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Friday, April 8, 2011


Truth is simply whatever you bring yourself to believe. – Alice Childress

Not long after Andie died I read a couple books pertaining to signs that our loved ones give us from the other side. I was terrified of missing some sign or communication due to lack of knowledge about the subject. One of the most common ways that our loved ones communicate, according to both books I read, is through electrical currents. Often flickering lights, or burned out lights, or things turning on and off for no apparent reason.

Four months after Andie died I decided to have the kitchen backsplash tiled. It was something he and I had discussed many times but never did because he didn't want to spend the money. He thought it was frivolous. When the tile guy came to give me the bid and measure the backsplash we discussed why I was deciding to do it. I jokingly said that I was doing it because my husband never wanted me to and now he wasn't around anymore to tell me "no". That day one of the recessed lights in the kitchen went out. We've never had any of the recessed lights go out in this house since we moved in. When it happened I joked that it was Andie's way of giving me a sign that he still disapproved of having the backsplash done. I replaced the bulb and didn't think anything of it again. A couple of weeks later the guys showed up to actually install the backsplash. That day another bulb blew out; a completely different one from the first one. And I started to really wonder if it was in fact a sign from Andie.

I have since had between 6-8 light bulbs go out in my kitchen in the last 6 months alone. The last two that burned out I never replaced because I got scared that I must have an electrical short and I didn't want to risk a fire. They've been burned out for several weeks now.

I had an electrician come to the house today to take a look. He checked the switches that turn the lights on. Both were perfectly fine. Then he went into the attic to make sure there wasn't a short, or a wiring problem. All looked good- so good that he complimented how great of a job the electrician that wired the house had done. I showed him the light bulbs I have been using to make sure I wasn't buying the wrong kind or wrong wattage. They were exactly what I needed according to him.

He said he had no reasonable explanation for why my lights would randomly be burning out. He said it was "strange" that it wasn't always the same light, and that it wasn't always burning out in the same way. For instance, sometimes they burn out after they've been on for a while, and other times when they've been off and you flip the switch they pop and go out. He said sometimes recessed lights go out when they overheat but then they come back on. He'd never heard of them popping and blowing like mine do, and he couldn't think of a reason that this would be happening. He said he'd talk with some other electricians that he knew to see if they had ever come across this problem, but it was nothing he could fix because there was nothing even wrong. Everything looked perfect.

"There's one more thing I want to tell you," he said before he left. "You're a really good mother. You're so attentive to your girls." I was almost brought to tears by the sincerity of the compliment, and by the fact that it was so out of context from the rest of our conversation. Especially since he had only been in my house and able to observe me with my kids for a couple of hours. I have to admit that for half a second I wondered if Andie was speaking to me through this man, perhaps sending me a message...

The fervor to see signs from Andie isn't as strong anymore.
I feel more content with the unknown than I did in the early days when answers and absolutes seemed necessary.
I still don't know what I believe about signs from the other side.
I'm still trying to find my own truth in that.
But I have to admit that after what happened today, my interest is piqued...


  1. I, like many people, have stumbled across your blog through a couple of others I follow. I started reading your story on Saturday night and have just finished it on Sunday afternoon... How petty to even say to you how sorry I am for what you've been through. And I tell you something else: I had a big fight with my husband (20 years this month) today and then felt like it was wrong for someone like you to lose your husband, while I still have mine. Sort of stupid, I know. I hope this will come across in the way I mean it, but I've found that life is rarely what you planned or hoped for. Not always BAD, but definitely different and more challenging. I have a son whom I adore, but he has always been a difficult child and he's now a difficult teen and he's flirting with some choices that could ruin, or even end, his life. When I gave birth, this was never what I had in mind as a mother. Although I would die for this child, it's not the life I signed up for. I've found that life is often about changing your expectations....

    All of that to say, you have changed my life this weekend. I am better for having read your blog.

    Bless you and your girls.

  2. Wow. I'm so sorry for your heartbreak.
    May I ask...what book did you read?

  3. Anonymous,
    I read
    Walking in the Garden of Souls by George Anderson, and
    Hello...Anyone Home by Joseph Higgins

  4. Hi Brooke, I was wondering how you are doing . . . I, too, searched for signs from Colt that he was nearby. That boy ate a bowl of popcorn almost every day of his life. He liked it cooked almost to the burnt stage which made it where nobody else would eat it, so he did not have to share. Twice, since he has been gone, I woke up in the middle of the night to the smell of popcorn permeating my bedroom. After stepping out into the hall, I could not smell it anymore. It was just my little gift, I believe.

    Your girls are beautiful, Brooke.