I have spent most of the last 3 months on the road, hunting in one location or another. I am finishing my hunting season for 2012 with a deer/hog hunt combo at Racknine Outdoors in Alabama. Temperatures were really against us for deer hunting, so I turned my sights to HOGS! On December 8th Nancy Jo, Jeanne and I were stalking a group of hogs that were really tearing up the woods. We were backtracking to a nearby lake, when a shiny balloon caught my eye. Even as I hurried over to it, I knew what I was going to find!
I am going to jump back to 1998. Dale and I were celebrating our 19th anniversary deep sea fishing out of Daytona Beach, Florida. We had had just a horrendous year before, and much needed a break. Our son Mathew had died in a boating accident on March 7, 1997. Matt was with his best friend and our employee Mike, Mike also perished in the accident. Clint, a lifelong friend of Matt’s died 2 days later in a car accident after finding out about Mathew. Dale’s best friend Earl died 3 months to the day later, having told us it was not natural to bury a grandson (Matt). Two months later, out of the blue, Dales mother, died in September of complication from diabetes. As if that was not enough, 2 months later, Dale’s mentor Walter died on his 45th wedding anniversary in the middle of a fishing creek. That was a year I hope to never repeat, ever!
While Dale and I had charted a boat and were out fishing, 30-40 miles off shore, the Captain announced that he saw debris. Since the fishing had been slow up to that point, we traveled to the debris, since dorado tend to cluster around anything floating. Upon pulling up, what we thought was garbage, was in fact a Mylar balloon that wished “Happy Anniversary”. I got goose bumps then and now as I type this. I am sure to this day, that this was Matt’s way of telling us he is still watching over us, and still a close part of our family. That was by far the best anniversary present I could have gotten!! The gifts kept coming after that! We boated the most fish our Captain had ever caught in one day! I guess he didn’t realize he had a very special fisherman on board that day!
Now jump back to the present; Did I mention that December 8th is my grandson Ryan’s birthday? You got it! That Mylar balloon we found while hunting hogs, that had not been there earlier, said “Happy Birthday”! I knew immediately who it was meant for. We quickly took a picture with my cell phone and sent it on it’s way to the birthday boy.
I realize most people would just chalk this up to coincidence, and I may have at one point also. But I have become a firm believer that when loved ones die, they are still watching over you and participating in your everyday lives in some small way or another. We have had so many “coincidences” over the years that I just now say “Thanks Matt”, smile or cry (or both) and send the message on to it’s recipient.
Be open to see small miracles that you may otherwise overlook. After all we need something to believe in, and I choose to believe that love is never ending!