Hello! I picked this book up recently at a thrift store:
I'm a sucker for book compilations that contain stories of "...Eternal Love, Powerful Connections, and Divine Signs from Beyond". And perhaps the main reason for this fondness is that I have a "Divine Signs from Beyond" story of my own.
It occurred in early March 1998. My older sister, Ellen, had died of cancer less than two months before, and my husband had come up with an idea for honoring her memory: a family outing to a Detroit Tigers game. She had been a huge Tigers fan.
Having grown up in Chicago, my husband is a Cubs fan, so he found the perfect game for the outing: the Tigers were playing the Cubs at Tiger Stadium on June 24th. Ellen had liked the Cubs as well, and had attended one of their games at Wrigley Field with us years ago.
In 1998, my husband and I were living in suburban Philadelphia, but were planning on visiting my family later on in March. We would bring up the baseball game get-together then.
Shortly after my husband and I discussed the game outing, he got a piece of mail that struck us as unusual: an envelope from the Chicago Cubs that enclosed a copy of their season schedule and a form for ordering game tickets. Now, my husband had been to many Cubs games in his life, but the last one he'd attended had been well before we'd moved to the East Coast. It seemed very strange that the Cubs organization would send their schedule to someone who now lived nowhere near Wrigley Field. He hadn't gotten mailings from the Cubs before this.
But what was even stranger was the piece of mail I got just a few days later: a brochure from a sports souvenir shop located a short distance away from Tiger Stadium. "Come see us on the way to the Tigers game!" the brochure copy exclaimed.
Good marketing copy to be sure, but I'd never even heard of the shop, and I'm not in the habit of buying sports souvenirs. So how and why did they even get my name and address? I had been away from Tiger Stadium even longer than my husband had been away from Wrigley Field, so there was no reason for the shop owner to think I'd be passing by anytime soon.
And, as with my husband's mail from the Cubs, I wasn't living anywhere near the shop. How on earth could I have been considered in its target market?
I told my husband these mailings had to have been Ellen's doing. She was letting us know she wanted us to go ahead and plan the baseball game outing in her memory. He's not into such "life from beyond" stuff, so he poo-pooed that notion. But we did get the rest of my family on board for the event. Enough of us would be in attendance to get a group rate and our group name on the scoreboard during the game.
And it turned out to be a quite a game! The Tigers came from behind to beat the Cubs 7-6 in 11 innings. Everyone in the family was happy except for my husband.
But as he admitted later, he wasn't surprised that Tigers ended up winning. As they were beginning their rally, he claimed that suddenly he saw Ellen's face clearly in his mind. This dismayed him, as he interpreted it as a sign from her that the Tigers would win. So much for not believing in signs from the deceased! But he was right - the Tigers won, just as he had interpreted they would.
By the way, we did the Tigers game family outings for a few more years after that, until it got to be too much of a hassle to arrange it. But my husband and I never got those game-related mailings again. I guess my sister just wanted to make sure it happened that first time!
And here's another freaky thing: I didn't remember the exact day of that game in 1998, only that it had happened in late June or early July. So I consulted my journal from that year - and learned that it had happened on June 24th. And I'm writing this blog post on - June 24th.
Perhaps I got a nudge from Ellen to write up this post on the anniversary of that game! If so, well done, Ellen! We miss you.