I am a HUGE believer in signs and messages that are quite possibly strictly coincidence but, when interpreted the way I need to at any given time, can seem other-worldly, comforting, or just good reminders. (And if you’re wondering, although I don’t check on a daily basis I do happen to enjoy reading my horoscope. As long as it’s good. Bad? Forget it. Those are the days I don’t believe it.)

When my first beagle–the late, great Bijoux–died back in 2003, I took major comfort in what I interpreted as signs from her. It started with an INXS song (I wrote about it on my first blog, here), and after a variety of other minor “messages” I got nothing for a while. When we brought Roxie home a year later, we noticed that once in a blue moon she would lay longways on top of the arm of the couch exactly like Bijoux did when she was a puppy (before she tumbled off, floppy ears flying) and stare at us until we noticed her doing that. Then she would get down immediately. Weird, right?

When Momo’s sweet dog, Blue, died this past spring, I told her about the signs I got from Bijoux and was thrilled that she looked for (and found) some awesome ones.

Of course, my beliefs about this aren’t restricted to the canine population. Take what happened this week, for example.

On Wednesday I happened to see a tweet from my friend Kim that mentioned how Kaufman’s Deli was finally open again. Kaufman’s is a Jewish deli located in Skokie (a northern suburb of Chicago) that originally opened in 1955 but had an awful fire in 2011, causing them to close their doors for nearly a year until they could rebuild. My parents have enjoyed Kaufman’s since their original opening, as did my late grandparents, as have my sister and I. Anyway, when I saw Kim’s tweet, I thought of Marilyn.

You might remember Marilyn, my Bonus Grandma, who passed away in August. She loved Kaufman’s, and up until the fire we used to bring corned beef, seedless rye bread, and pickles to her condo when we visited. (And then she’d insist on paying us for it, and we’d tell her “no”, and then she’d get upset and insist some more, and sometimes we’d let her pay for it but sometimes we wouldn’t.)

After the fire, Marilyn used to ask if Kaufman’s was still closed. We had the conversation every time we saw her up until the day she went into the hospital. Finding out that Kaufman’s was open again on Wednesday gave me a big smile because of Marilyn, but then I went on with my day and didn’t think anything else about it.

On Friday we were on our way to the circus when I saw it: a billboard for the upcoming Johnny Mathis concert in Chicago. I don’t know; it’s just a billboard but the fact that Kaufman’s had just reopened two days before I saw that ad for Marilyn’s favorite singer in the world, by far? It gave me the warm fuzzies. Call me crazy but I’ll disagree every time (in this case, anyway): coincidence or not, anything that can provide comfort after the loss of a loved one is a good thing.

Do you believe in this kind of stuff? Do you look for it?


  • Grandma W

    I had a thought about her this week too. You may have to bring us a CARE package when you come the next time from Kaufman’s.

    I wish Johnny would come here. Misty is your Dad’s and mine favorite song by him.

    Grandma W

  • Dawndi

    She is watching over you! I believe in signs also. When my sister got married, the Rabbi talked about Dad and said that the rainbow was God’s promise to us and we should think of him whenever we saw a rainbow. The day of my grandmother’s (his mom’s) funeral, we were standing outside and there was a rainbow over Mom’s house. Dad was there.