So I know I've mentioned before that my Father passed away two and a half years ago and that I didn't have the best relationship with him. I'm not quite ready to tell the whole story because it's not a place I like to dwell. He was not a good man. He was not a good Father. By a lot of people's standards, he wasn't even a good person. But of all the things he wasn't, he was still my Father and the only one I was given in this life.
When I was 6 years old, my Father got into a motorcycle accident with his best friend Jeff. Jeff passed away at the scene, in the middle of the road, early in the morning. My Father died twice on the way to the hospital, and was life-flighted to a nearby hospital where he was not expected to live. This day changed not only who I was as a person, but how I was to know my Father, and the direction my life would take.
This was one of those days that, as they say, will forever live in infamy. At least for me.
But I'll get more into that story later, and I'll share all of it. I really do plan to go there someday, but today is not that day.
So, ever since my Father passed away he has sent me signs. And before you go and dismiss me and think that I'm crazy, please hear me out. This is very much real. I can feel him. Not in my head either. I can sometimes physically feel his presence beside me. You will never understand it until it happens to you.
I could write an entire post on the signs and ways my Father has visited me, but I need to share this one in particular because it happened just the other day. See, my Father and I have this connection with birds. It goes really deep, and it's all connected in several ways. I know, could I be any more vague?
The song "Freebird" is very closely connected to my Father, and when I was a child he would always make me sing "Wind Beneath My Wings" to him. The day he died, the hospital Chaplain was in his room praying with him when she heard a cooing at the window. She turned to find an all-white Dove perched on the ledge staring straight into his room. She said she'd never in all her years seen that happen before.
And then there's all the bird's he's sent me. But that's for another day.
So this particular time, two Friday's ago to be exact, from the second I opened my eyes that morning I had my Father on my mind. It's not uncommon for me to think of him, I do quite often. But this day just felt different. So I got ready for the day and I was standing at my dining room table getting my purse when I glanced up and locked eyes with a picture I have of him on a shelf. It just felt like he was there and I was looking right at him. It always makes me happy to feel that way, especially since I could never say that when he was alive.
I walked out into my driveway to leave for work and as I took the first step, this entire flock of birds took off from the patch of grass between our driveway and the neighbor's. They flew in a perfect line towards the sun. I couldn't help but grin, because I knew it was him. So when I got in the car I turned on my "Dad" playlist on my iPod and listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nazareth, and AC/DC the whole way to work. His favorite songs of course.
My day wasn't any different from the rest, answering calls, taking care of appointments, etc etc. This particular day a man named Jeff kept calling. He would seriously call just about every hour. I thought, take a break Jeff, we'll get back to you when we can bro. I didn't think anything else of it.
At around 10 'til noon I got a phone call from this girl who needed to speak with someone in our office. As is protocol to do, I had to look her up in the system first, so I asked her her name. When she told me what it was, my heart sank into my stomach. And I mean that literally, it felt like my heart just plopped right onto my gut and it felt about as heavy as a brick.
She was the daughter of one of my Father's old best friends. My Dad, her Dad, and Jeff, the man who died in the motorcycle accident were inseparable. I had to put her on hold so that I could get my shit together for a minute. It freaked me out big time. So when I got back on the call I took her name down and went to write down the date and that's when I realized what was really going on.
The date was September 6th, 2013. Twenty years ago to the day that my Father got into his motorcycle accident. The one that killed him twice. The one that killed his best friend permanently. The one that altered the course of my life forever. The day that lived in infamy.
It all made sense why my Father was with me from the start. I woke up at 6:20 that morning, which was approximately around the time that the accident occurred. He followed me throughout my day giving me little signs, trying to remind me. The birds, the Jeff guy calling all day. All of it. To me, it was him. I can't be convinced otherwise.
I just about had a panic attack once I put all of the pieces together. Not because I was scared, or because I needed any more convincing that my Father visits me and sends me signs. But because every once in a while it will still hit me like a ton of bricks. For most people, their Dad's will call them or they will see them regularly. I never had that in my life. So to be visited by your deceased Father and have him send you signs can still be a little freaky. Very much welcome, but still freaky.
This has been on my mind a lot the past few days. I wanted to write about it sooner, but it's just something that is hard to put into words. As if you all didn't think I was bat-shit crazy to begin with, now you know that I believe in signs from the dead. I'm a mixed bag for sure.
Whether or not you believe all of this, or even if it's happened to you, you have to understand that for me, this is all a part of the process. Grieving never ends. I still cry like a baby for my Father and I probably always will. Not because I love him for the shitty things he did, or because I revere him as this great mythical man who was so admirable. But because he was my Father, and that just is what it is. I can love him now that he's gone. I can forgive him for everything. Because I choose to. I want to be at peace. And I know that he's at peace now, so we both deserve to be okay with the past. We're never going to change it.
It's like my Mom used to always tell me as a kid "You don't have to love him for what he does, just love him for who he is."
He was my Father. He was not perfect. And he's no longer alive to make it right. So for me, these signs are his way of reminding me that we're both free as birds now. And that it's okay to love him.
Because it really is.