6 Stories of Divine Signs

When our loved ones leave this world, does our connection with them end?

English: An old pocket gold watch
Wiki Commons/JaneArt

King Kong
By Maribeth Graham

My daddy, he was somewhere between God and John Wayne.
—Hank Williams, Jr.

“My Kong is falling from the building,” I whispered into his ear as he lay dying in the hospital bed. Since I was a child, I called my father my Kong, after King Kong. I believed that he was just as strong as the giant ape. As he faced death, I did my best to help release him to the next life.

Two months after he passed away my sister called to ask if I would like to go see Lisa Williams, a well-known medium. I was familiar with Lisa from her show on Lifetime, and since I was eager to get a sign from my father, I agreed to go.

The center was packed, with every one of the nineteen hundred seats filled. We were in the second to the last row, way back from the stage.

I clutched my father’s gold-plated watch (my sister suggested I bring a personal item of his) and listened as Lisa helped audience members communicate with their loved ones. I knew it was only going to be a matter of time until Lisa directed her attention our way. “I have a grandfather-like figure with me and he is speaking about his granddaughter Julie,” she announced. The audience was quiet; no one raised a hand. I nudged my sister and whispered to her that this was Dad and he wasn’t saying “Julie,” he was saying “Jilly.” My third child and my father had a deep bond and he called her Jilly, short for Jillian.

Although I sensed his presence, I wasn’t confident enough to raise my hand. I needed something a bit more concrete, something indisputable.

“This man is letting me know he had cancer,” she continued. I nudged my sister harder and assured her this was him. I raised my hand and was disappointed to see a woman in the middle row raising hers. Lisa asked both of us to stand so she could figure out which one of us she needed to speak to. She went on to say that this person died in June (my father had died June 8th). There was swelling of the legs (he had severe edema in the last few days that required special stockings). At this point she was still uncertain which one of us was the correct party.

“Important information,” she called out. My heart pounded. I jumped up when she asked, “Which one of you is holding his watch?” I waved the watch in the air.

“Happy Birthday,” she said. It was September 15th and my birthday was one week prior on the 8th. “He wishes you congratulations also.” My fourth child was born three weeks after he died. I was in shock and could not believe I was getting a chance to hear from my father, yet I knew our bond was strong enough that if he could come through he would. She banged on her chest like an ape and apologized, saying, “I don’t know why but he wants me to do this like Tarzan.” It didn’t resonate with me until my sister called out “King Kong!” I was convinced. No way could this woman have ever known a detail that intimate and single me out in a crowd unless Dad was communicating through her.

Each bit of information she gave us was just as meaningful. She ended our session by informing us that he would send us dimes. The very next day I found six dimes in various places; they seemed to have come out of nowhere. Even in death he is my Kong, and he remains an important of my life.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Next: A daughter connects with her dad »

Old Post Office Pavillion clock tower
Wiki Commons/dbking

The Connection
By R’becca Groff

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.
—Author Unknown

I sat at my desk recording the week’s stack of résumés when someone behind me shoved their jagged nails into the small of my back. The pain radiated into my kidneys. Even the natural childbirth I’d experienced recently couldn’t compete with the debilitating strangeness of this attack.

The intensity pushed me forward and I gripped the edge of the desk. I needed it to let up—I didn’t think I could stand it much longer. And then it was over. I took a deep breath and looked around. The clock on the wall showed 2:30 p.m. As I sat there, uneasy at the thought that the pain might return, I felt grateful that I could go home in two hours. I waited for the pain to return, wondering what could be going wrong with me that would cause such an onset of vicious discomfort. The pain didn’t return and I finished out the day, retrieved my infant daughter from the babysitter and headed home.

In light of that episode, I asked my husband to watch the baby while I took a short rest, thinking maybe that’s what my body was trying to tell me. Working moms pull out all sorts of stops to cover both the work front and the home front, and I do believe our bodies tell us when we’ve pulled out a few too many stops. We need to pay attention to the messages.

Several hours later I opened my eyes, feeling wonderful yet a bit guilty as I had slept way longer than I intended. My husband pushed the bedroom door open, baby girl on his hip.

“Are you awake yet?”

His tone was flat and I thought he was upset because I slept so long. We hadn’t had supper, the baby probably had been fussing and I hadn’t attended to any of it. And yet it wasn’t in his nature to begrudge or complain about things like that. But something was on his mind.

“Yeah—I’m awake. What have you two been up to?”

He came and sat on the edge of the bed next to me. The room was dark and I couldn’t see his face.

“Is something wrong?” I asked him.

“Your mother called. Elmer had a heart attack.”

I sat up straight. Dad had a heart attack?

“When? Where is he? What hospital did they take him to?” I asked, kicking my legs over the side of the bed, as if my hurrying to get out of bed and get my shoes on was going to get me to him any quicker.

“He’s not in the hospital.”

My brain took a moment to process this fact, and it made no sense to me, of course. A person has a heart attack; the ambulance races them to the closest hospital. All the doctors and nurses come running and eventually the patient is stabilized and moved to their own room—right?

“He didn’t make it, Bec.” A quick hug and he and the baby left me alone with this, and my mind wrestled with those thoughts that bombard a person when they receive such news. He wasn’t even sixty-two yet… he couldn’t die. Was this really happening?

Downstairs I asked my husband why he didn’t wake me up when my mother called.

“She said to let you sleep. There wasn’t anything to be done. She’ll call you later tonight.”

“When did it happen?”

“Earlier this afternoon.”

My father died in Minnesota, just over the state line from Iowa, and Minnesota state law at the time required an autopsy. The coroner’s report arrived several weeks later. I had to look every other word up in my medical dictionary, but the gist of the matter was summed up in terms I understood… 90% blockage… 100% blocked… 85% blockage noted on the such and such… scar tissue observed… indication of possible earlier episode. Death was instantaneous.

What was it he’d told me at Christmas about feeling suddenly dizzy and having to lie down on the car seat until the sensation passed? He thought maybe he’d taken in a dose of carbon monoxide while waiting for my mother to finish her shopping.

There it was at the end of the report. The thing I’d been wondering about ever since they told me he died in the middle of the day. The official time of death on record.

2:30 p.m.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Next: A sister sends a strong sign »

Pindari Glacier Sun and Rays
Wiki Commons/Asset173

A Gift From the Sky
By Melissa Face

In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend.
—Catherine Killigrew

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.

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.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Next: A father delivers a talisman for comfort »

North Carolina quarter, reverse side, 2001
Wiki Commons/USMint.gov

Dad’s Quarters
By Loren Slocum

All that is in heaven… is also on earth.
—Plotinus

My dad always collected quarters. He was delighted when the new U.S. state quarters were announced. He would go to his longtime neighborhood banker and make sure they put at least twenty rolls of each new quarter aside for him. It was a special treat and a family tradition to get your quarters from Grandpa. He gave them to his children, to his grandchildren and closest friends. He loved the whole process of collecting—carefully placing one of each state quarter in the special collectors edition portfolio as they were issued.

When my dad passed, I felt such a sense of emptiness. My father and I had been so close, I was lost without his guidance, support and wisdom. I wondered if I would ever feel my dad around me again. I wished I could have some kind of reassurance that he was there, watching over me. It was right after Hurricane Katrina and I was doing a motivational seminar for about three hundred volunteers. At the end of the event, everyone was in a circle and as I looked at the faces of these generous, committed individuals—I felt so grateful and appreciative. I again wished my dad were there to see me with these amazing people. I looked down in the center of the circle. To my astonishment, I saw nothing on the floor except for one state quarter, from North Carolina, the state in which my dad was born and raised.

Then, two months later, I went back to North Carolina to visit my mom. While I was there, I went to the bank to cash a check. The bank manager, who had known me since I was a little girl, called me into her office. The quarters for all the states my dad had ordered were in the corner of the office. She didn’t know why, but she felt she needed to hold them for me.

Ever since that time, throughout the years, I have found quarters at the most extraordinary times, when I needed support the most. When I needed the strength to pull my son’s tooth (a job that my dad used to be responsible for), a quarter miraculously appeared. When I need emotional support during a tough time, a quarter will show up in a strange place.

It has now become a tradition in our house and family. Every time a quarter appears, one of my kids says, “Oh, it’s Grandpa!” At the most unbelievable times—even in foreign countries—a quarter appears. I found an American quarter in Fiji! Even in my brand-new car—when I picked it up from the dealership, I found a quarter under the mat.
My daughter, my two sons, my mom, my friends, and I all feel a sense of peace and comfort every time a lone quarter turns up in an unexpected place. We have all accepted it as a message of love, guidance and support from my dad—and every new quarter we find makes us smile.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Next: A wife receives pennies from heaven »

Penny pennies coins copper
Wiki Commons/Jon Sullivan

Buckets of Pennies
By Sallie A. Rodman

When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal.
—Author Unknown

“Bette, how can I go on?” I said, pleading for an easy answer.

“Sallie, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other every day. It is not a destination but a journey,” she counseled me.

My mind drifted back to that ugly day when this journey had begun. Paul, my husband of forty-six years, had died suddenly at the age of sixty-nine. I was set adrift in a sea of grief. My days were filled with sadness and crying. I longed for his touch, his laugh and his presence. My children had grown up and had families of their own; they were scattered in far off cities.

I also missed the way we ran our household as a couple. Paul took care of the outside and all the maintenance on our home while I took care of the inside. I missed this stability in my life. Broken sprinklers, dying dishwashers, big purchases such as garage doors and home repairs were foreign to me. I was swimming as fast as I could to cope with not only my loss, but also my new duties as head of the house.

Everything was upside down in my world and my spiritual side was shaken too. How could a just and loving God take my sweet husband from me? We had known each other since high school. He was my rock. We were supposed to be together into old age and beyond. I wanted him back and longed for him every day.

In desperation I turned to an eighty-year-old friend and spiritually wise woman named Bette. I asked her if I could drop by for some tea and sympathy and words of wisdom. She had lost her grown daughter years before so she understood my grief. I was begging for some reassurance that Paul was still around me, just outside my realm and reach.

Bette’s words brought me back from my reverie.

“Sallie, are you listening to me?”

“I’m sorry Bette. I was just remembering. I know it’s a journey. Even though I know it isn’t possible to get Paul back, I want to know he is with me. I want some sign that he hears me, loves me and watches over me from the other side,” I said, tears starting to flow.

“I know sweetie,” she said, giving me a hug. “This is what I want you to do. Every time you go out, ask Paul for a sign he is with you, and I’m sure you will get an answer.”

I followed Bette’s advice and the strangest thing happened. I started to find pennies everywhere I went. There were pennies in the apple bin at my health food store, pennies under the clothes rack at the boutique, pennies when I walked the dog, pennies in the garden. Pennies, pennies, pennies. I doubted they were from Paul. I mean, really, everyone finds pennies.

I called Bette.

“Bette, I keep finding pennies all over the place. It’s so simple but could it be a sign from Paul?”

“Of course,” Bette replied. “I find pennies from my daughter all the time. They are pennies from heaven letting you know your loved one is with you.”

I continued to doubt, but I guess Paul wanted to be sure I understood the message. I am a cynic sometimes, so he delivered the message loud and clear.

That following week I stopped at my local pharmacy. I was in a hurry to get home because I was expecting a package delivery. As I stepped from my car I looked down to make sure that in my haste I had parked between the lines. When I returned to my car no more than five minutes later, it looked like someone had emptied a piggy bank in front of my door. I stared in awe at the piles of pennies. I opened my car door and crumpled onto the seat sobbing. How could I have doubted that Paul wasn’t nearby?

I gathered all the pennies and went home to call Bette.

“Bette, it’s true! Paul is with me! I just found a bucket of pennies in front of my car,” I sputtered out excitedly.

“I know, Sallie,” she said laughing. “I know. Isn’t it grand?”

The pennies keep coming and I talk to Paul every day.

“Thanks honey. I know you’re there as my special angel. I’ll love you forever.”

I have an earthenware jar that I put my pennies from heaven in. Someday soon I will buy a tree to plant in Paul’s garden to honor our love. And at the base with be a plaque in his memory. At the rate I’m finding pennies it won’t be long now.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Next: A voice delivers an urgent message »

SUN SHINES THROUGH THE TREES ON THE COLORADO RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION
Wiki Commons/Charles O’Rear

The Voice
By Sally Kelly-Engeman

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.
—Anne Sexton

Coloradoans are so accustomed to unpredictable wind currents sweeping over the Rocky Mountains, bringing rain, snow or sunshine, that we often joke to visitors, “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around for ten minutes and watch it change.”

Happy to reside in our beautiful state, I drank in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains silhouetted against a cloudless blue sky as I drove to a nearby shopping mall. During breakfast, my husband Jim mentioned that since it was such a nice day he might clean leaves from our roof gutters and check the chimney bricks while I was gone.

I reached the mall and went inside. After browsing through stores and making some purchases, I was surprised when I heard a masculine voice say, “Sally, go home.”

Startled, I looked around, but saw no man near me. It was still too early for the morning rush so there wasn’t a large throng of shoppers. Puzzled, I left that store and entered another shop. Soon I heard the same voice repeat that same message. Thinking a friend might be hiding and playing a practical joke I searched the area nearby, but there were no men in sight.

Unnerved, I took a deep breath and told myself that healthy people do not hear voices. Do they? Was it possible that the voice I heard was in reality my subconscious mind warning me that some predator lurked in the mall seeking an easy prey to rob?

When I heard, “Sally, go home,” for the third time, I remembered a Jewish friend telling me that “angel” and “messenger” were the same word in the Hebrew language. Whether that voice belonged to an angel or my subconscious didn’t seem as important as the message. I hurried toward the parking lot saying a silent prayer: “Dear God, thank you for surrounding me with your white protective shield of love so my heart, mind, body and soul are attuned to your positive forces.”

I looked around as I hurried to my car to make sure no one was stalking me, unlocked the door, shoved my packages on the passenger seat, and scooted inside. After locking the door, I drove away, constantly checking my rear view mirror to make sure I wasn’t being followed.

As I drove toward home, leaden clouds and gusty winds replaced the cerulean blue sky I had admired only an hour earlier. Since I was accustomed to these short wind bursts, I adjusted my speed and arrived back in my neighborhood safely.

All the way home, I wondered about that message. But as soon as I turned the corner to my street and saw Jim clinging to the chimney and his ladder lying on the ground, I realized why the voice urged me to return home.

“Thank God, you’re back,” Jim called.

I parked the car, picked up the ladder, leaned it against the house and steadied it while he climbed down.

Smiling, I looked toward heaven and thanked the voice.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Miraculous Messages
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reprinted by permission Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC © 2013. From the book Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest