Messages from Heaven

My Son's SignR5

Cathy Pendola

You are my sonshine.

—Author Unknown

I firmly believe our loved ones who have passed on give us signs they are around us. They are such simple things that happen we attribute it to coincidence. I think if we are aware and watch closely, those we love give us a nudge here and there.

Almost seven years ago I lost my precious son, Dominic, in a car accident. He was nineteen years old. It took me a long time to go to the cemetery after losing Dom because I didn't want to deal with the cold, hard reality of it all by seeing his name on a headstone. Now my husband Manny and I go almost every weekend, and no matter how many times I look at our son's headstone I still stand there in disbelief.

One day I went to visit Dominic alone. I wanted to sit on the bench near his grave and talk to him. It's a strange thing to sit and talk out loud to someone no longer physically there. After I finished my talk with Dom, I sat there and looked around. It's sad having a one-way conversation. So I said out loud: "Dom, I sure wish you'd give me more signs you're around me." Did I mention the bench I was sitting on was under a tree? Just as I finished speaking I felt bird droppings on my head! I started to laugh. "Okay, Dom, not exactly the sign I wanted," I said. When I looked up to find the bird, a beautiful butterfly flew overhead. I guess Dom wanted to make up for the bird droppings.

My husband and I experienced another butterfly incident together at the cemetery that I will never forget. Each time we go, Manny takes an empty water bottle and fills it from a water spigot close to Dom's grave. I get the fresh flowers ready to put in the vase and Manny fills it with water from the bottle. This time as I waited for Manny, I noticed a butterfly perched on the edge of Dom's vase. I got right up next to it and it didn't move. I pointed it out to Manny and he put his finger next to the vase. The butterfly calmly took its place on Manny's finger and slowly batted its wings. He stood next to me and we both watched intently. I put my finger next to Manny's and as if on cue, the butterfly slowly climbed onto my finger. For several incredible minutes we passed this butterfly back and forth. We couldn't believe this was happening.

When the butterfly finally flew off, it kept coming back to land on Manny or me as if it were playing a game. We decided to see if this special butterfly would follow us. We walked over to a bench nearby and sat down. It did not follow. Then we went back to Dom's grave to say goodbye, and there was the butterfly. Up and back it flew, coming back quickly to land on us over and over. As we walked to the car, I said to Manny, "You know that had to be Dominic." We couldn't get over it.

Several days later as I opened the family room shades, outside of the window was a butterfly. I moved right up to it and noticed it was the same size and color as the butterfly from the cemetery. It did not fly away, but stayed for a while. When it finally flew off, I had a peaceful feeling.

I get it, Dominic. You're watching.

(594 words)