By Melissa Face
In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend.
The year my sister Amanda died was undoubtedly the worst year of my life. While I tried to make some sense of what had happened, I often found myself on the receiving end of others’ stories.
People felt compelled to tell me that Amanda had visited them in their dreams. She told them that she was okay and that we were going to be okay also. “That’s nice,” I usually said, and then went about my business. I really didn’t believe them.
Other people told me that Amanda had sent them rainbows, butterflies, and feathers. “They are signs that she’s okay,” people explained. “Don’t you get it?”
I didn’t get why Amanda would choose to visit these people instead of me. Why would she send signs to her boyfriend’s mother, ladies at church, and distant cousins, but not to me? Why would she leave out her sister who needed more reassurance than anybody?
After a while, these stories made me furious. I felt more alone with each one I heard. And eventually, people stopped telling me.
Amanda died almost ten years ago. And in those ten years, I had married, welcomed my first child, and said goodbye to my first dog, Tyson, affectionately called Tysee. I had experienced a great amount of joy in the past decade, but I had not made peace with my sister’s death, until one day when I was playing outside with my son, Evan. Not quite two, he had a great vocabulary, incredible comprehension, and was quite logical. So, I wasn’t too surprised when he struck up a conversation with me.
“Sky Mommy,” he said as he pointed up.
“I see,” I told him. “It’s pretty, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Evan said, with a quick nod of his head.
“What do you see in the sky?” I asked him.
Evan looked up and around.
“Birds. Tweet tweet.”
“Very good,” I told him. “What else?”
I’m not sure what I was expecting him to say next. I thought he might be able to point to some clouds, the sun, or an airplane. He had noticed those things on previous occasions. But I was definitely not expecting his next response.
“I see Manda Tysee,” he told me.
Completely shaken, I asked him to say it again. It sounded like he was saying the names of my sister and my dog.
“Who do you see, sweetie?” I asked.
“I see Manda Tysee,” he repeated.
“In the sky?”
“Yes,” he confirmed. “Manda Tysee in the sky.”
“Okay,” I told him. “Let me know if you see them again.”
Then I left it alone. I didn’t want to upset him by continuing to ask for more information about something he was probably unable to explain to me. So, I waited for him to start playing again and then I called my parents.
I asked them if they had ever mentioned Amanda around Evan. They said they had told him her name when he pointed to a photograph and asked who she was. But they had never said Amanda was in heaven or made a reference to the sky. And neither had I. How do you explain the concept of death to a toddler? It’s hard enough for a thirty-three-year-old to understand.
I was completely thrilled. It was amazing that Evan was telling me that he could see my sister. And it was even more amazing that he saw Amanda and Tyson in the same place. It was something we had never discussed. How could he possibly know this? Unless it was true…
I have heard stories of children and the spiritual world before. I know that children are pure and are closer to God than most adults. So, it would make sense that my sweet Evan was experiencing something that was impossible for me to see. He was giving me my sign, my own personal gift. And the fact that he was completely unaware of it made it even more special.
We have not had another experience since that day. And though I would love to learn more, I have been given exactly what I need for now. My conversation with Evan gave me the sense of peace I had needed for ten years. It allowed me to let go of past anger, hold on tighter to present joy, and open my heart and mind to a future of eternal life and a grand reunion with the loved ones I have lost.
Thank you, Evan. What a beautiful, priceless gift.
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