Blog Post 7: Signs in Paradise

Sorry I haven’t written in a while but my summer flew by and I stayed busy with summer camp and family adventures.  I still can’t believe I never found the time to write. But… now that school is in full swing again, I’m back at my computer and can’t wait to share my adventures with all of you. Recently I traveled to Hawaii where I explored so many beautiful places and went on lots of cool excursions and I want to be sure I always remember them.  I went zip-lining through a rainforest on the big island of Hawaii, kayaking to a waterfall where I actually got to swim IN THE WATERFALL in Kauai, snorkeling in Maui where I saw hundreds of brightly colored tropical fish, and paddle boarding at the beach which gives you a great view of what’s right below your feet.  Through all of this, I didn’t have to wonder too long whether my dad had joined me for these adventures – because he’s an expert at sending me signs. In my letters I share stories of signs that help me know my dad is close by- like when our favorite songs play on the radio or when a bird stops by my window to say hello. But, the signs that were sent to me in Hawaii were just too great not to share with the world. And, just like all of my wonderful Hawaiian adventures, I want to be sure I always remember these magical moments forever. The biggest sign that swam my way was the sea turtle that showed up RIGHT BY MY FEET!! The reason the sea turtle was so important to me is because it reminded me of the book, “Always Remember” that I’ve written about in one of my blogs and which is also an item that I send in my care packages to kids who have lost a parent. The book is about an old sea turtle and how his memory lives on in the minds and hearts of those he has known throughout his life even after he’s passed away. Ever since I found this book, I have slept with a stuffed sea turtle that reminds me of my dad. I even had him with me on this trip. Another crazy sign I saw in Hawaii was the stunning rainbow that showed up as we toured the Napali Coast. It was bigger and brighter than any I had seen before and seemed to last forever. I immediately think of my dad anytime I see a rainbow, but this one was extra special because it appeared in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  The final sign came while we were hiking to a waterfall. It was a little red and white bird - some kind of cardinal (I don't remember the name) but it reminded me of my home, Ohio and also my dad’s football colors. The little bird hung out with us while we ate lunch and I was even able tosneak him a few treats. So, while I wish more than anything that my dad could be there in person to experience all of these beautiful sights, it’s really comforting to know that he was never far.  If you have lost a loved one, and have witnessed similar signs, I'd love to hear your story!