Signs From Heaven

March 28, 2017

Today is (was? would’ve been? – stupid grief tense again) my husband’s birthday. He would’ve been 52. For the record, I’m a lot younger than that. Sorry, but he would’ve expected me to rub that in. I don’t know exactly how to acknowledge his birthday. The kids and I talked about it and decided we would buy a cake (see my birthday cake skills HERE and you’ll understand why I’m buying one instead of baking one). We also decided we would write messages on a balloon and release it later today. It’s not right. It’s not enough. But ignoring today’s significance doesn’t feel right either.

So, anticipating cake later, I thought I better go to my exercise class this morning to pre-burn off the calories I’l be eating later. I scanned my membership card and waited for my locker lock and key. The woman behind me scanned her card and an alarm-like sound went off. We looked at each other and then the staff shouted, “Happy Birthday!” She smiled and we continued on to our lockers. Hmmm. That was weird. I almost broke into tears before thinking “yes, Mark….we remember.”

After the class I headed back to the lobby and saw a big table and sign set up. “Free neurological screenings.” Hmmm. Neurology….again my thoughts went to my husband.

I’ve also had moments in the past where a butterfly has caught my eye. I’ve watched as it peacefully floats from flower to flower, pausing for just a few seconds to rest its wings. I don’t know why butterflies make me pause and think about my husband, but they do. It’s not that he loved butterflies. It’s not that I think he’s the butterfly. It’s just something that stops me in my tracks and causes my heart to yearn for him. It makes me think about how the butterfly started as a caterpillar, entered its chrysalis and experienced a beautiful, miraculous transformation. Kind of sounds like the transformation from this life to heaven, I guess.

I know I’ve heard other people talk about cardinals or when certain numbers appear on the digital clock. Whatever it is, whatever your thing is, they feel like signs from heaven, don’t they? Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t.  We don’t know, really. I am just thankful for the reminders. The reminder that although we are separated now, we won’t be forever. Maybe we’re all nuts. Or maybe, just maybe, they really are gifts for us to help us feel closer to the ones we loved, if even for a few seconds.

What are your reminders? Do you have stories like this to share with us?

One last thing today…

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! I hope there’s bread pudding for you in Heaven, even though it’s totally gross. We love and miss you!! We are celebrating you today and imagining your joy with Jesus on this special day.

Extra Grace,



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  • Reply Tammy Sparks March 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Love this! I have had many signs from heaven. Even heavy ones like being blue and weepy all day and then that night, noticing a date on calendar, realizing it was the day my mom died….I feel there is beauty in not ONLY being mortally physical bodies, we have souls, feelings, emotions, even chills when we think about heavenly encounters. That’s what urges me to believe these signs or encounters are legit.
    I hate bread pudding too!

  • Reply eileenboggess March 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    So many remembrance days in March for you. Prayers being sent…Also, send a piece of cake my way!

  • Reply Wendy March 28, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    We are remembering Mark today too (not just today, but especially today), and rejoice that he’s with his Savior, but our hearts still ache for all of you. Praying for you today and every day.

    ps – I agree on the thoughts on bread pudding. I mean, aren’t there better ways to consume empty calories?? 🙂

  • Reply Jan March 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Woke up this morning thinking of Mark on his birthday. I’m sure he loved your cakes. ❤️

  • Reply Peggy Warden March 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Happy Birthday to my wonderful son-in-law. Love you and miss you ❣️

  • Reply Jamel March 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Celebrating Mark today and praying for all of you. We love you guys! And bread pudding- EW!

  • Reply jodi york March 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I think this is my favorite post so far! I love all the things that help you remember Mark. And bread pudding is really a thing people eat? I thought it was only in nursery rhymes, like porridge and curds. LOL 🙂

  • Reply Lisa Teichmann March 28, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    My husband died suddenly in October. He was 57. This weekend I was in Maine and you know how when you go to certain places you have things you do or see out of habit? Well we always went into this shop called Abacus. We never bought anything, but it was just a cool shop we liked to visit when we were in town. So Sunday afternoon I was in town with my friends and said, let’s go to Abacus (cause that’s what we do!)…I didn’t think about it but after about 5 minutes I started to realize this may not have been a good idea…then I saw a plaque saying:
    “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember.
    You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
    But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
    That’s when I lost it.
    When I got home, I looked the quote up and it’s attributed to Winnie the Pooh…one of my husband’s favorite children’s books.
    Little signs are everywhere.
    Peace be with you and happy birthday to Mark.

    • Reply Extra Grace Required March 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      This story is just beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope you bought that sign! =-) Thanks so much for reading Extra Grace Required and for leaving this beautiful story here for everyone to see. I love it!

    • Reply Alexandra April 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      My husband also loved the Pooh books. He passed away in November. My sister-in-law just sent me a link to this website this afternoon to the post My First Year as a Widow. I’ve been looking around at the others as well. Now I’ve found a wonderful quote that I wish he could say directly to me. Another sign? Thank you for sharing.

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