Monday, January 17, 2011

Letters From Heaven

My mother has a friend who claims to get messages from the dead.

Yes, you read that right.

I know.

When you start a post with a sentence like that, you sort of have to expect that half of your readers are going to roll their eyes and click elsewhere.

I don't know this friend well. In fact, I think we may have only met in person once. She started calling my mother shortly after Peyton died to say that she had received a message for me and my mom would take it down and bring it on her next visit, at which point I would just sort of shrug it off as someone trying to offer me some comfort and move on.

Some people believe in spirits.
Some don't.

Some believe their children become angels who reside in the heavens. Some see them in the beauty of nature. Others believe that death is the end, and there is nothing beyond it.

I believe that Peyton's spirit lives on. I believe this because I feel it. I feel her. There is something uniquely Peyton that washes over me from time to time, and I know in my heart that she is in that place you go when you leave this world, nudging me along and offering me comfort.

In the early months after Peyton died, I thought I was losing it.

I thought that having this child ripped from my body then thrown in the earth was going to be the end for me. One day I was downstairs, taking out my anger and sorrow on the elliptical machine, and I lost track of time. When I emerged from the basement, the daylight had gotten away from me, and walking upstairs, my heart caught in my throat at the realization that the house had gone dark.

I hate walking into dark rooms.

All was blackness around me, with the exception of a small stream of light coming from our dining room. I hadn't been in that room for weeks. It had become a dumping grounds of sorts for all of the condolence cards, and items from the hospital, and when I couldn't figure out what to do with either, I flipped off the lights and didn't return.

Coming up from the basement, I found myself drawn toward the light, and wondering about its origin. I discovered that it was coming from our hutch. It was shining on a small white box -the box of her things that the hospital had given us - her hand prints in plaster- a lock of her sandy brown hair. An entire life packaged into a container far too small to hold a pair of shoes.

What I found particularly odd about the situation was that the light that was shining on Peyton's things requires for you to physically walk over and touch an area of the hutch to turn it on. I hadn't, but I felt in my heart that I knew who had, and a sense of peace washed over me.

I told hubs about this little moment that I had had with Peyton, and the light, and he sort of discounted it as another wacky behavior from his grieving wife. He checked my forehead for a fever, told me I looked like I could use some rest, and reassured me that it must have been something to do with our electric.

A few days later, I was walking up to our bedroom. There is a picture of Peyton on the nightstand, with a flashlight beside it. I keep the flashlight there because I am a terrible insomniac, and rather than wake hubs up with a lamp, the flashlight offers me enough light to read. When I walked into the bedroom, the flashlight was flashing. On. Off. On. Off. casting it's beam against her photograph. I am not gonna lie, the sight of it really had me sort of freaked out. I called to hubs (knowing he would never believe me on this otherwise) and he came running upstairs to see what had happened. The flashlight, which was a good 10 feet away from either of us, continued flashing against her picture.

Hubs was stopped in his tracks.

A light on a hutch being turned on, he could make sense of. A flashlight flashing on and off with no explanation - not so much.

It was a few days later when my mother called to tell me that her friend had "received" a message from Peyton. I sort of rolled my eyes, but listened anyway. "Okay mom," I said, "what did Peyton say in her message this time?" My mom went to reading what she had written down, and I felt myself go white. The message read:

"Laughter is needed to fill our hearts. Twinkle. Twinkle."

I hadn't told my mother yet about the light in the hutch, nor had I told her about Peyton fooling with the flashlight, but reading "Twinkle. Twinkle." in the message, I knew exactly what Peyton was referring to.

On a seperate occasion, I had gone to Peyton's hill with my father to plant some flowers. On a whim, we decided to collect rocks and make them into the shape of a heart, planting the flowers within them. Later my mother told me she had received a call from her friend with a new message from Peyton. It read:

"Tell my mommy and daddy I can see heart flower."

I asked my mother if she had told her friend about the garden my father and I had created, and she told me that my asking this was the first she had heard of it. My dad had never brought up the fact that we made the garden into the shape of heart.

There have been several more messages that Peyton has sent to this women since her passing. Some that seem to make sense or bring us peace:

"Tell them I have so much love tucked into my heart, 
because we will always be together."

And others that seem to have no significance, and leave us scratching our heads:

"Tell them I love pickle ice cream."

This weekend, I was sitting in the room that will become the snowflakes' nursery, doing a good job of directing hubs around the room to pack things away to be moved into my writing space, when I came across a few of the notes that my mother's friend had sent with messages from Peyton written on them. I was reading them aloud to hubs, and we were laughing at some of them, and finding meaning in others. Finally I came to the last note we had received.

It was from late last year - a time that was difficult for us. We were struggling with infertility, had not yet been diagnosed with blocked tubes, and had no idea that IVF was in our future. This message at the time had seemed the most bizarre and out there yet, and I tossed it aside, thinking myself a fool for ever having found meaning in any of them.

This weekend, however, when I read it back again, this ridiculous little note suddenly didn't feel so ridiculous anymore. It read:

"Twice baked potatoes can be very, very good."

"The twins!" I said, as if truly reading the note for the first time. "Twice baked potatoes - she was talking about the twins. She knew before we knew."

"Maybe," hubs said, raising an eyebrow and smiling.

Maybe indeed.


  1. WOW! I got chills reading the twinkle twinkle part of that. After my daughter died I kept seeing this white thing in the corner of my eye walk down my hall to check on my kids. I know it was my baby

  2. Wow... Wow..
    It's amazing isn't it.

    Our babies say hello, and I love you in the most mysterious but wonderful ways.

  3. Amazing. I get messages from my son and from others. I shared one with a friend's mom before Christmas. You just have to be open to the messages and willing to pass them on. What a wonderful story!

  4. I believe in signs from our love ones. The night my mother passed away I sat alone in our family room and the light next to me flashed/flickered like it was going to burn out. I don't know why but I felt my mothers presence and said Hi Mom.
    That light never burned out and I have had several experieces like that with my mom, so when a light flickers I always say Hi Mom! Also the clock in my parents kitchen above the sink stopped working, all other power was on. It stayed off until we arrived home from her funeral and it started again. We felt that that was the time she died and then her sign that all was well, she was in heaven with God. I was ill about 16 years ago and had an experience in the middle of the night with the fluorescent light behind the bed on wall in the hospital. It flashed like crazy, I know it was my mom and a wave of Gods presence took over. That is when I became a born again Christian. I definately believe that Peyton is sending you messages.

  5. smiling... I love little signs :)

  6. Oh my goodness that is amazing!!! Reading this totally gave me goosebumps. Those are messages from above that is for sure. I love that Peyton sends you these messages ((HUGS)).

  7. I believe she knew about the twins too!!! That's amazing and we can all be skeptical and not pay attention, or we can choose to listen and find a message! What a sweet girl to keep letting her mommy and daddy know she is ok!! I believe she already loves the snowflakes too and will continue to watch over them and love seeing the joy they bring to your life!!! (hugs)

  8. I am so glad that Peyton has found ways to let you know she is still with you. I wish she could find my Gabriel and teach him a few of her tricks.

    Did the pickle ice cream message come around the time you got pregnant, too?

    Wishing all of you all the best and looking forward to meeting the snowflakes!

  9. Beautiful! I love the signs...
    Mommy of Angel Madisen Hope

  10. I love this post. I just want to believe that we get messages. xo

  11. I really do believe their are a select few people who can convey messages from our lost loved ones. It sounds to me like you have someone like that in your life. The messages from Peyton gave me goosebumps.

  12. I have chills from reading this!! how awesome..I have seen flickers, even heard laughs and coo's after she was gone..I thought it was in my head, but what if it wasn't??!! what if it was her telling us she was happy? I love the thought of messages from our babies! ((hugs))

  13. I believe that in times of intense grieving we will often look to arena's for comfort we may never have believed in before. I know through my years of infertility and RPL that I have sought out comfort in places others might have found strange and too have received messages from my "taken too soon" babies that offered me tremendous comfort.
    I think Peyton's messages to you are beautiful!

  14. I'm a total believer in this stuff. I think the confusing messages will all make sense to you in the future.

  15. Really wonderful! Amazing indeed. Peyton is really a sweet angel. We'll continue praying for her. And she will always be remembered. Signs! Oh! I bet she's watching over the Snowflakes and keeping them safe. :)

  16. Sometimes, when I am very sad and missing my grandma's, God gives me dreams about them. Also, the "Tell them I love pickle ice cream" could have been a sign of your new pregnancy. arent's pickles and ice cream the 2 things pregnant women are supposed to crave? Also, I thougth I was a follower of your blog (well, I am now for sure) because I used to read it all the time. Yesterday, I stumbled back on it from another blog friend and was EXTATIC to find you pregnant, with twins! I'm SO happy for you! I know that Peyton will NEVER be forgotten or replaced but the joy these new babies will bring to you, will give you some peace! CONGRATS (even though I'm about 7 months late!).

  17. I lost my 19 year old daughter on Aug 11 - on 3rd Jan I dreamt of her. We talked, she hugged me, held my face, and smiled in a way that is indescribable. I knew she was dead in my dream, I told her I missed her because I never got to say good bye to her. I told her in that dream that I could now live with her death. My husband and I have felt at peace since this dream. Now when I think of her it is always with the smile she smiled in my dream.

  18. I miss my twice baked potatoes....sigh. I loved this post Kristin, made me a very good way.

  19. We used to hear such things around, or know from TV series. But I believe little signs, I never believed the ones passed are locked in somewhere with no connection to this living world. I believe it is a gift of Lord to the mothers, and you shall not call yourself "once a mother" I think, a woman is a mother after giving a birth, no matter the child lives or not. Even if the child does not complete its growing inside your body. It is not a name presented or taken back, it is not that simple and should not be seen that simple, it is a part of your existence once it happened-once your blood tests tell that pregnancy is positive.

  20. That is so amazing, it's really wonderful that you have are able to have these messages communicated to you. I'm sure Peyton has a wonderful time watching you reading them and interpreting them. After Claire died, I had one dream that I was holding her. In the dream, she opened her eyes and I discovered they were brown, she was still very small. A NICU nurse (odd since she never spent time in the NICU) brought her to me and let me lay her across my chest. This was a position I never thought to hold her in because I always wanted to see her face- but in my heart of hearts I KNOW that I was actually holding Claire in my dream. That for that brief moment, she and I were united again, and she gave me the two things I had cried over not doing/knowing (the color of her eyes, and holding her against my heart). I woke up choking up sobs, waking up and realizing she was gone was like losing her all over again. But the feeling of her on my chest is JUST as strong as remembering how it felt to hold her in my arms. God blesses us with these moments, like yours and the messages, to truly let us know that they are with us, that they watch us, and respond to us. Claire listened to my prayers, she gave me exactly what I needed. I feel extra special that she is mine, just as I'm sure these messages make you feel extra special that Peyton is yours.

  21. Our babies do send us signs. We know that first hand :)

  22. How incredible, you are so lucky to have someone in your life like that. I would give all I own for messages from my boy....

  23. I definitely believe in messages. I have had visitations from my deceased grandmothers and mother in law in my dreams and I know they had come to let me know they are ok. Also on my mother in law's birthday (the first one since her death) I just happened to put on the coat I had at her funeral, which I didn't realise at the time and I almost never wear that coat, especially as it is a winter going out coat for evening wear and I put it on in early autumn. I then put my hand into the pocket and found an envelope addressed to my mother in law that I had used to jot down an aunt's address who we took to the funeral. That for me was a sure sign that my mother in law wanted to show me she was with us :-) I hope you continue to get these messages!!!

  24. I'm another one who believes in signs and visits (our baby, my father, and our pets) and love to hear about others' experiences! I agree that you have to be open to them and am thankful I am :)

    It is both fascinating and comforting to 'hear' from a loved one.

    I'm so glad you wrote this!


  25. This sent chills down my spine.. thank you so much for sharing this...

  26. Ok, I never post to your sight but I read and pray. I love these little words she sends. After my twin and her 2 babies died in house fire. I had many of these lttle clues she was still around. Now we are going on 18 years and been a long time since I felt her. I miss and hurt so bad. Would love to have her come and leave me a clue again. God bless you. Brenda Unzen

  27. wow, this gives me chills. what beautiful messages from your girl.

  28. I don't know if people can really speak with those who have gone before us, but I like the idea that they can and can give us their messages. I hope Peyton was sending those messages to you!