One day, not long after my dad died, Eric and I were having a conversation about him. We decided at the last minute to take a detour on our way home and stop for some fruit at the fruit market. In the middle of our conversation we were about to drive under a train bridge. There happened to be a train going over the bridge as we neared it. At the exact moment we were to go under the bridge we both noticed the word "DAD" spray painted in graffiti on one of the rail cars. It silenced us, though we questioned if it was truly a sign from him.
A month or so ago Eric and I were sitting outside playing a game of Scrabble. We were starting a new game and I had just picked out my seven tiles randomly. They were balled up in my left hand. I pulled each tile out one at a time and set them on my tile holder from left to right. R...P...C...A...K...I...T. I was dumbfounded. I paused, looked up at Eric and told him I needed to show him my tiles (My dad's name is Kit). I asked him if he thought this was a 'sign'. He thought it was and informed me that I, too, should take it that way.
Yesterday morning I was using the laptop to check my account balance with my online banking. As I typed the bank's website into the address bar I glanced down to wait for my screen to load the banking information and there was my dad's web page. I do my banking with a facility that starts with "P". My dad's name could have started with "K", "C" or "R". If I'm really grasping the domain website could have started with "D", "M" or "H". Nothing with a "P". Eric said it's likely since my dad's web page is saved in our favourites that the list popped down while I wasn't paying attention and I accidentally hit his link with my finger on the tablet. So, I went into Favourites and he's right, it's in there but so were about 7 others and his was three down in the list. I find it interesting that this whole thing would even have happened, let alone that I managed to 'scroll' down to the third one and just happened to pick his.
After talking to the minister who works at the church next to our funeral home about it yesterday, she told me she thought my dad was basically slapping me in the head with these signs. And if I'm open to receiving them I'll probably start getting more. I can't be closed off to the idea.
Were these three separate occurrences signs, or just coincidences? A message, or just something that happened? With no way of text messaging us from beyond the grave, would my dad be forced to rely on something as inconclusive, as inconsequential, as these things in order to communicate with me ("I'm still here!")?
Butterflies, rainbows, wind chimes that sing when there is no wind, garage doors that go up and down for no reason...we've all heard people talk about signs they believe they have received from the beyond. I suspect they are shared very tentatively for fear that they will be "poo poo'd" by a skeptical listener (often myself, though I've been able to hide it pretty well in the past). Now having lived through my own tragic experience I think I'm trying to become a 'believer'. I think it will help me experience a more positive movement through my grief. The knowledge that my dad is still with me and my family gives me the hope I so desperately need just to get through the bad days.
The thing about "signs" is that there always seems to be another explanation. Be it a coincidence, randomness, wishful thinking; a story misinterpreted, details left out or embellished in the retelling. I've heard theories that children are more susceptible to receiving signs from the grave. Perhaps it's because they haven't yet had education taint their 'what ifs', or they aren't cynical of the world yet. Their imagination is still an integral part of their beings.
I'm going to try really hard to be open to the possibility that my dad is contacting me in these little ways. I hope my mom finds a way to open her mind up to the possibility of signs because I have to believe he's sending them to her too. He's letting me know he's still around. He hasn't gone too far. Just far enough that I can't touch him, or see him or have a real two way conversation with him anymore. But, he's got my back, even if I didn't win that particular Scrabble game.