Miracle of love

The Sign

Sharing Stories
January 21, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.
Aunt Nancy
Aunt Nancy

...by Denise Pearl

The Sign 
     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 couldn’t recall when I had last seen or used it. Life had gotten busy, and I had no recollection of its whereabouts. I looked in several places where I thought I might find the elusive object but determined the pen was gone. Just the memory remained, and the thought made me feel unsettled. Like many gifts received from a loved one, the sentiment behind the gift held the most value and I was upset.

   I tucked the remorse away as best I could and started my daily morning chores when suddenly something shiny caught my eye. I was stopped in my own tracks for several seconds.

   I felt a wave of disbelief, but to my utter surprise, there was the gold pen randomly lying in the upstairs hallway.

   It was actually right there, patiently waiting to be seen after being missed for an uncertain amount of time. I picked up the pen and tried to process what was happening. I was a bit more than confused about this turn my morning had taken.

    Panic set in and my rational mind started to race. Well, really how does this sort of thing happen? Some might say it was a coincidence. Maybe it was occupying one of my old purses that I’d allowed my daughters to use in their imaginary playtime and had fallen out, only to be discovered at this particular time.

   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 denisepearl@icloud.com..

SHARING STORIES is a weekly column for and about the 50 plus crowd living in the Puget Sound region. Send your stories and photos to ariele@comcast.net. Tell local or personal stories; discuss concerns around aging and other issues; share solutions, good luck, and reasons to celebrate; poems are fine too. Pieces may be edited or excerpted. We reserve the right to select among pieces. Photos are always a plus and a one-sentence bio is requested (where you live, maybe age or career, retired status, etc.).
SHARING STORIES is featured on www.northwestprimetime.com, the website for Northwest Prime Time, a monthly publication for baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those contemplating retirement. For more information, call 206-824-8600 or visit www.northwestprimetime.com. To find other SHARING STORIES articles on this website type "sharing stories" in the search function above. 

Share this story!