I can go for a couple of weeks with nothing to post, then BAM. I can't stop posting.
A couple of days ago, my good friend Marianne called. She had just picked up a copy of the book MESSAGES - Signs, Visits and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11. As she was reading, she thought of all of the signs WE'VE had and wanted to share the book with me....so I went out and bought a copy.
As I was reading the accounts of several people who lost loved ones on 9/11, I realized we have had many signs that Melissa is still with US too. With Donny's help (and Nick's), we thought of some of them. I might have posted a few of these, but to have them all in one place helps me put into perspective just HOW MUCH she is still around!
(these will be bullets - Fort LOVED to post bullets...so here goes....
-the first sign was just a week or so after she passed away. Candy, the wife of one of my cousins in Florida had a dream about Melissa (it was the morning Melissa passed away). Melissa came up to her and introduced herself. "Do you remember me? I'm Melissa. I met you at the family reunion a couple of years ago. Will you tell my family I'm ok?"
(whenever Melissa & John left to go home, I would tell her to "call as soon as you get home"...always wanted to make sure they got home ok - even though she was in her 20s! - I guess she was letting us know she was "home"!)
-The night before Melissa passed away, our good friends Mike & Mary came to visit Melissa in Hospice. As they were leaving, Mike rubbed Melissa's foot and said "See ya Fort". Early the next morning (about the time she passed away), Mike had a dream about Melissa (and was awakened by something rubbing HIS foot) - she said "tell my family that I was strong, so they need to be strong!"
-about the same time, a week or so after she passed away, another cousin in Florida was going to the post office to send us something. He heard something like a coin fall on the floor, and he looked down and it was a coin with an angel on it. He felt like it was Melissa letting him know she was there.
-for several weeks (months) I couldn't sleep. One night I got up and went downstairs and laid on the couch. The tv came on - (both remotes were on the table BEHIND me - I didn't touch them) - and stayed on for a couple of minutes, then turned off.
-A couple of months after she passed, Donny went to the grocery store. He had both hands full of grocery bags. As he approached the car, he was thinking "my keys are in my pocket" and all four locks UNLOCKED - he heard it AND saw it. (even if the bag hit his pocket, which he says it didn't, he would have had to press it TWICE to make ALL of the locks open)
-DREAMS (not just our dreams - other's too!)
Donny had the first dream about her. He dreamt he was at Wilmington College (where he went) and ran into some high school friends. He looked up and saw someone walking away that looked like Melissa from the back. He ran after her (she was trying to get away from him). He caught up to her, turned her around and it was her. She had on all white and she had on white clown make-up. He said "Melissa! I miss you." she was crying and said "I miss you too." (he woke me up right after the dream - about 4 a.m. and told me the dream several times - then called me at work the next day several times to tell me AGAIN!)
-My (high school) friend Brenda's daughter Mandi, who became good friends with Melissa at our Mother/Daughter weekends had an interesting experience. First of all, at one of our M/D weekends, we met some interesting people - and the topic of "Danger/Stranger" came up. Melissa, Mandi and the girls all joked about it all weekend.
A few weeks after the funeral the annual M/D weekend was scheduled. As Mandi was getting ready to leave, her son (who was 7 or 8 at the time) came up to her and said "watch out for Stranger Danger mom". She was dumbfounded - where had he heard that? She asked him where he had heard that, and he said "in my dream, a girl with blond hair told me" and he pointed to the shirt that she was wearing with Fort's picture on it and said "she looked like her".
-I went for a weekend trip with my friend Shelly to her houseboat for her 50th birthday. She convinced me it would be good for me to get away. Once I got there, I was ok until the party started. I went to bed early and when I finally fell asleep, I had a strange dream. I dreamt that there were two deer grazing on a hillside. That's it. I had just read about "lucid dreams", dreams where you KNOW you are dreaming. It was one of those - and I thought "why am I dreaming this?". On the way home the next day, someone in the car asked about Melissa, and having a captive audience (who had never met Melissa) I was happy to oblidge. As I was talking about her (and crying a little) I looked out the window - and on the side of the road - EXACTLY like in my dream, were two deer, grazing on a hillside. I figured it was Fort letting me know she was with me - even if I didn't see HER.
- My friend Jennifer and I hadn't gotten together in a pretty long time, and had made plans to go to lunch. The night before we got together, Melissa came to her in a dream and said "will you give my mom a hug for me?" - so she did!
-Donny and I went to Charleston S.C. this past summer. We did the Historic Walking Tour and then stopped for lunch at a restaurant in the historic district called Poogan's Porch (recommended by a good friend) - it is the third most haunted house in America.
Two spinster sisters lived and died in the house. Their names were Elizabeth and Zoey.
As we were sitting waiting for our food (looking around for signs that they were there) I said "Ok Elizabeth and Zoey, go get Melissa and bring her back to me." That night I had a dream that Melissa and I were having lunch at Poogan's Porch. They brought her to me....
Nick & Mere - Gave Nick a balloon bouquet for his 30th birthday. The mylar balloon lasted almost 3 weeks - floating on the ceiling in their living room. One night about that time, Mere woke up to the balloon in their bedroom (middle of the night). This balloon had to float across the living room ceiling, go under a doorway into the hall, under ANOTHER doorway to go up the stairs. Then under another doorway into their bedroom..with the fan on in the bedroom blowing TOWARDS the door. The balloon still came into their room, hovered over Max's crib for a couple of minutes (he was in their room), then over Nick and Mere. Mere was awake, but Nick wasn't. She kept saying "Nick, wake up, the balloon is in the room..." and of course he wouldn't wake up...UNTIL the balloon came down and hit him in the head! The next morning, it was in the bathroom...
Last Christmas, I filled Drew's stocking - at the top was a Fisher Price saxaphone...IN the stocking. I came home from work one day about a week before Christmas, walked past where the stockings were hanging (by the front door) - got into the family room, and the saxaphone started playing (you have to TOUCH it for it to play). I turned around and said "I know it's you Melissa. Play it again." and it did.
We bought Drew and Max a wood puzzle that had pieces that are farm animals. When you pick up the piece, there is a speaker - it is motion activated and makes the sound of the animal when you pick it up. The puzzle started going off at random times - always when we were either TALKING about Fort or when I was posting something on the blog. We felt like she was letting us know she was around -
Just yesterday when I was posting HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Angie - it started going off (it's across the room, behind a tub of toys - I was nowhere NEAR it. I KNOW she wanted me to tell Angie Happy Birthday for her - it actually went off SEVERAL TIMES - the tv was on and I could barely hear it - she wanted to make SURE I heard it!
Another time recently - I was getting Luke (the son of friends who I watch after school) on the computer. Our Christmas family picture is on the screen. I asked him if he remembered Melissa, he said yes - and the puzzle went off. He said "What was that?" And I told him "it's just Melissa letting us know she's here"....I think it made him a little nervous - but after a minute or so, he said "Maybe we should get one so Matthew can get in touch with us." (his mom lost a baby right after Melissa lost JP)
-the other day Max was playing with the FP rings that Fort bought Drew for Christmas, and it went off...she wanted him to know she was happy he was playing with it I'm sure!
When Melissa was in the hospital, Mary, a nurse who she hit it off with immediately, made her a CD - she called it The Merry Mix. Had a mix of songs she thought Melissa would like. We were listening to it while she was posting on the blog a couple of times.
About a month after she passed away, Donny and I went out to eat. We were sitting at the table, and all of a sudden I hear this song playing in the background - and realized it was one of the songs on the CD - I didn't know WHAT it was - but I really felt like she was letting me know she was there with us. I found out later that the song was VIVA LA VIDA by Cold Play.
My first Mother's Day without her, I needed a diversion - so we picked up John and went to the casino. John and Donny went one way and I went another. We were to meet at the exit at a certain time. As I was walking to meet them, I heard it AGAIN. (if you've ever been there, you really don't hear music - all you hear are the slot machines) But I heard the song again, and thought "ok - it's Mother's Day - she wants me to play one more time"...so I did. I put some money in a slot and won $60! I felt like that was my Mother's Day present from her!
A few months later, I got a call from Atlanta about the 3 day walk. They wanted me to carry a flag in the opening and closing ceremonies. I had to be there the day before for a practice (this is a BIG deal - like 20 people carry flags, there's a huge stage and 2000 walkers PLUS anyone who wants to be at the Opening and Closing ceremonies can be there). At the practice, the flag bearers were sitting at picnic tables waiting for instructions. On the stage, they were getting ready to do a sound check on the HUGE speakers on either side of the stage....and what song do you suppose they used for the sound check...YEP! VIVA LA VIDA. I got a little emotional - but I KNEW she was there with us!
When I got home from the 3 day walk, I was scheduled for my mammogram. There were some suspicious calcifications, so I was scheduled for a biopsy. Donny and I met at home that day because he was taking me. When he started the car, VIVA LA VIDA was on the radio (no, it wasn't the CD)....she was with me THAT day too.
When I went to the psychic the first time, he said "she'll be sending you rainbows and butterflies"...
on our anniversary, we were on our way to Philadelphia. We stopped to get gas, back on the turnpike and saw a rainbow. Went a couple of miles, saw ANOTHER rainbow, then another....probably TEN in all. That was our anniversary present from her...
And this year it's butterflies. She not only sends them to US, but to her friends too.
Her friend Shannon did the 3 day walk in Boston this year. We were texting back and forth on the first day, and I told her to watch for butterflies. When she got the text, she looked down, and there was a butterfly on her shirt!
She came through for ME again at the casino - went to the butterfly slot machine and won $180!
In this book I'm reading, they also talk about "orbs" in pictures. At the fundraiser for her scholarship - Angie got up on the stage to say a few words - someone in the back of the room took a picture - there is an ORB on the picture by the stage - pretty sure that was her too....
The book also talks about survivors wanting to stay in touch with their lost loved ones and going to psychics. I felt the same way.
The first time I went, he said "She's really LOUD on the other side" (if you knew Fort, you KNOW she was loud!)
He also said "she's thanking you for the wind chimes" (I put wind chimes on the tree behind her grave).
He said "she's talking about Mexico. Why is going to Mexico?" (it was right about the time Pauly & Ebeth went there to get married) He said "she keeps saying she gets to go for free"...which would be Fort too - travelling for free would be a dream for her!
The second time I went to see him (a year later)...he said "her aura is surrounded by butterflies...she'll be sending you butterflies" (and she has). He also asked me who I was helping who had cancer - he said she's watching over them too (I actually have two friends who have cancer that I'm close to.)
-This past summer Donny was going through the attic looking for something, he found a box that had a folder in it. In the folder was a poster that she had made for him - it said "HEY DAD - I MISS YOU!" and it had her picture on it. Just when he needed it - he found it....(not what he was looking for, but what he needed at the time!)
SO. Believe it or don't believe it. But she is around. If you get a chance, read the book too. We're not the only ones out there that are getting SIGNS.
Gets us through another day. One day at a time.
Love you Fort.
Have a good week - and look for the SIGNS! They're there if you are open to them....