This post is one that I have looked forward to writing for quite a while. At what point do things stop being just coincidences? In other words, how many times must a set of ironic events or crazy occurrences happen before you start to believe that they are more than that: some sort of spirit or power out there pushing these things towards you. I think it puzzles me more than any other set of circumstances have, since we lost Brad. Though it sometimes puzzles me, it also makes me very optimistic. I have tried to keep note of each time something happens, but I know I have forgotten so many. They started to happen so much that Sarah and I began to laugh at them. In the beginning we would get surprised, and sometimes cry, but as time went on they became normal. One of the most memorable coincidences was one that sparked the name of this blog, which I wrote about in the first post.
As I have mentioned before, the first year was very hard. Many things occurred in the first year that hurt so bad. There are many things that I do not want to relive, but I will never forget. Throughout the first year, we often said that we would always celebrate Brad’s birthday. No matter what was going on in our lives at that time, we would always stop on March 19th, and go to the spot on the beach where his ashes were spread. On the first year anniversary, we went there. We were kind of unsure of what to do that day. Fitting as it could be, there was also an arts and crafts festival going on at the same time. It sort of made the day easier to cope with. While driving towards the beach, I must admit, we were not really sure what we would do when we got there. There was almost a quiet mood surrounding it. We spoke on the way there, but there was an odd aura present. It is like we needed someone to tell us how to do this. Think about it, there are no books about how to celebrate the day your son died: the son you never got to meet. Speaking for myself, I had never experienced a sudden death of a close relative. I imagine, on the anniversary of their death, you get together with family and friends and relive the great memories. What do you do when there are no memories, only questions about what the memories would have been? I guess that is what hurts the most about losing Brad. So on that day, we are supposed to dig deep and celebrate his birthday, which was also his death day. It was challenging to say the least.
We arrived at the spot and just hung out there. The same way as it is in a race, or a fight; the anticipation of it is the hardest. Once you are there in the moment, you figure it out. Things begin to fall into place, you roll with the punches. I can not even remember much about that moment we spent there. It is like we were looking around for something to happen. I remember it being peaceful. It always is when we visit him. We decided to attend the festival while we were there. The atmosphere is always welcoming. It felt like a good idea. While making our way to the festival, who do we see? None other than the man that delivered both our children, Dr. Shoemaker. What are the chances? This man was the only thing that kept us stable during Brad’s passing. He somehow managed to give Sarah and I such amazing support through out the whole ordeal. We often asked ourselves how he held it together as well as he did. We later found out from a nurse that he was affected hard by it too. Here it was one year later and we would cross paths. The encounter was brief. He was with his wife and we did not want to take away from their time together. We spoke and went on our separate ways. Then the day felt 100% complete. That was what we were waiting on. We knew something like that would happen. We were use to these things happening. We looked up to this man so much that we considered naming our next child after him. How fitting it was that he would still be there for us when we needed him, and he had no idea. This spot on the earth holds such meaning to us. We have so many great experiences there.
The last time we were there as a whole family, Brannon and I were throwing the football, while Sarah, Mila, and Sarah’s mom, Tess were playing around in the water. One perfectly placed pass of the football hit my wedding ring and took it right off my finger. I did not notice immediately, so I had no idea where it landed. We searched frantically for 20 minutes, and concluded it was lost. I gave up looking for it. In my mind, this was just another one of those odd instances that kept occurring since losing Brad. What were the chances of me losing my ring, for the first time in 9 years of wearing it in that very spot that Brad rested. In my mind, I was ok with it getting lost there. Sarah and Tess on the other hand kept searching. So I resumed too. In the water, as a wave broke, Sarah caught a glimmer of the ring. She found it. These things continue to happen, we just laugh. They are not coincidences, they are examples of…. I will let you decide that one, though I know how I feel.
I wish I could remember them all, but I can not possibly. There are so many. But here are a couple just so you get the idea: The day that we finally took ownership of our new home, Sarah stepped out in the front yard, only to be greeted by a cardinal. If you don’t know the significance of that, please look it up. The cardinal just sat there, looking at Sarah. He sat there long enough that she was able to take out her phone and snap of pic of him. He still makes appearances to this day. The address of this home also has something symbolic. Within the address are the numbers 1819. Mila’s birthday is the 18th and Brad’s is the 19th. One event that particularly sticks out to me involves this blog. I had purchased the domain name Housekiss soon after it occurred. Though, if you remember from post #1, I did not start the blog until months later. The day that I started writing that first post I received an email alert to my phone. While writing, I paused to see what the email was. It was a reminder that my domain subscription for Housekiss.com was nearing its one year renewal. What are the chances of that? And then, to top it off, my mother informed me that the day of that first post was the same day the her and my father had met each other for the first time. These things usually make Sarah and I laugh. We see them as little signs of communication from Brad, but also, they give us hope. Hope that some day we will see him again.