Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A sign from God?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When I see a sign from God, I pay attention – mostly because I can be pretty sure it’s my mother speaking to me from beyond the grave.
Even before she died on Dec. 30-31, 2001, she haunted me.
She was always praying for me -- and I honestly believe she accomplished miracles through her prayers, keeping me safe when I otherwise should have perished.
When a Cadillac struck me on a back street in Hollywood and did no damage, I knew it was my mother’s prayers at work. When I gave the finger to a pack of Hells Angels wanna-bes and they leaped off their motorcycles with knives and chains to take me to pieces and an army of cops showed up to save me, I knew it was my mother’s prayers at work. When I tried to drive a 1955 two-tone Buick four door cross country from Portland, Oregon and found out only after I got onto the highway that it had no breaks – and still managed to survive the ride off the exit at high speed, I knew it was my mother working her magic with God through prayer.
All this might seem dubious to you, but the truth of the matter hit me hardest after her death – as big and small miracles arrived, some with her signature, some without.
One day in mid 2002, I was walking to work in Hoboken from my house in Jersey City Heights and I noticed a pair of green rosaries on the ground. I was struck by them partly because my mother had worn out many similar pairs she received regularly from the missionaries she funded out of her social security checks.
I thought, “this must be a sign from her,” more or less joking with myself, until – when picking up the rosaries – I noticed on the wall of the nearby house was posted my mother’s favorite picture of the Virgin Mother.
To say this disturbed me was to put it mildly.
I never got over my mother’s death – which was the concluding act of the best and worst year of my life, 2001, a year which saw me made Journalist of the Year, but also brought tragedies such as 9/11, various other disasters, the death of my hero, George Harrison, and finally my mother’s passing.
At work, I kept waiting for the sky to fall, and was grateful when I managed finally at 5 p.m. to escape unscathed.
I climbed the viaduct to the heights, and noticed something odd when I got to Central Avenue in Jersey City – none of the street lights were working. Darkness was coming on, and when I looked back at New York City, I saw a black hole – no lights there either, except for lines of automobile lights along West Side Highway.
I kept walking, and found the street lights out, store lights out, even lights in the windows of houses usually lit were now blackened.
This was true all the way home, except when I got to my house, my lights worked. It appeared that our block was in a narrow geographical band not affected by a black out that had wiped out the electricity for most of the East Coast.
My mother also watched over my wife, since my wife worked in New York City at the time, and was in the mass of craziness as people scrambled to make for the ferries – a kind of repeat of 9/11 but without the tragic deaths.
My wife wound up on a shuttle bus with a shameless driver, who rode over sidewalks, and somehow managed to get through the Lincoln Tunnel to bring her home to the heights.
All during the waiting for her to come home, I handled that green set of plastic rosaries I had found earlier in the day, watching the coverage on cable TV – which also somehow had not perished with the electric grid.
All this said, I walked to the train station this morning along pretty much the same route and saw a strange aberration on the wall of a building near Passaic and Paterson streets in Jersey City Heights. There was a reflection of light – I still don’t know from what – in the shape of a cross on the side of the building.
This was no ordinary building – but one that I had once sought to rent an apartment in for my mother. At the time, I thought the fact that my mother had lived in Passaic Street when growing up and had worked and lived in Paterson, made the apartment perfect.
While the apartment did not pan out, I never pass that building without thinking of my mother, and now, at work, I ponder what that sign could mean, and wonder if she is sending me another message.
Damn it, I’m scared to go home.


Brian K. Dorf said...

The signs are there. You don't even need to look for them. They present themselves. My brother has sent me signs regularly for 11 years. I used to talk about them to my parents and my wife. Now I just acknowledge them with a knowing smile.

Eunie Guyre said...

Wow! I know that those who have gone before us always stay in our lives. Lots of unexplained things have occurred in my life since my son passed away. I know he "has my back".