A gift for you from the Other Side (a.k.a. I can’t believe I’m doing this)

Liv with pic of Nana

Yesterday, I got a visit from my Nana. And then she brought some of your loved ones over, too. It was a day, from start to finish, of appearances and sacred signs that made my heart absolutely race. And that’s really saying something, since I’m pretty used to engaging with the Great Beyond. Let me give you the highlights because there’s a gift in it all for you.

Nana passed away nearly a year and a half ago, but when she was alive, she knew I could see and hear spirits and angels. She assured me multiple times that she’d be popping in, sending signs, and whispering in my ear (i.e. bossing me around!) once she was in Heaven. We had some good laughs – and shed a few tears – about that future reality. But after her passing, I didn’t hear much from her – up until these past few weeks (maybe you saw my Christmas tree story, for instance). It’s like she was picking up steam, gaining the energy and know-how to get through to me in a major way.

A Vivid Dream

Several days ago, I started noticing “spirit chatter” swirling around me, like the faded din of a busy restaurant. I was too busy to get still and tune in, so the spirits found another way to get my attention (they’re sneaky like that!). On Monday night, Nana came to me in a dream – so vivid and real that I was surpised the next morning when I woke up in my bed! In the dream, as I shared on social media, Nana and I were with old friends and dear family, sitting next to each other, having a marvelous time. Everyone was laughing, loving, reminiscing. And then I realized I was the only one who could see her. They weren’t talking to her…they were talking ABOUT her. I couldn’t believe they were missing her being right there!

Don’t forget – you see and hear what others can’t, Nana reminded me. And then she asked that I use that gift to let more people know their loved ones are near…they’re sitting at the restaurant with them, riding in the carpool with them, dancing in the living room with them. Oh! Mission accomplished, I told her. I’ll be teaching that soon! But she already seemed very aware of my recent decision to devote the next year of my online class, Project Light Year, to helping participants deepen their awareness of and connection to spirits and angels.

There’s more to share than you think and more people to reach, Nana said – but I didn’t quite understand. She then demonstrated some of the amazing ways she’s learned to play with time and space – and then I woke up, surprised to be in my bed since I could have sworn I’d just been in a restaurant with Nana.

A Crowded Room

Our interaction had been incredibly vivid and stayed with me into my waking hours, which is how I know Nana was really with me. But I didn’t know how to address the things she’d requested and shown me, so I set them aside and went on with my day. Until, that is, she showed up again. Not in dream form, but standing in my bedroom when I walked in. And this time, she brought a roomful of moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, children and pets all in spirit form, to back her up. Whoa.

Nana is a social butterfly, so I’m not surprised that she’s already made countless friends over there! She asked me to please listen to them. One man who died in his 50s told me his family tends to doubt or miss the signs he leaves for them. A mother who passed in her 70s showed me “all the pretty birds” she’d like to send if only her daughter would open the window blinds. A yellow lab ran circles around a sleeping baby, proud to be watching over the new arrival. A little boy wanted his family to know – and laugh about – all the funny pranks he’s been playing on them. My heart was racing as they each chimed in about the loved ones they’d love to re-establish an connection with, in a new and wondrous way. “You can help show them we’re right here,” one man said, and my heart sank a bit.

“I don’t have a way to find them for you,” I told the roomful of spirits. “You’d have to bring them to me, nudge them to find the class.”

Nana stepped up then and said lovingly, “We have – but some people can’t afford it, Liv-er. And we need to reach them, too.” Nana always did love a bargain – almost as much as being overly kind to total strangers. So I started to negotiate with the hopeful group of strangers in my room (ha, that sounds so crazy!). I ran through the numbers in my head, worried I’d lose money or send the wrong message about the course’s value. But they didn’t care for any of my discount suggestions – or my irrational fears.

I then heard someone in the crowd say, “You have to let them choose the price.” And the room filled with shouts of support. Wait, what? Choose their own price? For a full year of inspiration and connection? That suggestion sounded totally ridiculous (this is my livelihood, after all). But that idea also sounded beautifully, inexplicably right. If you do this, word will get around to all the right folks, another spirit said. Looking at all those loved ones gathered, eager to let their people know they’re okay and still around, I got all choked up. How could I say no?

By then, it was time to pick up my oldest at school. I almost missed my turn, I was so distracted thinking about how I’d make it work! There would be lots of administrative hoops to jump through; I knew I’d need to bring Jill, Happiness Manager for my biz, up to speed. As soon as we got back home, I pulled my phone out of my coat pocket and found that it was already calling Jill. I quickly ended the call before she answered – not even sure how to describe yet what was going on and what we needed to do. But it was crystal clear that Nana & Company wanted to get the ball rolling!

A Gift from the Other Side

The truth is, on paper, this makes no sense for my business – offering a whole year of content at an undetermined price, only days before class begins. But in my heart, I know none of that matters. I can feel the vibration of this request from on-high pulsing through me. I am choosing to trust it will all balance out, that the perfect people will be called to it, that an army of angels has my back. So here we go…

The regular price and our 12-month payment plan are still available – but now you’ll find there is a Pay-What-You-Can option for the 2016 edition of Project Light Year, which kicks off next Monday (1/11). Read about the class and community, then notice if your heart feels pulled to be part of it. If it does, scroll down to the Pay-What-You Can option and change the default amount – currently $1.00 – to the price that feels doable and perfect for you. All I ask is that you come to this experience with an open mind, an open heart, a grateful spirit and deep compassion for the tribe you’re becoming part of.

heaven - pay what you can

If you already signed up to be part of Project Light Year 2016, I want to be fair to all of you dear hearts. So watch for an email in your inboxes, giving you the opportunity to request a partial refund if the class fee you paid stretched you too thin.

Whenever I quiet my fears, whenever I calm my ego, whenever I listen to divine visitors and celestial whispers, amazing things unfold. I have no doubt this will be the case again. There are things I will be sharing that I don’t even know yet. There are people I’ll be meeting who will be blessings in my life. There will be stories and connections that will fill me up with glee. 2016 will be a year of pure magic and it’s only just begun.

Hello from the Other Side

Hello from the Other Side (Nana kissing Liv)

 

My Nana called on Sunday…from the Other Side. Last week, we found her old cell phone in the bottom of a drawer. At age 90, she passed away in the fall of 2014, so the phone obviously no longer has service. But my seven-year-old, Truman, didn’t care; he wanted to pretend the flip phone was his, so we charged it up. He loved showing his neighborhood friends the lit-up screen as he pretended to make calls.

 
That was fun for several days, but on Friday, Tru told me the phone only had 2% battery life left. “It’s gonna die,” he said as he put it on a family room table and happily skipped off to play with something else.

Fast forward to Sunday night. As we (finally!) decorated the Christmas tree, humming along to holiday songs on the iPod, I got all choked up. I’d forgotten that I’d kept Nana’s Swedish flag garlands and as soon as I pulled them out of the box, I could feel her with me so strongly. Putting up her Christmas tree was always an event with Nana; family would gather to decorate as she gave instructions and marveled at the beauty of the twinkling lights, meaningful ornaments and nods to our Swedish ancestry. Nana’s parents both came to the United States from Sweden and she was fiercely proud of her heritage. So, when we were packing up her belongings earlier this year and I saw the Swedish flag garlands, I knew I couldn’t let them go. I needed to hang them on our tree in honor of Nana and our wonderful, extended Swedish family.

As I began to hang the flags for the first time on Sunday night, I was struck by the song that started playing. It was Kristin Chenoweth’s beautiful Home on Christmas Day. Perfect timing. While she sang and I hung Nana’s garlands, my eyes filled with tears…

And now I promise you with all my heart this Christmas
That all the love we shared will never go away
Your spirit’s everywhere and I hope you know
That you are always here, home on Christmas Day

I knew my mom would be touched, so I texted her this picture and told her Nana was here. Then I posted it on Instagram, saying “I promise to take good care of them, Nana. God Jul!”

And that’s when Nana called.

Out of the blue, Brad and I heard a loud digital-sounding song start playing – a happy little jingle we’d never heard before. We looked around, then looked at each other with wide eyes as we noticed it was Nana’s phone. “Umm, I think Nana just called,” he said. He opened the flip phone, but it was dead. Maybe it was powering off, he reasoned – not knowing that it had only 2% battery a full two days before. My heart raced with delight; I knew with every cell in my body that Nana had found a way to reach out with impeccable timing, putting her stamp of approval on our flag-adorned Christmas tree. My mom and I joked that Nana had finally figured out how to use her cell phone (I’m sure they have amazing tech support on the Other Side!). And now, every time I look at our beautiful tree, I feel like Nana decorated it with me.

lightbulb in hand - project light year 2016The holidays can be so hard when we’re missing loved ones who have crossed over. But when we open our hearts to the possibility that they are with us still, lift our vibration to meet theirs, and pay attention to the signs of their presence…magic happens. I have seen it time and time again in my own life and in the gasp-worthy experiences of friends and clients.

This is why I’ve decided to devote all of next year to joyfully exploring and sharing the multitude of ways we are supported, watched and cared for by beloveds in the Great Beyond. Sacred Sign Language is the just-announced theme of Project Light Year 2016. If your heart feels called to know more, find details and early bird pricing here. I would love to spend next year in awe with you.

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(This essay originally appeared in my Divine Interventions newsletter and received such a loving response, I decided to share it here, too.)

holiday greetings from the other side: 6 heaven-sent signs to watch for

6 ways your loved ones may be visiting from the other side

To kick off the holidays, we had a family movie night on Sunday. We dimmed the lights, I lit the five votive candles that spell out P-E-A-C-E on the mantel, and we all snuggled up for the A Muppet Christmas Carol. A few minutes into the movie, one of the candles blew out. A few minutes later, another. Usually, those votives last a few hours. But by the time the 85-minute movie was over, only the “P” remained lit.

“Hmmm, I’m guessing Papa wants us to know he’s watching, too,” I told the boys.

After the kids were in bed, the house was quiet; Brad sat down to write out some holiday cards for his staff and I sat down at the laptop. Suddenly, a sound in the living room startled us: it was the Beatles, singing “Love Me Do.” Just then, the “P” candle on the mantel went out.

Brad laughed, opened his arms wide as if about to give someone a hug, and said, “Ahhh. Hi, Pete!” In the three years since my dad died, the Beatles – one of my dad’s fave groups (we even sang Hey Jude at his memorial service) – have randomly begun playing on our iPod’s docking station, oftentimes in the middle of the night, so many times we’ve lost count. There’s no telling what song will play. But the candle trick that night made this serenade extra impressive, and we took that music as a direct message from my dad: “Love, love me do. You know I love you. I’ll always be true. So pleeeeeeeease…love me do.” We do, Dad, we do.

Even though I talk to spirits and angels for a living, trusting what I hear from my own loved ones is still difficult. If I’m busy or distracted, I don’t always notice them. And sometimes, I wonder if I’m just imagining what I want to hear if I’m missing my dad, grandparents or others. So to get these little earthly signs is so reassuring.

Your loved ones on the Other Side are likely doing the same for you, going out of their way to let you know they’re around. I’ve had so many readings lately during which parents, grandparents, siblings and friends have come through to let their people here know that the signs they’re seeing are really from them, just to let them know they’re loved and not alone.

We can explain these things away, or we can trust that flutter of our hearts when something odd or serendipitous happens that feels Heaven-sent. Notice how you FEEL when these things happen; if you get the chills, your heart leaps, you get teary-eyed or spooked (not their intended outcome, by the way!), acknowledge your loved ones so they know it’s working and that you want to continue feeling blessed by their presence. So, what should you watch for?

Here are 6 common ways your loved ones may be trying to reach you…  

Playing with electricity. The spirits of our loved ones are all energy, all vibration. So manipulating the energetic properties of electricity seems to be a fairly easy way for them to send us a message: the lights flicker, a device randomly turns on or off, a machine works without being plugged in, etc.

Sending signals. Another way they play with energy is by intercepting or playing with a communication signal. For instance, you hear static on the radio, a song or message you both loved plays at an unexpected place or time, the door bell rings repeatedly (with no one at the door), or your cell phone does something wild (I’ve had multiple people tell me they’ve received silent voice mails from a deceased loved one’s number shortly after their passing).

Hanging out in nature. Spirits seem to love working with messengers who have the gift of flight: birds (especially those that stand out, like bright red cardinals), butterflies and dragonflies are most common. But anything in nature that had/has special significance for you can be sent to signify you’re not alone. Years ago, I had a reading with my friend Suzanne, and my grandpa told me to watch for “strange birds” as a sign he was around. The next day, I saw a PEACOCK strutting through my office parking lot! I’ll never forget it!

Making magic. When they can, our loved ones delight in orchestrating little bits of synchronicity for us. It’s those impossible-to-plan moments when we say, “I know _________ had something to do with this!” For instance, check out the gift I got from my Nana last month! 

Sending earth angels. When our loved ones can’t get through to us, they sometimes send someone else into our lives to be a blessing or unknowingly deliver a message. This story, when “George M” watched over us, is a fun example. 

Visiting in dreams. When a loved one who’s crossed over appears in a dream, and you vividly recall it after waking, trust that you’ve had a heavenly visitor. When we sleep, we separate from the limitations of our mind, and don’t question or doubt a visitor from another dimension.

These reassuring messages from the Great Beyond come when we least expect it. If you’re watching out your window or staring at your candles longing for some kind of communication, you actually make it harder for them to get through. There’s a difference in our own energy when we’re desperate and down; in that emotional state, we tend to question or totally miss the positive energetic engagement our loved ones are attempting to establish with us. The greatest gift you can give yourself and them is to live fully, to enjoy earthly pleasures and pastimes, while trusting that your loved ones are standing by, visiting often, and dropping heavenly hints whenever the time is right.

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Want to learn more about connecting with the Great Beyond? It’s a big theme during Project Light Year, and I’m amazed by the number of participants who have said this exploration has truly changed their lives. The early bird discount ends Friday; click here for details. 

Sweet Serendipity: Signs From the Road

Shortly after we lost my dad last fall, I felt like I was being called to California. He had planned to spend time teaching there after his so-called retirement this year. So, when I learned about two creative workshops in Berkeley with awesome-blossoms Andrea Scher and Kelly Rae Roberts, I knew it was my cue to head west.

The first two days of my California trip were primarily spent with academics that my dad worked with and loved. I stuck out like a sore thumb, I suspect. I over-shared, I cried a couple of times, and I probably didn’t even use the right fork at meals. But I cherished my time with these professors and researchers as I gather information and contribute to pushing my dad’s vision for Sparks forward. I listened to their stories about him, learned more about their work, and imagined him walking through those campus courtyards and hallways with books under his arm and pens in the pocket of his button-down shirt. I wondered whether he was aware of and okay with my interactions with these scholars, despite me stumbling all over myself.

Next, I flew up to the bay area for the second leg of my trip. On Saturday, the photography workshop with Andrea started at 10am. I just assumed the second workshop, on Sunday, started at the same time. Umm, it did not; turns out I was an hour early. So, I walked to a nearby cafe in Berkeley and began to write down some reflections in my itty bitty notebook. I sat down by the window with my chai latte and had only written about 10 words when my phone rang. It was Suzanne, a friend I’ve mentioned here before who’s a professional intuitive. I answered.

“Where are you?” she asked.

California, I told her. And she proceeded to say she just had to call because she could see me so vividly writing in a quiet place with a little notebook, by the ocean. The closer I am to the ocean, she said, the clearer I am. It’s totally true; I feel more like myself whenever I’m by the sea. I told her I had already spent some time at Santa Monica Beach, but she urged me to find a way to get back to the ocean again before leaving.

And then she said my dad was “with” her, hand over his heart. Saying I did him proud. Saying I did better than he could have {which is so like him}. Saying I brought a modern energy to the work, to the conversations, and that he couldn’t be more proud. In tears, I told Suzanne what he was talking about, that I’d just spent two days with some of his peers talking about sparks. I thanked her for reaching out at the perfect time. Had she called an hour later, I wouldn’t have been available to get that sweet message from my dad.

I walked back to Teahouse Studio, hoping my face wasn’t too blotchy from crying. The place looked magical; I found my seat and saw this beautiful message awaiting me:

It took my breath away. It was such a sweet gesture to lovingly call out my own spark – and extra-meaningful after my experience at the coffee shop. After our workshop, I asked if anyone knew how I could get to the ocean before flying out the next day. Someone suggested a nearby bay, but Andrea stopped them.

“No, you want the real shit, right? Like the ocean ocean.”

EXACTLY! She pointed me to Cliff House in San Francisco – a restaurant perched over Ocean Beach. It wouldn’t be easy to get to and I’d have luggage with me, so she said, “Let’s just manifest a really kind person there who will take care of your bags.” The girl speaks my language. I immediately envisioned it being a total breeze – and I could sense her doing the same for me.

The next morning, rather than navigate the subway and train systems with my suitcase, I splurged and took a cab. I had no idea the ride would be so long, but I was lucky to have a fantastic driver named Ricky. We talked about his background, his dream of becoming a police officer, his love of helping people – essentially, we talked about his spark. He absolutely lit up when I offered suggestions for furthering his dreams.

When we finally arrived at Cliff House, he offered to pick me up later and take me to the airport. I wouldn’t have to worry about calling another taxi. And you guys? He kept my bags while I ate lunch and took pictures along the beach. It was the perfect ending to my trip; another sign from the road that I am always right where I belong.

 

 

 

 

Look Who’s Calling: Talking To The Other Side

First, let me say how much your comments and emails and tweets lifted me up after my last post. Wow. You are all so wise and thoughtful; I truly have the best readers ever. Some of you urged me to watch for signs that my dad is still around me. Oh, I do! And he has already come through loud and clear in many ways.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the afterlife and the possibility of feeling, sensing and communicating with those on the Other Side. We live in a universe bigger than we can imagine, on a planet that spins with perfect timing, blessed by inexplicable synchronicity and serendipity day after day. With all these unfathomable miracles in our midst, it seems a given to me that God would have also orchestrated ways for us to connect with our loved ones soul-to-soul when hand-in-hand is no longer possible.

Over the years, I’ve read dozens of books on this, watched so many shows, and listened to stories from countless people who have felt the very real presence of angels, spirit guides and loved ones. Many experts who have studied this phenomenon say the spirits of our loved ones exist at a much higher vibration level than those of us left down here. We’re weighed down by worries and burdens and, of course, our physical bodies.  This makes it tough to communicate directly, the way we’re used to. But there’s a common theory that the elevated energy levels in Heaven makes it easier for our beloveds to connect with us at higher vibrational levels – especially in our dreams {when our subconscious is most open}and via electronic devices like phones, radios, and TVs. Ever heard a song on the radio that you just knew was a little wink from above?

On the day we took my dad to the hospital because he felt so yucky, my brother and I were on our cell phones a lot with our mom, who had left for New York before we could catch her {don’t worry – she came back!}. After a few hours, my phone was running low on juice, so I borrowed my dad’s iPhone to call her. When I hit the button to “wake up” his phone, the screen showed the contact page for my Grandma Benson – his mom. He used to call her every single night, but there’s no way he had tried to call her earlier that day. She had died five months earlier. I proceeded to call my mom, going to her contact page in the phone and clicking on her number. After we talked, I hit “end call.” My dad’s iPhone screen immediately went right back to my grandma’s contact page. Again!? When I told him, he was equally surprised; I remember saying maybe she was calling to check in on him at the hospital. Now I wonder if she was actually helping to call him Home.

As I said earlier, I’ve been keenly aware of signs from my dad since he passed. Most feel too sacred and personal to share here right now, but as long as I’m talking about phone calls, I’ll relay this one to you…

My birthday was the day after my dad’s memorial service last week. Birthdays are a big deal in our family, so it was lovely to spend last Tuesday with relatives who were still in town. But I was so aware that, for the first time ever, I hadn’t heard from my dad on my birthday.

That night, I noticed there was a message on my cell phone. It was from my friend, Suzanne, who’s a professional intuitive. In the message, she said my dad had come through to her from the Other Side repeatedly that day, almost badgering her. “I hope you don’t mind me leaving this message,” she said. “But since 8am this morning, your dad has been begging me to call you and wish you a happy birthday. He insists I have to sing the song to you!” I nearly dropped the phone. On every birthday since I left home, I’ve awoken to a phone call from my parents, listening to them sing “Happy Birthday” to me over the phone. If my dad was on a business trip or had an early meeting, he’d find a way to call on his own; he was a terrible singer, but he always sang the birthday song to me with gusto. There were other details Suzanne shared in her message that validated for me it really was my dad. I was so floored that he’d made sure his latest trip – to the Other Side, no less – wouldn’t keep him from singing to me on my birthday.

Recounting these stories is healing for me; I’m reminded how thin the veil between here and there really is. I hope in some way they’re helpful for you, too. Of course, I’d much rather have my dad physically here. With every day that passes, my longing for another hug or a long chat gnaws at me more. But I’m confident he’s here in other ways, still very much part of my life, which is the next best thing.

When Hope Takes Flight {09.07.11}

The other day, as I pulled out of our garage, I saw tiny wings flapping out of the corner of my eye. Gorgeous orange wings. I stopped the car, got out and stood still in our front yard for several minutes, watching this stunning monarch feast on flowers, then swoop up into the air and dance around my head. You’re a messenger, I thought. Bringing good news, I hoped. My heart swelled, my eyes watered, my pulse quickened.  I quietly thanked her for coming, holding back tears as I climbed back into the car where my boys were waiting for me.

I wanted so badly to believe she came for a reason – to symbolize positive change, to deliver hope on a wing and a prayer. But I worried it was all in my head, merely wishful thinking. Despite trying like crazy to stay positive, I was anxious about my dad’s fourth surgery in four weeks – one more attempt to reveal and relieve the cause of his skyrocketing billirubin levels {a concern for anyone, but especially for someone in cancer treatment}. Since his diagnosis a year ago, he’d remained so strong and upbeat despite his ever-changing treatment plan. And we, his family, have followed suit – remaining positive, envisioning miraculous healing, keeping the faith. Then, out of the blue, complications arose. And after three surgeries in a row did nothing to help my dad feel better {but, rather, made him feel worse}, I have to admit I started to worry. I got anxious. I got frustrated. I cried big crocodile tears.

When that butterfly showed up, something changed. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders as she danced around me, gliding through the air on tissue-paper-thin wings, reminding me anything is possible. And I held that image of her close to my heart yesterday, as my dad faced surgery yet again.

Once he was in the operating room, I grabbed a quick lunch with my mom and brother in the hospital’s 8th floor cafeteria. We sat at a table by the windows, doing our best to think good thoughts and feel the love being sent our way by family and friends. And then magic happened: three bald eagles flew past our window, doing their own dance in mid-air, swooping and gliding and taking our breath away. And the show continued as a lone butterfly – eight stories up, mind you – fluttered past, promptly followed by a dragonfly. We laughed out loud, completely floored by the divine parade of symbolic, spiritual creatures.

Shortly after we returned to the waiting room, the surgeon arrived with amazing news: to his own surprise, he’d been able to clear previously undetected blockage and infection in my dad’s liver. The doctor admitted he’d gone into the surgery feeling pessimistic, but emerged feeling like it couldn’t have gone any better. My heart swelled, my eyes watered, my pulse quickened. New hope had arrived, delivered on a wing and a prayer. Actually, a bunch of wings and a bunch of prayers. I’m so grateful for and amazed by them all.

When Hope Takes Flight {09.07.11}

The other day, as I pulled out of our garage, I saw tiny wings flapping out of the corner of my eye. Gorgeous orange wings. I stopped the car, got out and stood still in our front yard for several minutes, watching this stunning monarch feast on flowers, then swoop up into the air and dance around my head. You’re a messenger, I thought. Bringing good news, I hoped. My heart swelled, my eyes watered, my pulse quickened.  I quietly thanked her for coming, holding back tears as I climbed back into the car where my boys were waiting for me.

I wanted so badly to believe she came for a reason – to symbolize positive change, to deliver hope on a wing and a prayer. But I worried it was all in my head, merely wishful thinking. Despite trying like crazy to stay positive, I was anxious about my dad’s fourth surgery in four weeks – one more attempt to reveal and relieve the cause of his skyrocketing billirubin levels {a concern for anyone, but especially for someone in cancer treatment}. Since his diagnosis a year ago, he’d remained so strong and upbeat despite his ever-changing treatment plan. And we, his family, have followed suit – remaining positive, envisioning miraculous healing, keeping the faith. Then, out of the blue, complications arose. And after three surgeries in a row did nothing to help my dad feel better {but, rather, made him feel worse}, I have to admit I started to worry. I got anxious. I got frustrated. I cried big crocodile tears.

When that butterfly showed up, something changed. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders as she danced around me, gliding through the air on tissue-paper-thin wings, reminding me anything is possible. And I held that image of her close to my heart yesterday, as my dad faced surgery yet again.

Once he was in the operating room, I grabbed a quick lunch with my mom and brother in the hospital’s 8th floor cafeteria. We sat at a table by the windows, doing our best to think good thoughts and feel the love being sent our way by family and friends. And then magic happened: three bald eagles flew past our window, doing their own dance in mid-air, swooping and gliding and taking our breath away. And the show continued as a lone butterfly – eight stories up, mind you – fluttered past, promptly followed by a dragonfly. We laughed out loud, completely floored by the divine parade of symbolic, spiritual creatures.

Shortly after we returned to the waiting room, the surgeon arrived with amazing news: to his own surprise, he’d been able to clear previously undetected blockage and infection in my dad’s liver. The doctor admitted he’d gone into the surgery feeling pessimistic, but emerged feeling like it couldn’t have gone any better. My heart swelled, my eyes watered, my pulse quickened. New hope had arrived, delivered on a wing and a prayer. Actually, a bunch of wings and a bunch of prayers. I’m so grateful for and amazed by them all.