If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen my post from Thanksgiving morning. I have spent the last 13, going on 14, weeks looking, longing, desperately wanting to see something, find something, hear something that would soften this feeling of uncertainty – make me feel like Toby is OK.
When my grandfather passed away the summer of 2004, I had a hard time dealing with his death. It was the first time that someone that close had passed away and I just didn’t know how to deal with it. I was very emotional and had lots of questions. About a year after his death my Aunt Jamie said she had found some pennies in different places that she knew were from Pup. Then, I started finding them. A few here, a few there, but they always came when I needed them, or when I was missing him a lot. The morning of my wedding day, Aunt Jamie found one as she was leaving her house. We knew it was his way of telling us that he was there that day, even though we couldn’t see him.
For the past 13 weeks I haven’t found or seen any pennies. It’s really made me sad because I know in my heart that Pup is with Toby and that he was there when he entered Heaven. But has he not seen how hard the days are? Doesn’t he know how much I need something to help with this hurt and sorrow? Why isn’t he here? Then I started to question my own anger and questions – He can’t be here with me right now because he’s taking care of Toby. He has other things that he is helping the angels with. He is enjoying his time with Uncle Bill – they are playing with Toby.
One week before Thanksgiving as I was leaving work heading to the cemetery before dusk, I opened the side door to leave and right before I stepped down I looked to my feet and there it was – a penny. I reached down and grabbed it and squeezed it in my hand. I looked up, “Thank you, Pup.”
Thanksgiving this year was November 24. The 24th. Three months since Toby passed away. Dan and I were really having a hard time the night before, knowing what the next day represented. Knowing that we had to be places we’d rather not be. Knowing we’d have to smile, when we’d much rather just sit together and cry. I went to bed an emotional mess. Crying and again asking for some answers. Reassuring Toby that our hearts were still broken and that when we thought it couldn’t hurt any more, it did, because we missed him so much.
I woke up Thanksgiving morning and went into the bathroom. I started to brush my teeth and looked in the mirror. I leaned in towards the mirror. Stuck on my left shoulder was a tiny white feather. I pulled it off and tears started rolling down my face. I couldn’t believe it. I had been waiting 13 weeks for something. And at a moment when I least expected it. At a moment when my mind was stuck on the sorrow of what the day could bring – he showed me. He let me know that he was there. In the exact spot where his head laid so many times over the 12 weeks and 5 days that he was here with us, he left me a sign.
Just yesterday I was at home with Lucas for the day. We were putting Christmas decorations up around the house and he was fixated with the window sticker Nativity Scene that we placed on the front door. He must have taken it off the door five times and then I’d put it back up. Last night, as I was cleaning things up after dinner, I picked the Nativity Scene up out of a basket Luke had been carrying it around in all day. I opened one of the stickers that had been rolled up and something fell into my lap. I looked down and there it was, another feather.
When I showed it to Dan he said “Maybe Toby is going to leave us feathers, instead of pennies like Pup does?” I went to bed last night wondering how often Toby is there in our home? I wonder if Luke gets to really see him, or if he plays with him? I wonder if he comes alone or is he with a loved one or another angel?
As I start to take steps forward on this new path that we were put on, I am beginning to realize that the only things in this life that are lasting are those we can’t hold with our arms, only with our hearts and souls. Love, friendship, faith – these are things that you can’t see with your eyes but yet you know are there.