Recently, two experiences have me really thinking.
The first experience was at the WA State Fair on 9/10. It's something that we attend every year and have since I was a little girl. I was especially disappointed last year when Mason was too little for the rides and thought it would be Addi's first year to really get into it. This year Mason was was tall enough for most of the rides and his excitement did not disappoint. I was able to really enjoy Mason and our time at the fair, but the rides pointed out something that was already very clear. Most rides were two person rides, that empty seat killed me every time. There was even a ride that you could ONLY ride if there was a second child. Mason wound up riding with another little girl (of course) in line that didn't have a buddy. That one felt especially hard.
We broke for lunch close to 1pm and headed to my parent's favorite BBQ spot. Brian took the backpack off he had been wearing the whole time and I opened it to get a few things out for Mason.
Let me preface the backpack story by saying that I had taken EVERYTHING out of it the night before and packed it carefully to be light and efficient with everything we would need for the fair. It went from our house to Brian's truck, to his back. It never came off of his back before that moment at lunch. My parents and myself were with Brian the whole time and we never saw nor did Brian feel anyone in the backpack. I got into it once and only once to get a pull-up out of the smaller pocket, but never opened the main pocket. It remained zipped the whole time.
So when we sat down for lunch and I opened the backpack I was shocked to find this:
It's the color of pink that we always associate with Addison and its toddler sized. It didn't smell like someone, but it also didn't smell new. It was clean and perfect and THERE. It's a hat that I've never seen before. I still can't wrap my head around it or how it got there, but of course I brought it home and washed it. Either way, she was with us, but this was a very crazy visual sign.
The second instance occurred 10 days later on 9/20/14. Brian's stepdad has been fighting cancer. We went to visit him in Maine in July. We knew it would be our last visit, but didn't have a timeframe for how much time he would have left.
A few days before this, we bought a new mattress after years of upset over our "fancy" sleep by no. and sleeping like crap (worst purchase ever, I don't recommend them). Anyway, the new mattress has been magical and we are both waking up feeling rested (it's from Cos.tco and literally came in a box). We stood the old mattress up on the wall at the end of our bed to make sure we liked the new mattress before getting rid of the old one. It had been there for a couple days and then on the morning of 9/20, Brian and I woke up to a text message from his stepsister letting us know his stepdad passed peacefully just a few hours before. I noticed right away that the giant and heavy king sized mattress was lying over the end of our bed. Neither of us felt or heard anything. How this monstrosity fell on our bed without hurting us or waking us is pretty crazy to contemplate. My first thought was that Nathan did it as one last "funny" for Brian before he left.
Like I said, I don't know that I believe in signs, but both of these things have me scratching my head.
One thing I have to believe is that Brian's stepdad must be elated to be reunited with Brian's mom. The way he spoke of Eloise was just the sweetest. She was his greatest love. Grammy and Grampy together again. Love to think of Addi being loved on by both of them.