Favorite Mug o' Mine
Favorite Mug o’ Mine

I love this mug! And it’s message. Throughout my life I’ve done just this, noticed the messages that remind me of the bonds tying me to family and friends. Perhaps not making complete sense in the moment but soon after the connect reveals itself with such clarity I am overwhelmed with various emotions. Every day I remain open in order that I do not miss a single message.

I probably have the most connection with my mother. She sends many messages to me and I love knowing she still surrounds me. Her most powerful impact came on an August day in 2006 when I was returning home from a hospital visit with her. At that point her health had declined and this was one of her final days with us. I had been making the every other day trek from Earlysville to Richmond for several weeks and was exhausted. I only wanted to be with her but still I had my family to care for. I had just exited the highway for home and sleep overcame me on Barracks Road. From somewhere I was awakened with a heavy jolt to my chest and as I lifted my head, I saw I had crossed the median and was looking at oncoming traffic. Quickly correcting my direction and ensuring I had harmed no one and nothing in my wake, I noticed my lap was covered in grey-black ashes. They were scattered across my white pants as if an ashtray had been overturned. Reflexively I began brushing the ash away and as my hand swept my pants, the ash quickly rose and dissipated before my eyes…not a sooty smudge tainted my white pants or smeared my palm. I don’t know how but it was my mom who kept me safe that day.

I had the pleasure of working with Bob Morrow, a children’s book author, in the fall of 2008 at a Highlights writing retreat.  He was a nurturing mentor and had a way of extracting what he knew was within me without being obvious. His gentle guidance profoundly influenced me and my writing and I am grateful for having worked with him and his wife, Paula. Sadly, a few years later, I received news of Bob’s passing and this was at a time when I was doing little writing of my own due to family obligations, writer’s block, volunteer work – basically life’s highway had scooped me up and I left my writing behind. Bob’s death, although not personal like a family member, conjured a melancholy effect and longing for something missing.  It felt right to begin the creative process once more. A few days later I went to my favorite writing spot armed with my computer and newfound inspiration. I plopped my belongings on the table and as I pulled out my chair I noticed a dime on the carpet. Not thinking anything other than ‘lost change found,’ I pocketed the dime, bought my coffee and began typing. It was later when I learned the legend of Dimes from Heaven ( ) and with reassuring comfort I knew Bob was sending me a message that I was to get back to writing and he was supporting my effort. I’ve not stopped since.

All messages are not good…

When our children were still in grade school, my husband and I took them to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We shopped at Harbor Place, ducking in and out of stores as my children searched for their perfect souvenirs. Within the breezeway of the mall there was a kiosk claiming, ‘Your Fortune Read Here,’ and a woman perched on a stool was waiting for her next client. A part of me always wanted to visit a medium but I was doubtful of this woman, in this place, having any ability to read anything other than the money I’d be handing over to her. As my children and husband popped in and out of the shops I hung along the periphery watching this woman in action. Our eyes met for a moment but she quickly looked away. From another storefront we caught each other’s stare and again, she quickly cut her eyes from me…almost as if she didn’t want to see me, or something about me.  I remember heaviness and an overwhelming sensation of the color black. This continued until I left the area where she was stationed. Even though I did not ask for it, she read me that day. I left Baltimore unsettled and on guard.

Back at home some time later while out for my morning run I sensed a stray hair in my field of vision. I brushed it away to no avail. I tried adjusting my ball cap and that, too, made no difference. My blurry visual impairment remained. I looked to my left side thinking perhaps it was a shadow of some sort. By the time I reached home the shadowy sensation had left me. Soon it became clear that sensation was a foreshadowing of the darkness settling upon our doorstep. Due to an undetected eye tumor, my husband’s retina detached later that week causing him to experience the same shadowy visual impairment I experienced.  Within 24 hours he was diagnosed with ocular melanoma. Two years later he was diagnosed with a second cancer. We spent ten years living with our dark visitor not simply settling on our doorstep but infiltrating our entire home.  And that was the message the Baltimore card reader was sending me, or perhaps trying to hide from me.

During one of my lowest points during my husband’s cancer treatments, I sat waiting at a traffic light, praying. I was praying for his good health on the other side of the horrible therapy that supposedly was curing his disease. I asked for a sign that we had made all the right choices, that he would have more healthy years than unhealthy and our children would have their father around during their high school and college years and would it be too much to ask for him to be here for the grandchildren years? Sitting at that stoplight, in sunny April (in Virginia) snowflakes began falling upon my windshield. I remained there throughout the signal, drinking in that moment; a perplexing vision to others but to me this clean, white message in April was my answer from somewhere that I was not asking for too much. To this day, snow remains a positive message in my life.

These are just a few of the messages I’ve received, but some of the most poignant. Over the years friends and family have shared with me their powerful messages received by their loved ones.  I hope if you (or anyone!) are reading this you will share your stories here.


  1. Oh… Wow… that’s truly all I can say… especially about the message in Baltimore… Do you think people need a special gift in order to receive or realize that they’ve received such messages? Or is it all about being open and see it?


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