, a soul who had communicated his name to me, Jack, prior to his return to the invisible.

And today, both grooms in the two wedding ceremonies I performed were named Jack. Only one other groom had that name in the other fifty weddings I've officiated this year.

The name Jack means God is gracious. And apparently in the Middle Ages, Jack was a general term for man or boy. I am curious to find out what my repeated experience with this name is meant to show me. With meditation and a desire to understand, I'm hopeful it will soon be revealed.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Flourishing Despite the Odds

     With the addition of a sidewalk to our side of the busy street where we live, I am now able to walk by my neighbours' properties and see them in a new light. Earlier this summer, I first noticed a remarkable bouquet growing on a neighbour's driveway. A plant full of delicate pink flowers was bursting forth under less than ideal conditions, far from any other growth. Over the course of the following weeks, there was daily sunshine, yes, but also hot temperatures, limited access to soil, and no rain. 
     Now, almost two months after I first spotted it, this marvelous display is still going strong, flourishing despite the odds. Inspiring.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Stopped In my Tracks

     Out for a jog on the back roads behind the cabin this morning. Running under mostly sunny skies and temperature in the low 20s, made it that much more special - a beautiful time for daydreaming.  About fifteen minutes in, the mark of a perfect heart upon the asphalt stopped me in my tracks. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that more specifically, it resembled a heart-shaped balloon, complete with string. Reminding me of the one I saw in my mind’s eye a few days after Michael died. Random hearts showing up always make me smile but this was the first time one showed up in this form. Oil stain, roadkill imprint or something more agreeable? Who knows how it was created? What I do know is that regardless of how it got there, the result was immense gratitude for seeing it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Observing the Signs


     After getting into my Volvo yesterday morning, I was buckling up just as Nat King Cole's voice came on over the CBC radio air waves and began singing "Smile".  The lyrics Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it's breaking immediately caught my attention since "Smile" was one of the three songs chosen to play during my son's memorial service. I had not heard it played over the radio since he died, and it had likely been years before that.   
     I was on my way to the BMW dealership just over the bridge. My husband and I would be picking up a brand new convertible to drive around in this long weekend. His was the highest bid for this Mike Gibson Memorial Golf tournament silent auction prize of a 3 day car rental. A longtime friend of Michael's had arranged for this donation through his place of work.
     I stopped at my husband's business en route and we then carried on to our destination in his car. After encountering the third yellow traffic light in a row (all unsynchronized), he commented on how strange it was that every traffic light was turning yellow just before we arrived at a controlled intersection, placing us in that questionable zone of whether to stop or drive on through.  I then told him about hearing the song "Smile" and soon made the connection that we were being cautioned to take it easy while driving around in that sporty car we were about to pick up. Close friend of Michael's, poignant song, and potential car accident - the synchronicity of these three signs was too obvious to miss.
      The yellow light phenomenon continued most of the way there. After picking up the rental car, we headed back along the highway, enjoying the ride with roof down and music playing, but observing the signs from the universe to take extra care on the roads this weekend in order to avoid a possible accident waiting to happen.

Fun fact: When I began writing this post, the time happened to be 3:33, another reminder that angels are near.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pure Bliss

Rather than celebrating just the one day, this year I enjoyed an entire week of Mother's Day celebrations. Some were pre-planned events, others, spontaneous. I was able to keep chores, errands, and shoulds to a minimum, then upped the self-care, pampering quotient. Adding in decadent activities that I would generally spread out over the course of many months, made for an incredible Mother's Day week.  

Monday: boot camp followed by an hour-long massage
Tuesday: hanging out with my precious grandkids 
Wednesday: seabus excursion with my granddaughter, exploring public art downtown and introducing her to drinking chocolate
Thursday: forest run, then lunch out with my older daughter and granddaughter, followed by a mani/pedi
Friday: rainy hike in the canyon with a neighbour, followed by a facial and a little shopping
Saturday: home yoga practice to the music of 'Jesus Christ Superstar', then dinner at the home of long time friends
Sunday: morning walk with my husband, followed by late lunch with my younger daughter

Seven luxurious days, including loads of one-on-one time with family. Pure bliss. I am extremely thankful to have enjoyed such an indulgent week. It definitely made it easier to bear the absence of my son today, and my well has been refilled. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sun, Sand and Signs

     Home again, after a fabulous family vacation, where three generations were fortunate enough to play in the sun and sand. Much of the time, we were all hanging out together, but some mornings, my husband and I would head out for a long beach walk, just the two of us. During one such outing, three heartwarming signs appeared back-to-back, reminding us that Michael was with us on this family vacation, as well. 
     The first sign happened about an hour in. Walking a short distance behind my husband, I spotted a small, perfectly heart-shaped shell lying in the wet sand. As I picked it up, I noticed it was about the size of a dime, just as thin, and smooth to the touch. Polished by the waves, as precious as a jewel.
     With shell in hand, I rejoined my husband and after showing him my treasure, we continued on. A short distance later, I impulsively stopped and turned to face the ocean. Instantly, I noticed a tiny, white feather drifting down over the water. Soon, I spotted a second one, floating near the first. It was mesmerizing to watch these two feathers dance in the sunshine. I assumed I would see them fall into the ocean, but instead, they disappeared from my sight, into the backdrop of the bright blue sky. They became invisible to me. My husband, who had witnessed the scene as well, turned to me and asked what had prompted me to stop. I explained that I had simply stopped, for no particular reason. Lucky for me that I did.
     Then, carrying on with our walk, it wasn't long before we came upon a huge message written in the sand. It read: "I LOVE YOU DAD!" In case there had been any doubt, and that perhaps the first two signs had not been enough.
     All of our beach walks nourished our souls with the healing combination of bare feet in the sand, lapped by the waves, and warmed by the sun. However, the bonus of seeing these three signs during this particular walk boosted our souls into the stratosphere. Clearly, our entire family was present during this marvelous vacation.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chocolate Heart


     "Could you please bring me home a little box of chocolates from Thomas Haas on your way home?", I had texted my husband. Anyone who knows me knows I love chocolate, but I had never put out this request. It would be a small treat to help get me through this very challenging day - the anniversary of the death of our son.      
     Thankfully, he was only going in to work for a few hours today, and I was happy to see him arrive home mid-afternoon. When he presented me with the box of four chocolates, I instantly noticed the one 💖shaped one . When I asked him if he had chosen these particular four, he answered that he had not, he had just picked up a prepacked box. Heart-shaped chocolates are not listed on the package insert nor included among the twenty-eight described on their website. Immense gratitude for this sweet gift of love energy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Open Circle

      Since early this year, I have been lacking inspiration to write, and for the past couple of weeks, experienced increasing anxiety regarding the upcoming 6th anniversary of my son's death. A few days ago, I realized that in order to bolster my link with the metaphysical realm, I needed to attend an Open Circle, something I had not done for well over a year. And so, I did.
     Seven of us, including the facilitator, began with a healing meditation - for the group, for friends and acquaintances, for the entire planet. This was followed by a lengthy guided visualization, and concluded with mediumship and sharing messages for each other. 
     To see and feel Michael's presence during my visualization was a huge source of comfort and support. He presented as his 25-year-old self, and was so "alive" with enthusiasm, smiling and emanating immense joy. It was obvious that he was as happy to see me as I was to see him. During our time together, it felt like a case of role reversal -  as if I were the child and he the parent, showing me the way. Later, when it came time to share our experiences with the group, I learned that he even showed up in someone else's visualization. 
     At the end of the evening, there were several wonderful messages for me from other circle participants, all of which served to strengthen the relationship with my son.
    Along with a renewed desire to write, those inspiring three hours of deep spiritual connection with Michael resulted in relieving some of my anxiety and filling my being with joy and contentment. So glad I followed through on my intuition to attend - a powerful evening with lasting impact.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Best Seats in the House


     Our city rarely gets significant snowfalls but the recent two-week spell of below zero temperatures resulted in a winter wonderland. Yesterday morning, as huge snowflakes continued to fall, my husband and I relaxed with our Sunday morning coffee, enthralled by the beauty just beyond our living room's glass walls. He wondered aloud if hummingbirds flew in these conditions. He had been bringing the feeder in at night, then returning it each morning. We had seen hummingbirds on the clear days, but this morning, nothing. However, just minutes after he spoke, two of them arrived, a male and a female. We were then honoured with a magnificent performance of them flying side by side, for the longest time, all over the back yard. Their endurance was incredible. What a show! Finally, they settled at the base of the feeder pole, the male hovering over the female, and engaged in mating. We could hardly believe our good fortune -  the gift of witnessing these tiny, spirited creatures doing something we had never seen. So the answer to the question is yes, they do, and in the case of these two sweethearts, with gusto!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Priceless Plastic Heart

     And so, the Christmas festivities begin. Just as dusk was falling late yesterday afternoon, our family met up in the forest at Boal Memorial. Decorating the little tree in front of Mike and Kelly's plaques is always a poignant event. The half-moon shining down onto the snow-covered ground added an element of magic to the setting. Gazing upon the faces of my young grandchildren, both mesmerized by the glowing candles and sing-along, my heart was simultaneously filled with a profound love for these two, along with a deep aching for my son. For me, Christmas without him has not become any easier. 
     Our family then made our way back to our younger daughter's home, for a delicious home-cooked meal, where she had laid out a novelty Christmas cracker at each place setting. Crackers were never part of our traditional German festivities, but it certainly was a fun addition to this dinner. After the eight crackers were popped, colourful paper crowns were donned, and tiny gifts discovered, including puzzles, jokes, and decorations. My heart skipped a beat when I realized that my prize was a small, plastic, heart-shaped frame. The only one in our group. An incredibly precious sign of the season.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Precious Bottle of Lotion

     While reaching into the medicine cabinet for my face cream yesterday morning, I noticed that the large container beside it had a puddle of lotion pooled at its base. I did a double take since this pump bottle of aloe lotion is something I have never ever used, lotion no one in this house has ever used. Two-thirds empty and more than five years old, it takes up valuable space in our one and only tiny bathroom. And anyone who knows me well, knows this - I am ruthless when it comes to purging items, a trait that comes in handy when living in a small space. But this, it stays.
     I discovered this bottle of lotion in my son's room soon after he and Kelly died. It had obviously been hers. Two years later, there was no question it would make the move here to this home since it was the only personal item of Kelly's that I had.  
     Now, a puddle. I have seen this happen once before, a year or two ago. Most likely, there is a clear scientific explanation for this, but both times it resulted in a cherished emotional and energetic connection to Kelly. The value of something so seemingly insignificant as an old, no longer in use, bottle of lotion ... precious and priceless.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Still Very Much Here

     Listening to a family member eloquently describe her recent encounter with Mike's spirit was incredible. He touched on aspects of his recent life here, then shared some of his current experiences, including interactions with spirit relatives. Starting out on a serious note, he referred to some regrets, as well as new insights, regarding his family, then lightened the mood with his charisma and sense of humour. The underlying message was I am always with you.
     Whether I enjoy a personal experience with spirit, or hear about it secondhand, the impact is always powerful. Proof of what I know to be true of spirit connection, what many of us know to be true: Our loved ones are always right here. 
     Sitting in my garden, contemplating the hummingbird feeder, all I see in the dish is what appears to be just water. But what I know is that it has added sugar, creating nectar for the birds. Even though the crystals dissolved, the sugar is still very much there. And so it is with spirit.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pennies Become Pure Gold

     A couple of hours after writing last week's blog post, another beautiful sign from spirit appeared while I was shopping in a downtown department store. A very personable salesman helped me find a cosmetic item, and then, when it came time to pay, accompanied me to the nearby register, where he rang up the purchase. After handing him my money, his cash drawer opened. While making change, his expression became puzzled, and then he commented, "I wonder what this penny is doing here?" An understandable reaction since it has now been three and a half years since the Royal Canadian Mint stopped penny production and merchants began rounding prices up/down in order to omit pennies on cash purchases. I smiled and simply said, "Pennies from heaven".  He looked at me somewhat curiously so I told him that pennies occasionally appear in my life in connection with my son. With kindness, he acknowledged my comment, then returned his attention to the cash drawer where he noticed a second penny and asked if I wanted them both. Of course I did. He placed the coins in my hand, whereupon I promptly checked the dates - both 2011, the year Michael and Kelly died. Two pennies, two hours later, for those two ... moments such as these are pure gold. 
( PS - to top it off, over the following few days, I was notified of winning fabulous prizes from three separate contests! )

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Did That Just Happen?

     In advance of my upcoming overseas trip, I downloaded an app onto my cellphone yesterday afternoon, in order to help me stay connected with family, without incurring any great costs. I had heard reference made to WhatsApp a couple of times, but knew nothing about it. Once downloaded, I noticed an updated list of my phone contacts, notifying me of those using this app. Scrolling down, I saw Michael Gibson listed there, with the notation, "Hey there! I am using WhatsApp". What?! Had he downloaded this app before he died? Was it even around five years ago? Impulsively, I went into the Chat function and typed,
 "Miss you 💗".
     Obviously, he would not actually answer his phone. My assumption was that the message would go out into the ether and that the intention behind it would be felt by my son. Seconds later, I heard an audio alert on my cell and read the reply, "Sorry, but who r u?" In that moment, I felt as if I was in a parallel universe. I walked into my living room and settled into the lounge chair located near the large, open, glass sliding door. It took me a few minutes to figure out that Michael's cell number must have been reassigned to someone else so I typed out a short reply apologizing for the mistaken identity.
     When I was done, I sat there looking out into the yard, contemplating what had just happened when I suddenly caught sight of a tiny feather drifting down, just outside the door opening. I jumped up, stepped outside, and started laughing as I watched it land on the path, right beside the glass door. "Are you kidding?" and "Did that just happen?" swirled around in my mind. This time around it was a light grey feather, instead of the usual white, and I am not yet sure if the colour is of great significance or not. One thing I do know for sure is how grateful I am to have access to the myriad ways of staying connected to family, regardless of where in the world we may be.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Angling In

      A couple of weeks ago, my brother's new life partner texted me, asking for a couple of pictures to be included in the family photo gallery she's creating in their new home. She suggested the family picture be the one taken at Mike's best friend's wedding last year and left it up to me to select a favourite photo of my son. After much deliberation, I chose one showing him smiling ear to ear, taken during one of his many fishing excursions with my brother. He loved his Uncle Walt and the joy of this shared moment on the river is palpable. 
     I ordered a large print of each photo and they arrived at my place two days ago. Gazing at the pictures, I considered whether to mail them to their house or wait until we might next see each other. Less than a minute later, I received a message from my brother inviting my husband and I to go sturgeon fishing with the two of them this weekend. I have only been sturgeon fishing twice, the last time was in 2009, during which this photo was taken - guided by my brother, the day included my husband and all my children, along with their best friends. Great memories! With the bonus of sunshine in the forecast, I am really looking forward to tomorrow's outing, and undoubtedly, Mike will be angling in on our experience.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Motherly Moments


     My young, newly-married mother gave birth to me, her first born, a few months after arriving here from Germany in 1956. With her minimal English and limited options, she cleaned houses for the first ten years to help make ends meet. Happily, she was able to give that up when she realized her dream of becoming a hairdresser. She absolutely loved her job and the clients in Edgemont Village. 
     When she passed away fourteen years ago, her family and friends dedicated a memorial bench to her in this same neighbourhood. If you find yourself in the village on Mother’s Day, you may notice the fresh flowers on her bench. If you have a few minutes, why not sit and enjoy the moment? If you are a young, harried mother, it may be an opportunity to catch your breath. If you are a mother with adult children, you might reminisce about precious moments you enjoyed while raising them. If your own mother is no longer with you, maybe a cherished memory of her will fill your heart. If you are a mother who has lost a child, perhaps you will settle into the deep connection with that love that never dies. And if you are lucky enough to be a grandmother, well, you might sit for a long while, just smiling at your good fortune.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pink Feather

     Last week, Kelly came to me in a short, but beautiful, vivid dream. With a carefree and happy demeanour, she playfully ran across a grass field, exuding love. It had been years since I dreamt of her - it felt wonderful to feel her presence again. 
     Today, midway through boot camp, our group headed outside for an activity on the back parking lot and while running over to the equipment, I noticed a small, neon pink feather lying on the pavement. I picked it up and looked around to see if there was an obvious source or if there were any others ... no and no. Then, my thoughts turned to Kelly. I could not help but think this feather was linked to the dream, since they were both filled with the same kind of love energy. That fun, free and easy kind of love. Smiling all the way into my heart, I turned the feather this way and that before tucking it into my pocket for safe keeping.  
     I am grateful for both these exquisite events, for heaven knows, one can never experience too much love!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rest in Peace


     After eighty-five years on this earth, my father died March 5th, achieving a goal he had set for himself decades ago - "I'm going to live to be 85." An adventurer, life-long scholar, health conscious man with a can-do attitude, he lived a long, full life. Fortunately, he did not have to endure a prolonged period of suffering before he died.
     The last time I saw him, before visiting him in the hospice the day before he died, was at my son's funeral, five years ago. The difficult relationship between my father and I resulted in estrangement from one another for the past seven years. However, I am grateful for the many opportunities he offered me for personal growth - no regrets. And he excelled at being an Opa, throwing himself fully into that role with his five grandchildren. 
     Still enjoying downhill skiing a couple of months before he died, it was fitting that he was buried with his ski poles. May he rest in peace and fully experience love on the other side. I continue to send him mine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Coming Up on Five Years

     Considering that it is coming up on five years without him, some people may be surprised to know that I do not fully comprehend the fact that my son is dead. Despite my lifelong belief in everlasting spirit, and numerous personal experiences of connecting to the invisible, I still shake my head in confusion. It is not about denial, nor a reluctance to access my emotions. And it is certainly not due to an unwillingness to understand. What I put it down to is the very real possibility that a mother can never fully make sense of the death of her child.
     I suspect that our brains are not hardwired for this scenario, nor is an after-market add on available either. Job loss, ill health, end of a significant relationship, death of a parent or friend - I believe that for the most part, we are programmed with the capacity to process these life events. But the death of ones child? How is it possible to reconcile giving birth to this precious being, then day in and day out fully invest oneself in his growth, only to be asked to live without his physical presence years later. I would venture to say that being able to fully comprehend the death of ones child is likely impossible.
     Of course, whether I fully understand it or not hardly affects the journey of living with this loss. Every day, every single day, it simply comes down to focussing on joy, love and gratitude as much as possible.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Michael Comes Through Loud and Clear


     My spontaneous decision to stop by the grand opening of a new metaphysical shop resulted in receiving a most magnificent reading. It had been years since I last had a card reading, and rather than ask for guidance on a specific issue, I opted for being open to hearing whatever came through.  
     There was no doubt that the woman I chose to sit down with had excellent abilities when she began the session with, "I see a young man ... he's in his early twenties ... he's your son." Michael came through loud and clear, reassuring me with, "Wherever you are, there I am," as well as wrapping me in a white ribbon of protection. He also communicated that we will never lose our heart connection. Michael then showed the reader some miniature trains, a reference which I instantly understood. I have strong memories of him as a child amusing himself with his Brio train set - as young as three years old, he would play with it alone in his bedroom for hours upon hours. This set is one of the few playthings I kept for my grandchildren, and last week, when my three-year-old granddaughter was over, she asked to play with the trains, so we did. At some point during that afternoon I explained to her that these had been Uncle Mike's. Now in this reading, the reader explained that Michael was telling her that he had been right there beside us, chuckling while we played.
     For forty-five minutes, she brought forth all this valuable information, as well as tidbits about other aspects of my life. I left feeling connected, supported, and inspired - extremely grateful for further evidence of the everlasting connection between life and death.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Significant Birthdays and Unexpected Gifts

     This week of significant birthdays, along with unexpected gifts, began with my mother's birthday on January 4th. Were she still living she would now be eighty-one years old. Looking to buy flowers for her memorial bench, and with the local shop where I usually bought them now closed, I stopped in at another neighbourhood store where I had see flowers for sale in the past. When I asked the clerk where they were, she told me they no longer carry cut flowers but that they still had some potted white poinsettias, then offered to give me one, no charge. As I approached the till, she insisted I take two, explaining that the bench would look much nicer that way. Such a thoughtful gift!
     Wednesday, I showed up for my weekly boot camp group class to discover that I was the only participant, and as a result, received the gift of a one-hour private session at the drop-in price. So lucky!
     Thursday, I stopped by an outdoor equipment store and when I arrived at the checkout, noticed a promotion - for each pair of snowshoes purchased, the buyer would receive a free snowshoe ticket valid for the Callaghan trails, an area I've never explored. I had given my husband snowshoes for Christmas and when I explained this to the cashier, he was happy to honour the promo. Sweet gift!
     Today is my son's birthday. He would be thirty, were he still here. This morning, I will be meeting up with a friend who also lives with the experience of losing a child. The gift of support from someone who understands. This evening, our family will gather for dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, as we have every January 8th since Michael died. The gift of each other as we carry on to the best of our abilities without our funny, loving, handsome guy.
     This week finishes out with my best friend's 60th birthday tomorrow. We will be celebrating a woman who has been an integral part of my life for close to forty years. A sister to me, an aunt to my children. The gift of a relationship I cannot imagine living without. Most precious, worth its weight in gold.

Monday, December 14, 2015

One Tiny Feather Lightens the Load


     Sunday morning, my husband and I headed out for a walk in the canyon, decked out in rain gear, from head to toe. The few people we encountered along the trail were all accompanied by a dog or two - in that inclement weather it seemed that, other than ourselves, only those who had to be out, were. We joked about walking our two invisible dogs and the bonus of not having to "scoop the poop".
     We both felt the heavy weight of this emotionally charged day as we would later be meeting our children and grandchildren at Boal Memorial for our annual tradition of decorating of a little Christmas tree, honouring our angels.
     Arriving at the midway mark of our canyon walk, I stopped on the sidewalk atop the dam and gazed down over the railing into the huge volume of water roaring down into the river below. Empty of thought, I became mesmerized. The spell was broken when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tiny, white object drift down beside me. Looking down at my feet, I noticed that a small feather had landed in the very narrow space between myself and the railing.  I instinctively looked up for birds, but there were none. I checked the area around me to see if more had fallen. No, only the one. It had been six months since I last saw this sign from my son, and I was overjoyed to notice this feather, today.
     By late afternoon, the rain had subsided, and by the time we arrived at Boal, the sun even made a brief appearance. After decorating the tree, lighting the candles, and singing some carols, a brilliant sunset became the backdrop for this tranquil forest setting. Later, after enjoying a fabulous family dinner, I reflected on this challenging day and felt overwhelming gratitude for the perfect way it had unfolded. It could not have gone any better.