Not everyone believes in signs.
No, I’m not talking about those that tell us when to stop or where we can park. The signs I am referring to are those that come from “the other side,” the ones that come from our loved ones who have died but still somehow let us know they are around, watching over us, witnessing our lives and letting us know we are on the right path.
When I first started receiving these signs, I refused to believe they were nothing more than mere coincidences. Amazing, yes…but seemingly impossible. But then they continued to happen…at just the right time and were so very personal that I finally gave in and truly started to believe.
Today, I was greeted with another one of those incredible signs.
I had taken a few weeks off from rewriting my memoir to celebrate my son’s graduation and birthday, my nephew’s wedding, and the 8 year “anniversary” date of my husband Joe’s passing — the last one not necessarily being a celebration but rather an event, which, like the others, include a plethora of emotional triggers. After making it through this bittersweet month I often call my personal June gloom, I awoke early to jump back into my writing. Reaching a stopping point, or rather, one of those turning points when writers often wonder what the heck they are doing as the words all seemed useless on the page, I decided to take a long walk.
To further motivate (or what some might consider torture) myself to continue, I picked a playlist of music which included a variety of what I call my “trigger songs.” All these songs have been with me since the beginning of my journey and carry with them deep, emotional connections. At first I could not listen to any of them without evoking a sobbing, although somewhat cathartic, release. (A friend once called me an emotional cutter after realizing that I purposely compiled all these songs into a playlist and would listen to them in my darkest hours.) Fortunately, they are now my repertoire of fight songs that are motivating rather than masochistic. Today, I needed to listen – I needed to be motivated.
About a mile into my walk, the insightful lyrics reminded me why I started this project in the first place and my mind drifted to finding a solution to my writers’ block quandary. As I passionately brainstormed some possible new options, and neighbors looked on in fright as I rambled somewhat incoherrent thoughts aloud, I noticed something shiny in the street and stopped to pick it up. A CD with the words “Lo-Lo” written in sharpie — a nickname of mine and one which paired along with one of my late husband’s “Joe-Lo.”
This finding was my first “tip” but was not quite enough alone to be considered worthy of signage. Curiously taking a closer look, I flipped it over to discover an unfortunately scratched beyond repair backside as I would have loved to have heard what was on it.
After taking this in, I looked down again as something else was on the ground lying underneath it. What may have appeared to some as just a piece of trash, to me was a treasure…and now another sign: a discarded dishwashing tablet wrapper for the product “Finish.”
Now we were getting somewhere. Having been at the point of complete frustration with this current editorial pass, I took these street signs to heart. “I know, I know” I said to myself, “I get it.” These sweet signs were both encouraging and reminding me that “Lo-Lo” needs to get this draft finished!
A half mile later, and back into my musical groove, I was stopped once again by another item begging for my attention. A bright red item on the street and directly in my path. I bent down and picked up this third disgarded street object: a silky, silver-dollar sized, puffy heart embellishment. It instantly reminded me of how Joe would lovingly draw hearts in place of the dots above the “i’s” in my name.
My trifecta of street signs was now complete.
With this, I felt compelled to literally take this all to heart and knew exactly who was nudging me along to reach this personal finish line.
Coincidence? Maybe, but the timing was once again so impeccable that I choose to believe.
Thanks for the reminder, Joe-Lo. I will definitely stay on this path.