My cousin, Marilyn, lived in Sacramento and we met via genealogy research in 1997 because our grandfathers shared the same name, John Thomas Taylor. As it panned out, our grandfathers were cousins and we had the same ggg-grandparents, Joshua & Sarah Kelsey Taylor. Marilyn and I quickly became very close friends and could tell each other any and everything. We would talk on the phone four or five times a day, sometimes just for a minute or often for two hours. She would fly out and spend a week with us three times a year and was the easiest house guest we’ve ever had. The two of us laughed and cried our way through 17 years together…always in touch daily.
Unfortunately, we lost Marilyn last May, just 23 days before her 74th birthday. Even though she’d tell me this was going to happen because of her failing health, I couldn’t accept or believe that and I cannot begin to tell you how much I have missed her. One of the last things she said to me was, “It’s so good to hear your voice.” Within a day, she was no longer able to talk to me and then, she was gone. Once again, I didn’t get to tell someone so dear goodbye.
She turned Jewish a year or so before her death and her new faith gave her great peace and contentment, though she continued to struggle with her doubt about life after death. But she promised me she’d send me a sign she was okay, if it turned out that heaven actually existed and she was wrong.
I kept waiting and watching for a sign from her and nothing came. So, after eight months, I decided to have a little talk with her recently to remind her she still owed me a sign she was there and doing fine. The next morning, imagine my surprise to look out the window and see a dove sitting in a tree beside our deck. My husband and I have been in this house for 30 years and in this state for 34 and have never seen a dove here in this altitude (8000 feet) before.
That little dove continues to come to our front deck every single morning and I can hear it’s sweet coo in the edge of the woods next to our property. If you’ve read my book “We Are Different Now” or heard of it, you probably know that I do believe in “signs” from those dear to us who are elsewhere today. And I am convinced that this dove is my sign from Marilyn. I call the dove Rachel (pronounced Rock-owl), which was Marilyn’s chosen Jewish name. The picture above is my dove, sitting on the rock that is the natural wall around our front deck. I always smile when I see it and know what people mean when they tell you they are sending you light and love.