Monday, August 2, 2021


Another friend died totally unexpectedly. This is the third death since doctors told me I would be the one to die soon. It’s so devastating—and shocking; this person has been supportive, worried about my death. Now he’s gone and ironically I’m still here…staring at the hawks who live in my tree. 

Did I tell you they’ve started building a nest? I thought it was a sign of hope until Saturday. “Maybe it's a sign. Or maybe it isn't. What do you think?" I asked my husband.

Mike looked at me seriously. “I’m the wrong person to ask, Elisa,” he said. “You know what I believe.”

He’s a hilarious, life-of-the-party guy who doesn’t like labels--especially the word "atheist." People hear it and don’t quite grasp what it encompasses—or they hear it and judge negatively.

I pried further despite knowing the answer.

“No, sweetheart. I’m so sorry, but I don't think it's a sign,” he said.

A strange fear overtook me as a new pain ran the length of my body. The pains have been getting worse again lately—a fact which is extremely sobering. And in that moment, feeling those pains again, my legs weakened. 

I sat to look at the hawks once more and whispered, "Maybe Mike is right. Maybe this isn't a sign. I just want some confirmation that I’ll get better.” I sighed. These signs-- Godwinks--are what I hold on to. Mike is so strong that he doesn't look for confirmation, but I do. I need some type of reminder that despite the suffering and pain of life, God is looking out for all of us. A sign that everything will be okay and God will protect me even in life...even in death.

As I continued gazing out the back window, rain splattered the glass, a final collision after its long descent through the sky. I watched as the water scattered, tendrils fighting to reach the dignity—and rest—of the ground. Then my thoughts turned to the hawks. How would they fare in the rain?

Four hawks had quickly flown right next to the nest. They made a circle, held their wings out, and bent over the formation of twigs and sticks. The winds rocked the birds. The rains beat against them. And instead of leaving, the majestic creatures practically weaved themselves together and leaned farther over the nest. They would do anything to provide protection.

I anxiously grabbed a cup of coffee and continued watching this show—far better than anything on Netflix. The storm ended shortly after it had started. The hawks didn’t leave until the rains and wind stopped. I exhaled. 

Seeing that they'd saved the nest, well, it brought me a renewed sense of peace. I've never seen something like it. Ever.

"You okay, sweetheart? You want more coffee?" Mike asked after walking in and seeing my empty mug.

"I'm good. I'm just thinking about signs and how I think those hawks do symbolize protection."

"They very possibly could," he said, conceding to the hope I needed to hear. Then he smiled down at me kindly. He’s the most wonderful man, really.

I talked with a dear, beautiful friend about this not long after the hawks saved their nest. "Do you believe in signs?" I asked her.

"Absolutely," she said. 

I nodded, thinking about the hawks’ nest. “Me too.” And within moments a song blared over the speakers. “I can’t believe it!”

The singer’s voice resonated perfectly. “Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs…”

We laughed, listening to a song that is literally called… “Signs.”