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.