Mysterious Ways: Heaven Sent

A sign from above is comforting reassurance to a grieving sister.

By Donna Teti, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Purple was my twin sister Suzy’s favorite color. It was the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses on her wedding day, the color of the sweater she had worn most often, a gift from me.

And now, on a cold, rainy day in March, I stood in her driveway with my family, Suzy’s children and her husband, all of us clutching purple balloons, our eyes wet with tears. In a minute we would release our grip and the balloons would float up to the heavens. The balloons were our way of letting go. Moving on.

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It had been exactly two years since that horrible day when Suzy had a massive stroke and died at the age of 41. The grief and shock had slowly begun to fade, but I seemed to feel her absence even more.

I had depended on her for everything–her good humor, her common sense, her organizational skills, her guidance, her voice on the phone reassuring me that I was doing the right thing. Now I seemed to need her more than ever.

Mom couldn’t be here with us for this last farewell. Her health had declined rapidly since Suzy’s death. She rarely left her home anymore. She’d become increasingly forgetful, didn’t get together with her friends, couldn’t even remember how to play cards. The mail was stacking up, the house was a mess. She kept asking me the same questions again and again when I dashed over every day from the school where I worked as a lunch lady.

If Suzy were around she’d help me find the right caregiver and the right nursing home, I thought, not for the first time.  Now I had to make the hard decisions. Alone.

The wind tugged at the balloons, pulling on the strings and the notes that were attached: “Keep watching over us, Mommy.” “I love you, Aunt Suzy.” “To my wife, with all my love.” All I had managed to write was, “I miss you.”

“Okay, one, two, three... let go!” I said. The wind kicked up and the balloons lifted. They floated up past the bare branches of the trees, rising into the clouds.

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We stared at the sky until the little purple dots disappeared. “Take these to heaven along with our prayers,” I said. “Take them straight to Suzy.” If only Suzy could somehow send a message back to me. What do we do about Mom?

Two weeks later on April Fools’ Day, my youngest called me from upstairs: “Mom, there’s a purple balloon out back. Do you think it’s the one we sent Aunt Suzy?”

I dashed outside to grab it, but the wind picked it up. I chased it through my neighbor’s yard before realizing how silly I must have looked. I wasn’t going to solve my problem chasing purple balloons.

All the while Mom was only getting worse. I put her on waiting lists for nursing homes and spent hours on the phone. And I kept running into purple balloons.

I was at the bowling alley with friends. I was telling my story about the April Fools’ Day balloon when I noticed an employee blowing up balloons for someone’s birthday. Purple balloons. Just as I looked over, one balloon popped.

On a walk when I was looking for guidance after another frustrating call with a full-to-capacity nursing home, there was a purple balloon bobbing up and down on my neighbor’s lawn. I couldn’t help but think of Suzy. She was the practical one. If she were here I knew she would say, “Donna, it’s only a coincidence.”

On Christmas morning Mom had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. She was discharged to a nursing home with round-the-clock care, but one neither of us liked. The staff was rude and overworked. Mom often looked disheveled and uncared for. “Mom, we’ll find you a better place,” I promised her.

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More waiting lists, more phone calls. No room, no beds. I was at the end of my rope.

I was sharing my frustrations with my boss one day while making lunch in the school kitchen. A coworker overheard us talking. “Have you tried Pembrooke?” she suggested.

“I’ve never heard of it. Where is it?” I asked.

“On the other side of town,” she replied. “Not too far.” Just 10 minutes away.

By some miracle a room was available. Mom could be transferred in a matter of days. It had to be better than where she was. Didn’t it?

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Your Comments (5)

Great story. I think God always somehow let us know the loved ones you lost give you some kind of sign so you can feel great. God bless

Thank you for sharing. It brought back memories of when I lost my mother in 2003. My mother made her transition from earth to heaven on June 8, 2003 and it started suddenly mid-August. Whenever I walked in downtown St Louis, I found curly straight pins that she used to hold her bun in place. I wasn't even expecting her to reach out to me with he pins; I thought it would be butterflies or a bird, yet growing up in India the pins were something she often misplaced and then dispatched me to find them for her. The pins did not just hold her bun together. Twenty five years later from August to November 2003 they held me together.

Wonderful story - I know two people, who don't know each other who lost loved ones. They both told me they find dimes everywhere in their houses. They both think it is from their loved one in heaven.

Oh what a wonderful story you shared! Thank you for sharing. I know by experience that loved ones who are in Heaven can do mysterious things to help anyone. Thanks to God for letting them. God also works through others alive to help. May you have more wonderful experiences with feeling your twin sister's presence. Twins just have a more special tie, my opinion. God bless!

Help from the GREAT BEYOND may reach us in mysterious ways. For you and your family, it was a purple balloon trail...God bless you. Wonderful story