I talk a lot about signs because when we lose someone precious to us, we look for any indication they are around. Signs are often a subset of synchronicities, which some call “God winks.” I call them “Easter eggs” a reference to little surprises programmers put into video games for the player. More and more, the analogy of a video game make sense to me for what we experience in this physical level of All That Is.

I had a couple of interesting synchronicities yesterday. I switched hosting platforms for my website recently because I was with a one-man shop and didn’t know how I’d handle things if this dude got hit by a bus. He was supposed to give me a plan. But, since he didn’t get around to it, I switched. After a ton of research I decided to go with SiteGround for my WordPress website.

Two days ago it dawned on me that even though I had switched to the new provider, I hadn’t figured out how to recover my site in case of disaster. I didn’t talk to anyone about it, didn’t Google it. I just had the thought. Yesterday, across my phone flashes a notification from YouTube. The guy whose video feed I subscribe to had a new video. The video’s title: “How To Restore Your WordPress Backups Using Siteground.”

The funny thing is the video is less than two minutes long. The whole process takes about twenty seconds. But, now my mind is at ease because I know how to do it.

The second thing is my friend Cyrus mentioned James Randi in a post yesterday. James Randi is a former professional magician and (in)famous “debunker” and skeptic of anything supernatural. Randi is best known  for a $1 Million challenge to anyone who can prove the supernatural. My friend Kim is a professional debunker and we had a little discussion about Randi. I don’t hear about Randi often. In fact, I was pretty sure he is dead.

Fast forward to last night. Ty and I are binge-watching “The Messiah” on Netflix. I was in the kitchen when Netflix rolled from one episode to the next. Suddenly, I see James Randi’s face on the screen. I was thinking it was a commercial (I forgot we were watching Netflix). My first thought was YouTube was previewing a video based on the fact that I had seen James Randi mentioned earlier in the day. But, this wasn’t a commercial. He made a cameo appearance in the show.

This morning, I received an email from my friend, Dr. Mark Pitstick. He was working on a patient yesterday while the patient’s wife read a book as she was waiting. Mark noticed the title of the book was Grief 2 Growth, my book that he recently endorsed to his email list. The patient’s wife had bought a copy for herself and her Mom having lost some close loved ones in the last month. OK, nothing magical about that. She’s on Mark’s email list. She saw the endorsement, she got the book. But, her name: Ida. Not exactly a common name, and it happens to be my mother’s name. Yesterday, I had a reading with my friend Michelle Clare to get some direction concerning my business. She assured me I’m on the right path. I’m taking this as confirmation of that.

These aren’t signs from a particular loved one. But, they are interesting little things that pop up if we’re paying attention.

 

Shayna always played this game with me on my iPhone. I would typically have a picture of the two girls as my lock screen picture. Shayna would unlock my phone and replace their picture with a picture of her solo. Just a few weeks before she passed, or maybe even on a few days, she changed it to a selfie she had taken after she got her hair cut for the first (and last) time. That picture remains on my phone as the lockscreen today. She finally won the game.

Shayna has sent me several signs using my phone. This is probably the craziest one. I don’t use Apple’s Podcast app to listen to podcasts anymore. But, one day, for some reason, I opened the app and looked at my podcast. The cover image for the podcast instead of being my podcast cover was a picture I took of Shayna when she was about two years old. It’s one of my favorite pictures of her. She is building a tower with giant Lego type blocks. There is this look of determination on her face as she looked up to the block she was affixing to the top of the tower, over her head. I believe that was the day I said that I hoped she used her significant power for good, not evil.

I was flabbergasted and in a bit of a panic. I hadn’t used this image on a podcast. I certainly didn’t change my podcast cover to this image. I went to iTunes and checked my podcast site. The image was fine. I went to my podcast host and checked. The image was fine. I checked the other podcast apps on my phone, Overcast and Castbox. All fine.

It’s several weeks later. If I look at my podcast on my phone, the cover for my podcast is that picture of Shayna and every episode has that picture as it’s artwork as well.

What It Should Look Like

 

On My Phone Only

 

 

This is what the podcast should look like

 

What it looks like on my phone

This is Diana Blum’s episode. You can see above, the image should be a picture of Diana.

This is Diana Blum’s episode. You can see two photos above, the image should be a picture of Diana.

“If we provide our service not solely for the monetary reward but in the spirit of love and dedication, this will be reflected in the quality of our afterlife and will make our work much more gratifying and enjoyable in the process.”

Jurgen Ziewe
  Vistas of Infinity

Yesterday, my friend Ruth Altschuler was giving me a flower essence session, a service that is similar to homeopathy. As we were discussing my issues, I was telling her of the frustration I’m experiencing working on one business that seems to be winding down and another that is still in its infancy. Ruth, in addition to offering me some very practical advice was talking me through this.

As we spoke, the song “Just One Victory” came to mind again. Sometimes, you just need that one thing to go right to signal you that everything will be OK. A couple of weeks ago I got a lead on a part-time job that would be perfect for me. But, of course, after hearing of the opportunity, I had heard nothing in spite of checking in a couple of times. It’s the old “hurry up and wait.” I know everything happens in “divine timing.” But, I’m human. I want things to happen now.

I told Ruth if that would just come through, it would go a long way toward brightening my mood. While we were on the call, I received this email from the person who told me about the opportunity. They are getting ready to set up training. I know next week is a holiday but do you guys have any availability next week?” Looks like it’s going to happen.

Later in the evening, I got the Friday Afterlife Report from Victor Zammit with the quote from Jurgen as the headline. What came to mind was that Jesus said to store up treasure in Heaven. There’s no monetary compensation for the work yet. I’m putting more out than it’s bringing in.

I’ll take those as indications I’m on the right path.

Last night I interviewed a physical medium. As a physical medium, apports appear in his presence. Coins, feathers, crystals will spontaneously appear “out of nowhere.”  He told me the story of someone he was speaking with about apports and she said “I want an apport.” and immediately a coin (if I call correctly) landed on his shoulder.

I’ve seen him on the one other interview he has given and during that interview, a feather floated down behind him, out of nowhere, indoors.

As we were doing the interview, I kept expecting something to fall on him or behind him. But, it didn’t happen. The thought that came to me afterward was “You do not have because you do not ask.”

This morning, as I was lying in bed, I thought “I’m going to ask. I want to find a coin on my walk today. Then, I thought I should be more specific. I asked for a dime.”

As I was walking, I looked down and spotted a coin on the road up ahead of me. As I drew closer I realized it was not a dime. It was a quarter. I remembered the medium saying we don’t always get what we want or expect. I put the quarter in my pocket and gave thanks for receiving the sign.

When I was nearing the house, I thought I should check the year of the quarter because sometimes the years of coins you find correspond to significant years. The year is 2015, the year Shayna transitioned.

 

One week ago today, I was in Bardstown, KY attending the Bourbon Festival when I got a notification on my phone. Helen started a Facebook Messenger group to tell us that our friend, Eric Middlebrook, had transitioned the day before. Eric passed unexpectedly, due to complications from surgery the week before that.

I was stunned. I didn’t tell Ty because I didn’t want to shock her while we were out in public. Eric and Pam are friends we had met at Nexus church. We attended together for years. We hadn’t seen Eric and Pam in a while. But, I keep in pretty close contact with Pam via Facebook. Their daughter Cydney also attended Nexus with us.

My heart immediately broke for Pam and for Cydney. Eric and Pam found each other later in life, after each had started families  with other spouses. They cherished each other. It was evident every time you saw them. Eric and Pam seemed to have been made for each other.

Eric is one of those guys about whom it is said: “He never meets a stranger.” Eric led a band of brothers he dubbed “The Good Time Dudes.” This group would go on adventures; hunting, fishing, motorcycling, whatever. Many of Eric’s friends were lifelong friends, from the time he was a child growing up not too far away in Hamilton, OH.

His funeral was held was in a park not far from us. The service was precisely as Eric would have had it. There was a formal portion of the service. But, the dress code was casual. The service was in a shelter in the park. We were invited to stick around after the service for festivities, as Eric would have had them.

I usually do not attend funerals that I don’t have an absolute responsibility to attend. I wanted to be there for Pam and Cydney. However, I knew Eric’s service would have more than enough people there to support them. I was not friends with many of Eric’s friends and felt my presence there might be a bit awkward. Tywana and I decided to go at least for the service to add our presence to what we knew would be a massive crowd there to honor Eric.

When we got there, the line to pay respects to Pam was long, as I expected it to be. The service was scheduled to start in a few minutes. Instead of taking the place of a family member or a closer friend in line, we made our way to a seat. In case I didn’t get the chance to speak to Pam before we left, I checked in on Facebook so she would at least know I had been there.

Several of Eric’s friends eulogized him during the service. No one could remember ever having a cross word with Eric. The stories were all about how much Eric loved every second of life and how he extracted every drop of joy life had to offer out of every second he was here.

The formal part of the service ended, and we were invited to stay for the festivities, as Eric would have had them. As Tywana and I were talking to Helen and her family, I smelled a cigar. Then, I noticed people were walking around with bourbon, in Glencairn glasses. This was certainly Eric’s service, done right! I was reminded of Lukas Graham’s “Funeral” which is to be played at my service.

Pam was available to talk. So, we made our way up to where she was. Having gone through the sudden loss of Shayna, I have some idea of what she’s feeling. There is shock. There is that unreal sensation when you leave the hospital without the person you took in. There is the rejection of this life you did not plan. Tywana and consoled Pam as much as possible. Pam had gotten my book on grief and told me she listened to it twice during the week. I am grateful it brought her some comfort. I assured her that Eric is still here and that I meant that literally. He is right here, right now.

I told Pam to give me a call in a few weeks after everyone has gone back to their routines. She said she wanted to. She wanted to know what to expect. She wanted to know about the signs. Then, she told us about signs she had already gotten from Eric in just these seven days. Goosebumps broke out all over my body as she relayed her story.

At Pam’s encouragement, I went inside to get a glass of bourbon to have in Eric’s honor. I mean, how could I not? I grabbed a cigar that one of Eric’s buddies had brought and Tywana and I mingled a bit. She pointed out that one of the guys there was wearing the same shirt I was wearing.

A few minutes later, one of Eric’s friends noticed I was wearing the same shirt as this young man, and he wanted us to pose for a picture. The shirt is a button-up floral print shirt.

I made my way over to where this young man was standing. We posed for the picture. I extended my hand, and we introduced ourselves. His name is Tyler. Then, someone told me that Tyler is Eric’s youngest son. I had never met Tyler.

The odd thing is that I struggled with deciding what to wear to the service. It was hot, the mid to upper 80s. So, I had to wear shorts. I typically dress to stand out. But, I wanted to be respectful and not wear something that would draw too much attention. The majority of the time, I grab something with barely a thought, put it on and go. I had another shirt on that Tywana said was fine. But, I thought it was too loud. I changed it and put on the floral print shirt.

 

Tyler and me. Obviously a man of impeccable taste.

It wasn’t until after I had left the service that I realized that one of the signs Pam had asked for had taken place there. I have many shirts I could have chosen to wear that day. The odds that Tyler and I would have the same shirt are pretty small. Conservatively, I chose from about twenty shirts. If Tyler chose from half that many, the odds we were wearing the same shirt were very slim.  The fact that we both have the shirt is an interesting coincidence. The fact that we both chose to wear it to Eric’s service, I don’t think was a coincidence. When things like this happen, the engineer in me kicks in and try to calculate the “p value”, the chance of the event happening randomly. I can’t say what the odds are of Tyler and me having the same shirt. But, if you multiply that by the odds of us both choosing it on that day, I think the odds are less than one in a thousand, easily Somewhere there is a picture. I hope Pam gets the picture.

Eric, we know you’re still here, and we know you’ll make your presence known. You’re too much of a force not to.

I have no idea how this happened. I came back to my desk and this photo was showing in Apple Photos. The last time I was in Apple Photos, I was putting pictures into Kayla’s College Graduation album. I had rebooted my computer and Apple Photos opened up.

The program was stuck on this photo. It was full screen and rotated 90º. The program was unresponsive. I could not open up the album or change anything. This is a screenshot because I could not minimize it. I right clicked and checked the Info screen. Most of the info screen was blank and said “Kayla’s College Graduation” at the top- the last album I was in. But, there was no way this picture should have been in that album. In fact, it’s not in that album.

I don’t know who the girls are. (update- Ty tells me they were on Shayna’s national volleyball team)  It’s a selfie from Shayna’s phone. It had to be taken right before she passed because her hair is short.

Then, right after this happened, I got this message from a medium friend that I was a test subject for in a reading. We have since become friends.

I was just thinking about you last night. Every evening, it’s my me time of the day so I reflect on the day and send healing etc, anyway I looked up and there’s your daughter with another young male I had seen with her, maybe Beth’s son, not sure. She’s smiling and happy and she says, Daddy. So that brought you to mind and I remember just how scared and intimidated I was to talk with you when I texted! I was so nervous you have no idea and that was my worst reading in the history of me, so sure I blew it! Anyway we just shared a small laugh about that and she said no he isn’t intimidating to me and held up her fingers like she had you wrapped around her little finger, it makes me smile now. Anyway just wanted to share!

Just the day before I found a feather on my walk, the first one in months. Three messages from Shayna in just a couple of days. She’s been on my mind more than usual, if that’s possible, because we all missed her so much at Kayla’s graduation. But, I knew she’d find a way to show up!

First thing, I had a dream about Shayna last night. It felt a lot like a visit. I had heard she was around. But, I hadn’t seen her. I was with Tywana and Kayla in a large church sanctuary and I was on my way out. I looked over and Shayna was sitting there in the pew directly in front of Tywana and Kayla. I went over to her and told her how good it was to see her. I don’t think she spoke. She was a little younger than she was when she passed, probably around twelve years old or so. I was able to grab her face and kiss her on the cheek. I told her that I couldn’t wait to see her again. Just as I said it, I realized the irony as I was seeing her and holding her at this moment. I knew this was temporary, but I don’t recall knowing it was a dream.

Something strange is happening that I don’t have a name for though. It’s not precognition. I don’t know what is going to happen. If this were happening in a movie or a novel, I guess it’d be called foreshadowing. Things like having a dream of my mailbox being knocked down and the next day on my walk finding a mailbox knocked to the ground. Listening to someone talk about a sign they would get from their daughter being a stranger stopping them and saying they knew her daughter and less than half an hour later, a stranger I had never met stopped me and told me she knew Shayna. This seems to be happening more often.

Yesterday, I was walking and listening to Russell Brand’s podcast. I was trying to recall a television character who is indecisive. I was having trouble coming up with the character. Then, it dawned on me. It was Chidi from “The Good Place”. I can’t remember why I was even trying to recall this character. But, I thought of him yesterday. Also, yesterday, as I was listening to Russell Brand, he read comments about a prior episode I had decided I was not going to listen to. The title had something to do with porn and I wasn’t all that interested. Based on the comments about the episode I downloaded it and decided to listen to it today. Near the end of the episode, the guest asked Russell if he had heard of the American television show “The Good Place”. I thought: “That’s odd. I was just thinking of ‘The Good Place'” yesterday. Then, out of all of the characters on the show, he mentioned Chidi, the indecisive college ethics professor. His point is that Chidi reminds him of himself.

Dr. Gary Schwartz, who I have the privilege of working with, in a peripheral capacity, is obsessed with synchronicities. I started to do my Gary analysis. How often do I think of “The Good Place”? Well, not that often. It’s in hiatus right now. Chidi is my favorite character on the show. So, my thinking of him, in particular, isn’t that surprising. But, what are the odds the next day I would listen to a podcast episode where the guest mentions “The Good Place” and Chidi? And, what does it mean, if anything? What are these coincidences even called?

Yesterday, I titled my blog post “snowflakes”. When I searched for an image of a snowflake, I was drawn to the image of ice crystals that I used on the post.

When I make a post, the next day at 9:00 an email goes out informing people about the new post. This morning, I was on my walk, when the email came in and the notification popped up on my phone. A few seconds later, I looked down and saw this ice crystal formation in the yard I was passing. The image I posted yesterday is on top.

 

 

The official race title is the Shamrock Shuffle. But, for my family, it’s the day we get together to memorialize Shayna.  For us, it’s Shayna’s Shining Stars Walk. During the gatherings at Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. we all think about Shayna. Some of us talk about her. Some of us avoid talking about her. This day is all about Shayna. Just as she would have it. Before Shayna passed we were somewhat associated with the Shamrock Shuffle, a 5K and 10K for charity. One year her Girl Scout troop did a project at the event and they asked me to be the photographer. But, since she has crossed over, we have used the event to raise money for her scholarship fund. Our neighbors, family, and friends contribute and over forty participate.

Tywana’s whole family, with the exception of her brother Eric, tries to make it into town for the race. Kayla comes down from Toledo for the weekend. From my side, only my brother Brent’s family comes- he, his wife and his four children. Last year, my cousin planned a party for our fathers the day of the race. This year, another cousin’s wedding was in Dallas on the same day. I’ve chosen to be here for Shayna’s Day instead of attending these events. This year, for the first time, Tywana’s sister and her family can’t make it. My brother has gone to Dallas for the wedding. Normally, we have a house full of people sleeping over on the eve of the race. This year it’s just Kayla and her boyfriend spending the night.

We have the traditional pasta party at our house the night before the race. Kayla is working late. So, she doesn’t get in until around 10 PM.

In spite of the no shows, we have 42 people on the team this year. Race day weather is iffy, as is the tradition. It’s Ohio, in March. At race time it’ about 35º without a hint of sunshine. There’s a light breeze. At least it’s not raining. Before the race we meet several members of the team at the clock tower for a photo. There aren’t enough at the house to get the traditional photo on the steps. Four of the Shayna Six, as a few of Shayna’s friends call themselves now, show up in their purple Smith t-shirts. Four years after her passing and a year after their graduation and they still show for her.

As the time for the race draws near, we line up for the start. I put in my earphones and get ready for the start. There are 2,300 people here. But, I walk alone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. When I do the race, I commune with Shayna. The runners sprint way out ahead of me. The people socializing during the race are behind me. I speed walk in the middle of the pack, thinking of my girl, grateful that forty friends, family, and neighbors spend their money and take their time to help us remember her even four years after her leaving her body.  I take each step bringing me one step closer to the finish line and think of it as one day closer in my journey back to Shayna. I wish she could be here. But, then it dawns on me if she were here, we wouldn’t be here. I’d still trade all of this to have her back though. She’d be a freshman at my alma mater, OSU.

After the race, we head home and have breakfast. I make waffles for the crew. Everyone leaves early leaving just Kayla, her boyfriend, Tywana and me.

We watch a movie and it’s time for bed. Kayla goes to let the dogs out the front door and comes back and asks “Do hummingbirds come out at night?” I tell her I don’t know since if they did we couldn’t see them. I’ve never seen one at night. She then says that she saw a hummingbird hovering on the front porch as she let the dogs out. This is early March in Ohio.  Hummingbirds are rare here, even in the spring and summer. They migrate South during the winter. There is no doubt it’s still winter. There should be no hummingbirds here. I haven’t seen a hummingbird since at least September. I’ve never seen one at night.

This morning, I take my seven-mile walk. I spot first a female cardinal, then a few minutes later a male cardinal. They both cross directly in front of my path. Several minutes later I look up and I see a heron high overhead. I see herons very rarely here. I think I’ve seen four in over twenty years, all within the last several months. Shayna sends birds to us as signs often. A hummingbird in March, two cardinals, a heron all in less than twenty-four hours. Thanks, Shayna! I hope you like what we did for your walk this time.

This is a heron.

 

 

In case you can’t read the above it goes like this:

Irene: As I’m reading Brian’s post in the car “wondering where the lions are” by Bruce Cockburn is playing…….Check out the lyrics

Brian: OK. This I really weird. The night before last, I had a dream that a bobcat was stalking me.  I don’t ever recall dreaming anything like that before.

Irene: “Sun’s up, huh, looks okay. The world survives into another day. And I’m thinking about eternity. Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me. I had a dream about lions at the door. They weren’t half as frightening as they were before. But, I’m thinking about eternity…”

Irene: Graceland played before this so I guess it’s safe to say the kids are with us?

Brian: As it (the bobcat) came at me, I was backing up toward the door wondering if I could make it inside before it pounced. “I had another dream about lions at the door” is a line in the song.

Irene: Holy crap!  Love when the girls work to get a message to the right parent.

Ty: Wow… so connected

Irene: Rich girl playing now! That’s Carly laughing.

Brian: Yeah. I woke up thinking “That was a weird dream.” I also dreamt a pack of dogs was approaching me, in another dream. But, I distinctly remember that bobcat dream.  I’ve never heard that song. I’ll have to play it.  That is so crazy.

Irene: It is amazing!!!!! Thinking about eternity.

Ty: It really is. Peaceful.

Brian: Which post were you reading? 

 (time goes by)

Brian: Look at what Jamie Clark posted 13 minutes ago. About the time we were talking about this.

Irene: Your blog about the reading with the new medium.  And Brian I was nudged to tell you about the song… So crazy and awesome.