The sign came on that first birthday after she passed. We were meeting, the three of us that used to be four, for birthday lunch. Two mothers and two daughters linked with shared DNA had always been the status quo. We decided we would meet to honor Nancy on this first birthday without her. Her birthday lunch…but she wouldn’t be there.
The tradition that had started in my late teens survived through births, sicknesses, and deaths. Now it was one of us and the grief was still new.
It was upon this morning that a guilty thought popped into my head. Why had I been so careless? Where was that Cross pen that had been given to me as a gift from my beloved Aunt Nancy?
I felt a wave of disbelief, but to my utter surprise, there was the gold pen randomly lying in the upstairs hallway.
But no, those thoughts were quickly dismissed. I knew it was a sign from her. That’s just how she was, and it gave me so much comfort to know she was looking out for me. The reassurance was immeasurable. My apprehension about the afternoon disappeared and love and gratitude filled the space. I carefully placed that pen in a drawer safely away, where it has stayed all these years. Too precious for use, it remains as a keepsake and reminder of her caring ways and unbroken bond.
It fills me with pride to say that the birthday lunch tradition continues with the addition of some beautiful young ladies. It’s always a joyous afternoon spent eating good food and opening thoughtful gifts. Aunt Nancy’s loving presence is felt at each gathering and I know she is proud too. She is probably beaming.
Denise Pearl lives in Sammamish, is a retired preschool teacher, and started painting during the pandemic when she began a small art business printing greeting cards from her original paintings, also has sold a few of her original paintings. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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