Friday, January 24, 2014

Letters from Home

My husband and I used to have those silly magnetic letters on our kitchen refrigerator back in our New Jersey apartment, and we would leave each other cute and often ridiculous or random messages on the fridge like: "I love you Boo", or "Yankees won", or "UR cute." One of his favorite things to spell out for me in colored letters was "Don 'N Kelley" or sometimes "Don Wuvs Kelley." He could be syrupy sweet to the point of nauseating, at times, because he knew I would be rolling my eyes at the gag-inducing baby-talk and he loved to annoy me. So it was sort of his way of being sarcastically romantic.

Fast-forward to 8 months ago, when I moved out of one apartment in Queens, New York after my roommate kicked me out, and moved into another apartment in Queens, New York after finding another roommate. I walked over to the 99 cent store and got 2 packs of the magnetic letters, because spelling out little messages makes me oddly happy somehow, even though it also makes me really sad. It is the "familiar" and the "routine" of doing something and having something that we had together, and now continuing it alone.

Yesterday morning, I woke up super early to go teach a full day of theater and comedy courses at the university I work at. As I was getting ready in my room and making the bed, I noticed the letter D was IN my bed. It had to have been there the whole night, but I didn't feel it or notice it at all. I brought the D into the kitchen and told my roommate that the letter D followed me into my room, apparently. She laughed and said that she was looking for the D last night so she could spell out "DIRTY" on the dishwasher, which we often do to tell the other person if said dishes inside are clean or dirty.

Later on, after returning home from my work day, I went into my room to get some things, and my kitty Sammy meowed loudly while rubbing himself against the blanket on my bed. He rolled himself over, and then over again, and underneath him, sort of hidden in the folds of a blanket - was the letter K. I'm a little slow, but I was starting to understand now. D + K = Don and Kelley. Okay, very weird. For ONE letter to end up in my bed is strange, but two? And they are the first letters of our names? Sure, the letters maybe came off the fridge somehow and stuck to me or my clothing and followed me into the bedroom. But that has never happened before, not even once, and now it was happening two different times, seperately? That seems impossible.

 Plus, I've been incredibly stressed out and sad and missing Don much lately, and he seems to come and comfort me somehow whenever I feel that way. Apparently, he really wanted me to spell out his favorite message from our old days back in that New Jersey apartment. So I did. I went over to the refrigerator, took the D and the K, and used them to complete the spelling of "Don N Kelley." And when I finished, I stood there and stared at it, like it was some genius work of art. There was a weird little smile on my face, and I felt my husband near.

I do believe in signs. I mean, I have FELT his presence here with me sometimes, and there is no questioning what it is, and I just know. But normally, he doesn't send me things like songs or feathers or coins or ANYTHING LIKE THAT. That is not usually his style. He likes to give me much bigger things. Things that will help me in my life - like an amazing grief-counselor, for example. But today, he must have been missing me in the same way that I always miss him. He must have sensed that I needed to feel a piece of the familiar - a tiny piece of home. Either that, or he just really wanted to annoy me by being syrupy sweet, while at the same time, saying: "Jeez Boo, I sent you a D and a K. How much more obvious can I be? Do I have to spell it out for you?"

No, Boo. Go off and do your spirit things. Go do whatever it is you spirit and soul types do out there in the atmosphere. Swing from a star, or have lunch with a comet. I can take it from here ..........


  1. Kelley, I am new here. Newly widowed. It's hard to say the word. 2 months. My husband John, died from cancer, at home with me. I have little glimpses of signs from him. Some not so subtle. Some make my smile. It is all so new, to even be reading other women's words and emotions that are on this unfortunate journey. But I am grateful you are here.
    John and I had a number thing with the time 11:11. Started years ago, noticing that number on the clock frequently. (I've since learned that 11:11 is an angel number and connects earth to beyond). The night he died,11/10/13, I had my home filled with family staying with me, and when I got ready for bed, turned the TV on to Soundscapes for soft music (never had it on there before), got in bed and looked at the screen. Took a picture of it, I was so shocked.
    Group was "Sky"
    Arrangement was "Eleven"
    And I had to laugh out loud. The next morning, 11/11@11:11, we all toasted John Alan Steyl

    1. I really love what you shared Susan... and I so get it! My fiance and had the number 7, and Stars were a very prominent theme in our life. Our initials spelled STAR, and the week before we dated we were star gazing on the beach and we saw seven shooting stars. and without knowing, we each wished for each other seven times. Since he died, stars have continued to show up in obvious ways - i sometimes see as many as 10 semi-trucks with giant stars on the side of them in one one-hour drive (out in the country!) as well as the number 7.

      I'm so so sorry for your loss, but keep holding onto those signs. Like a friend once told me... it is as if you are living in two different countries now, and speaking two different languages. You are learning how to communicate together again - from two worlds apart. <3 He will always be there, so keep on believing!

  2. That is beautiful Susan, and thank you so much for writing here and reading so early on in your loss. It is so, so hard, and those first weeks and months are just a blur and can be very scary. Like C.S. Lewis said so honestly, "Nobody ever told me that grief felt so much like fear." Im so glad you got a sign, and I hope you keep getting more. They dont make it any easier living without them, but at least it gives us a feeling that there is more out there than what we can see. Its what we FEEL. Hang in there Susan xo...

  3. I'm off topic, but I have to ask. I'm feeling like a freak. Has anyone felt they had sex with their husband in their dreams and it feel that it was real? Almost a year ago, I know he came to me in my dreams as it was so real. We hugged. This time, was different, I'm wondering if I'm losing my mind

    1. Yuuuup! You are not crazy. I have had dreams, and then i have had visits - the difference being that the visits are just SO tangibly and incredibly REAL... and they leave me waking up feeling as if we were together, and i feel a peace about me. An ease. The dreams are different - they are usually very fictitious (my brain trying to explain this all to me) and never FEEL tangible to the senses... and the dreams usually leave me waking sad or upset. And yes! I have actually had one such intimate dream like that! I could almost literally feel my hands on the skin of his back, it was absolutely incredibly real. So i've come to define them as visits instead of dreams. It's completely real to me. I mean, why not? Who are we to know what's possible?

    2. Sarah thank you! I needed to hear this. you are right, they are visits!

  4. My husband's name is John too...and we met on 11/11...and 11 became our married 8/11...(he did not want to wait for a 11/11 date.
    Everytime we saw 11:11 we looked knowingly at each other....
    He died unexpectantly 5/08/12....and the 11:11s mean everything to me....and I see them when I least expect it and need the most.
    Anon..thanks for the meaning of 11:11:)

  5. Johns lil darling, google 11:11, angel numbers, and you will see more. I am NOT into numbers, but kept seeing this time for the last few years and KNEW it had significance. It became a joke between us.

  6. Thanks, Anon...will do...hope you are doing ok...rough day for me...sigh.....