A lesson learned to always look for the silver lining
Maybe we all just get to busy, maybe we're distracted and don't notice what's happening right in front of us. Today, April 13th would’ve been my sister, Paula's, 56th birthday but we lost her to breast cancer on July 2, 2020. Paula fought a long and hard battle but always saw the cup half full and made it her motto to slow down and see the silver linings in every situation. Even when she was leaving this earth she showed me she was near~I just had to learn to see the silver lining and the miracles right in front of me.
The first miracle happened during the last day of Paula's life. Due to Covid I was not allowed to be in the room when she was taken off life support, her daughter would be there with her as it should be and I knew that there might be a moment where she would need comfort and possibly the right words to say. We marked Psalm 23 & Phil 4:13 on her phone. I knew there was power in the Bible so I went to the front desk to find out why our room didn't have a Bible she could use. I was told by the front desk that Bibles are no longer in the hotel rooms. While I was walking away a lady in hotel uniform approached me, handing me a Bible, and said she overheard my conversation and I could borrow her Bible as long as I needed. When I go back to the hotel room I opened the Bible to mark the passages for my niece and I couldn't believe it but both passages were already marked in the Bible Psalm 23 was starred in Philippians 4:13 was highlighted. I flipped all the pages and realized these were the only 2 markings in the entire Bible. I don't know why but it gave me such peace in the moment. The next day I went to return the Bible at the front desk and the gentleman behind the desk had no idea who I was talking about or who to give the Bible back to. I know this sounds crazy but it didn't stop here - when I got home a wonderful friend of mine sent me a gift in memory of Paula, it was the donation of a Gideon Bible to a hotel.
The second miracle happened as my sister, Deborah, my niece, Caroline, and myself were driving back to Atlanta from California the day after Paula passed away. Four days out of our 5 day trip we saw a rainbow in the sky. The only day we didn't see one in the sky we saw a rainbow in an oil spill at the gas station. This was for sure a sign from my sister we could not ignore. Two years earlier I had lost my sister, Carol, to leukemia and we had been noticing reassuring rainbows since she passed. Now we were seeing (noticing) them again. Like Paula had met up with Carol in heaven and were telling us they were ok.
The third miracle happened 3 months later when we returned to California to spread my sister's ashes at sea. We met at the marina and boarded the boat that would take us out on the Pacific Ocean. My sister, Deborah, said to me did you notice the name on the boat? I didn't, but when I looked and saw that it was named the Orion I could not believe it. My sisters and I grew up, came home from the hospital, and started our lives on a street in Decatur called Orion. Now the Orion would also be the last "road" Paula would travel on this earth with us.
I'm sure your getting the message and probably lots of chills by now but there is one fourth and final miracle or message from my heavenly sisters, Carol and Paula.
When my sister, Carol, was diagnosed with leukemia her daughter and I wore matching prayer bracelets as a reminder and comfort. Almost three years later it was God's plan to bring my sister home to him and although it seemed like I would've removed the bracelet at that time I did not in fact the string was tattered and knotted and it would not have come off without me cutting it. I was grieving my sister and still needed comfort so I continued to wear my bracelet. During this time we found out that my sister Paula's cancer had returned and so it was only a matter of time before that bracelet was a reminder and comfort again. By the time we had said goodbye to Paula I had been wearing this bracelet for over five years day in and day out never taking it off, it had been a source of strength and comfort to me. When I returned to work after being in California and laying Paula to rest at sea, I was moving around some merchandise on a table and my bracelet just fell off on the table. This bracelet was made of thread and as I said it was tight and knotted and had not budged for five years. When I saw it laying on the table it gave me the most amazing amount of peace and comfort that you could ever imagine. It was almost as if God himself, Carol and Paula were all saying to me "it is finished". This bracelet which represented so much struggle for myself and my sisters was released and I knew at that moment they were in a good place together. I walked over to the trashcan and I just threw that bracelet away. The girl working with me said "what are you doing you've been wearing that bracelet forever, don't you want to keep it?" But I didn't I had been released too. What a blessing they had all given me.
I am eternally grateful for my sisters and my Savior, looking forward to seeing them all again one day! Until then I do have some peace in silver linings. Maybe I was vulnerable and searching and that is what made me more aware. Either way I want to stay in that state and always be looking for the good!