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An Unexpected Gift


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My time at home on my own really just started Sunday afternoon. Since then I've been on a quest to organize and clean our house. Not that it was horribly dirty, but it was (still is) chaotic with stuff. Now all of the stuff is cluttering up my room, but at least the rest of the house is looking together. I still have Bill all around the dining room (pictures, poster, etc.), but I like it. It's comforting. It's staying for now.

I decided to try to make space in a closet that was full of books. I knew some of the books could be given away, and Bill and I had planned to look through them. I went about the task in earnest determined to make a little space. I was very careful to avoid any "Bill" books. I came across a little gift book. I have a lot of gift books, and although I was looking hard at it, decided that I probably didn't really need this one anymore. Then I got that twinge that I honestly believe was God saying, "slow down and open it up." I slowly opened the cover and saw beautiful words written to me from Bill. The gift was from Christmas of 2000. It was SO not the type of book Bill would ever purchase. It's a tiny book called, "A Short Guide to a Happy Life" by Anna Quindlan. I was overwhelmed with many feelings, not least of all the horror that I almost discarded it.

But wait, that's not all.

I had dinner with some friends last night (a first, being at their house without Bill -- they were so sweet). Got home, and listened to the audio of his service for the first time. Cried a bit (okay, a lot), but mostly felt so connected because we had a video of him speaking (his baptism) at the service, and it was clear as could be. Finally I went to bed with that now familiar balloon in my stomach. I decided to read that little book. It was all about "getting a life," being more than our jobs, taking time for the little things. It was written beautifully. The author "got" her life when she spent a year caring for her mother, who was dying of cancer. I couldn't believe the relevance. It was literally like Bill got a hall pass from Heaven, came down, and handed me a new gift.

You know that saying, "God works in mysterious ways." How true that can be.

I'd like to share something from Bill's book. He was talking about the war against cancer vs. a tradiational war, and the difference between winning and losing. I can so relate to what he means to win now, even in my new circumstance. Maybe you can too. He says:

"But the war against cancer is altogether a different type of war. It is not a war of dominance. There is no territory to be gained, nor any foolhardy ideals to stand up for. Rather, it is a war of discernment; a war in which you must stand alone—quite naked—in the face of your beliefs (whatever they may be), until you have fully understood why it was you were snatched up one day and tossed into the maelstrom against your will. This is the real war against cancer, not the phrenetic quest to kill off those pesky out-of-control cells that are making you feel so poorly every day. Winning is to see yourself for the first time, and to wonder at the strangeness of who it is you are looking at. Losing is anything less than that."

He did win. I hope I have the strength to win too. I know he's counting on me to do just that, and with God's help, he's still trying to give me the boosts when I need them.

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What a beautiful gift! Always look for the signs, and I think you got a pretty clear one that time. Those signs let us know that everything is ok. I am happy Bill is able to communicate with you and I hope you will always be open to them. How is that book coming? Take care of yourself and thank you for such a beautiful post.

Love ya,


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I'm so happy that you got this special "hug" from Bill. As time passes, you will recieve many more gifts, some of which were right there all the time and some that are new. Just remember that Bill is right there, looking out for you and as always, loving you.

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I loved reading your post... I loved reading Bill's words...

Somehow, somewhere, sometime, Bill will give you a special gift again - keep aware. I have found that it is when we least expect it, they let us know they are not far away at all.

Love, Sharon

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That is so amazing. What a gift! I have really learned to look at things differently since mom has been diagnosed. Things I normally wouldn't think twice about I now see meaning in. I am so glad you listened to your gut and opened the book. Thanks for sharing!

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G-d does work in mysterious ways. What happened to you proved that. Bill is just as much with you as he was in the physical. But I believe that he has a mission there with his talent and will be busy helping others. I really believe that he is really at peace and very contended and wants you to know that. That is just a feeling that came over me when I read the circumstances of our post.

Why that books of all books.

Your getting messages already, I know there will be so much more.

He was a special guy Teri and he is just as special in the beyond.

Maryanne :wink:

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