My first experience with a sign was when my Grandma C. received a bouquet of yellow plastic roses in response to a novena to St. Therese, The Little Flower. For those non-Catholics among my readership, St. Therese was a Carmelite nun who experienced visions and people who complete the novena in her honor are rewarded with roses if her intercession with God on their behalf is successful.

I was nine or ten at the time and wasn’t as impressed as I was disturbed. The last thing I felt my grandmother needed was more unseen beings floating around her apartment. Between my uncle and grandfather, there was hardly a chair at the dining table I felt safe taking a seat on. I took to taking my cue from Grandma and avoiding the chairs that she’d most recently directed a comment toward.

It was around this time that I heard the story of the Fatima. Three young children who were visited by the Blessed Virgin. She shared with about upcoming horrors in the world and even told two of them that they were going to die soon. Heavenly visitations and signs in my opinion then became things you wished on other people.

Recently the topic of signs came up on a blog I read but don’t comment at too much anymore. The blogger wrote about witnessing a shooting star in response to her admission – to herself really – that she was lonely. She wanted to be able to say it was a sign from her late husband, but she couldn’t. She just doesn’t believe in signs.

I have written about “signs” I have received over the course of my widowhood, but not so much about those I have received over the course of my life that have nothing to do with my late husband or any other dead person.  Signs, in my opinion, are not specific to contact with the “other side”. They are road signs that point out a new direction, keep us on track or assure us that we are not alone in whatever difficulty we are facing or enduring. 

I have seen only two shooting stars in my life. The first was with my late husband Will as we were driving to dinner with my family for his first visit to my hometown with me. We both saw it and took it as a sign that everything was going to work out for us as it should. That he ended up dying seven years later doesn’t negate the sign. We had the time together that we were supposed to have. I was his happily ever after. He was not mine. 

The second shooting star shot across the sky early one morning as I was turning on to the 235 on ramp, heading to the daycare and then work. I had been thinking that I was tired of the status quo of my life and ready for a new beginning. And then I saw the star. It was not Will. It was whatever it is that we call God. The universe maybe?

I had barely started getting to know Rob* at that point, and little did I know he and our friendship were being heralded by that star, but shooting stars are not so common that their sighting can be discounted as the randomness of time and space. At least in my opinion.

My blogging friend daisyfae remarked once that she is glad to be psychically deaf. I could wish for that too sometimes in this spirit crowded home I live in, but she is on to something with the idea that some of us are just more attuned to the fine frequencies that resonate around us all the time and some are not.

Maybe as Freud once said, a cigar is just a cigar and the same can be said of shooting stars or songs that pop up on the radio at just the right time**, but I like believing in a benevolent universe that reaches out to reassure and give as much guidance as it can within the framework of the “rules”. It’s comforting, and there is precious little of that sometimes, so why not take it when it happens along? 

* When I told Rob I had written this piece, his comment was “And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply”.

** My radio has long spoken to me and it has not always been so supportive of my decisions and plans.

6 thoughts on “Signs

  1. My experiences with the extranormal go in and out, up and down. A lot depends on my mental state, what meds I’m taking, and how much shielding of other peoples energy I have to do. I Seattle, I’m pretty psychically deaf. But I knew I was moving to Western Washington a year before it even became a possibility. My ex brought a brochure home from up north, and when I touched it, it was like electricity flowed into my arms.

  2. I have seen shooting stars but never thought of them as signs, per se. I think anything can be perceived as a sign, if we are paying attention. My favorite signs show up during dreams, the ones I remember clearly with experiences that feel like they really happened.

  3. i’ve seen things happen that are unexplainable – such as the time my mother bolted into the house on a clear day, saying she had to call her mother. no answer. later that evening, we learned that her mother had been burned badly that afternoon when the sleeve of her robe caught fire over the stove…

    i would never discount ‘messages’, signals and signs… and for many reasons am relieved that they don’t drop on my head.

    but i do occasionally get a ‘tweak’. that song on the radio. the moment of clarity when a stranger says something seemingly out of context that resolves a vexing issue in my head. for me? i think it’s just that i’m receptive to input because i’m subconsciously seeking help… and in my heart i believe it’s the answers i already know, the ‘tweaks’ just remind me what i know i’m supposed to do…

    (oh, and TOTAL points for Five Man Electrical Band!)

  4. I already had it in mind to write a followup to my shooting-star post when I saw this. I’ve written the post, now I’ll add a comment here:

    Signs, in my opinion, are not specific to contact with the “other side.” They are road signs that point out a new direction, keep us on track or assure us that we are not alone in whatever difficulty we are facing or enduring.

    I think I can agree with that to a certain extent. I have trouble with those who look for signs everywhere and who interpret every coin or insect as a sign — I think I put that into the same category as people who say that God helped them find a parking place.

    Of course, I’m being inconsistent again: I wouldn’t object to someone’s driving on the highway and looking for the signs for the right interchange or exit. So why should I object to those who look for signs on a higher plane?

    I don’t look for signs. I rarely beseech the heavens frankly. I only asked for help when I absolutely ran out of other options. I am a true believer in the old saying of God helping those who help themselves. I do recognize pats on the back – encouragement or praise – the universe directs them my way. And I don’t think it is inconsistent to question the validity of a “sign”. Some people seem to need to see them in everything in order to survive but I think they miss the significant ones when that happens.

  5. See, I wish I were MORE psychically in tune. I see a lot of signs, and I’m grateful, but then I’m jealous of those who actually hear their departed loved ones talking to them, or have full-blown visions of the future. I hadn’t really thought about it until just now, but that sort of thing has fascinated me since I was a child. I guess I just never let go of it.

    I am not sure I would relish anything more than the radio messages. The idea of being visited by Mary for example scares the crap out of me. That woman never shows up that she doesn’t want something from you. I don’t feel Will around or hear his voice. I am sure he is busy with his own new life and I would feel like a failure if he had to hover around me at this point.

  6. I was very sad to leave New York City for the bucolic burbs’ of New Jersey, but it was a necessity. When I left my house for that very first early morning commute, it was still pitch black out. Looked up. Shooting star. I thought it was the City saying goodbye to me.

    Good on Rob for the Five Man Electrical Band reference.

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