So, I have this belief, maybe you'll think it's kinda crazy, but that's alright.
My grandpa is my angel, and when I'm really down, when I'm really in a tough spot, thinking about how bad my current situation is and in need of some guidance, right when I'm feeling the worst, he sends an animal across my path to reassure me that everything will be ok. It's always an animal that is unusual, or shouldn't really be there in that particular situation. And within a few hours or days, whatever bad thing I was dreading is replaced by something good. Last time this happened was a few months ago, and I was worried about whether I could pay my rent. I was walking through the parking lot at work, and it was really cold out. A black butterfly flew across my path. It was much too cold out, and too late in the season, for butterflies. It came from behind me and went past, almost hitting me in the head. Later that day I found out that not only was it ok for me to pay my rent a week late without a fee, because it was my first time doing so, but that I was owed a $40 credit and didn't even need to pay the whole amount.
I don't know how I came to realize this happens. It just kept happening after I had prayed for guidance. Those of you who know me know that I'm not a very religious person, but I am a very spiritual person. I believe things happen for a reason. I believe in angels. I believe that there is some type of afterlife when you die. My grandfather died when I was in high school, and I felt really close to him. He's the only person I've been close to who has died, so I knew if someone was helping me it would have to be him. For a while I wondered why he chose animals as the sign, though. Why not move a large object or make something else weird happen? Then I remembered Grandpa's funeral, and how everyone talked about his love for animals, and how he could get animals to do things that no one else could. Chipmunks would eat out of his hand, for example. Grandpa would be a good choice for my guardian angel, and animals would be a good choice for his sign.
So on Sunday, it was one of those days. I just needed some guidance that things would be ok. I was beating myself up all day about how poor a job I was doing at keeping it together, of doing a good job, of making ends meet. (I know, silliness.) It was probably because Jason had the kids that day for Christmas, and seeing him always gets me down. I went to the grocery and as I came walking up to my apartment building, this is what I saw:
That would be a hawk. Sitting right outside my apartment building as I walked up, not 10 feet away, and looking right at me. Not moving away as I walked toward the building. Do you see that one tree in the picture? Yeah, that's the only tree. Well, there are maybe 5 trees. But this is not a hawk-type of area. This is an "I live right next to the interstate and can hear the cars at night" type of area.
There was a guy in the parking lot waxing his car, and I said, "hey, come look at this hawk!" because I thought maybe it wasn't really there and it was just my imagination. The guy came over and said, "Huh! Maybe it's hurt?" I don't know, I thought.
"I hope not," I said. The hawk just stared at both of us. "Well, if he's still here in a little while I'll call wildlife to come check it out." The guy shrugged and went back to his car. I went inside and put down my groceries and came back out with my camera and took his picture. The guy in the parking lot called out, "Is it still there?" Yep. "Huh!" The hawk let me take his picture, and I just watched him for a few minutes. He looked right back at me. And I knew it was my Grandpa behind those wise eyes. So I said "Thank you" and went back inside to put away my groceries. And I let my shoulders relax, and I told myself, "it will be ok. You will be ok."
Half an hour later I came back out to check on him, and the hawk was gone. He wasn't injured; he had flown away on his own.
Now maybe there was a natural reason he was there: maybe he saw a mouse and wanted a snack, or was flying past and was pausing for a rest. Maybe he was just bored. Do hawks get bored? And why choose a busy spot in the middle of so much human activity?
Well, I think someone made him stop in that strange spot, at that particular time, because they knew it would mean something to me. It was important. Because right then I needed someone up there to say, "You're doing great. It's going to be ok."
Addendum June 20, 2012:
I got this msg from Hayden's BCBA today:
Your son is in LOVE with a lite bright. He got to play with one during OT today and told me that he wants mommy to know he likes it. :)
My msg back to her:
Aww! Ok, I have to tell you, that is funny for three reasons.
First, he used to have one before we moved. It's funny how he doesn't seem to remember things from before he was more recovered from Autism. Almost like he was zoned out and now he's more aware? This isn't the first time he's acted like he's never seen something that he used to use on a daily basis.
Second, I found a bucket of the pegs maybe two days ago while packing, and looked but couldn't find the actual light box so I thought about getting him a new one.
Third, my grandpa and I used to play lite brite together when I was Hayden's age. My grandpa always asked if I wanted to play it with him, it was our favorite activity to do together. This last year has been hard and I've felt that my grandpa was looking over me this past year and helping me.
So.... coincidence that I just thought about the lite bright two days ago and now he's used one at school, and loves it? Which made me come back and read this post, which made me feel that he was again reaching out to me. :)
Had huge trouble moving into my apartment. Went to move in, it smelled like smoke, I thought I wouldn't have a place to live, but all my stuff was in a truck and I had no where else...When it was all set and done, I ended up with a bigger place for the same price, and no water behind for the kids to accidentally drown in. Bob and I went to return the moving truck and I checked the time. 4:40 (A significant number from college. The number keeps popping up when good things happen to me.)
I just wrote that I might have found my life's purpose on my personal FB account. Hit Post. Looked at time. 4:40. O.o Wow.
Grandpa wants me to find a job with Autism. Anyone need to hire a parent liaison? :)
I was hired later that year as a parent liaison at an autism center. :) I still work there and love it.
Other 440 References:
An Autism Mom Named TaLesha