...or a sign?
Paul and I have been car shopping for Ashleigh. Yes, here in Michigan. She got financed, in VA, but we didn't want her out car shopping on her own. So, she sent a nice BIG fat check to us..to spend..for her! Along with some pretty harsh instructions on what type of car she wanted..right up to color choices. We've had a tough time looking for certain makes/models/colors of cars to suite Ashleigh's fancy! She's one picky gal!
While car shopping, over the course of 5 weeks, we went to many dealerships. Each time we would get close to closing the deal, something would go completely wrong and the deal would fall all to pieces. It was frustrating for us and for Ashleigh. That being said, after all those weeks and disappointments ... we picked up a 2010 Malibu with only 16,000 miles on it, just a few hours ago. Very sharp car!
As Paul was out alone one night (car shopping), he sent me a text. All the text said was, "I found a car. This is the one." Once he got home, he told me about the salesman. It turned out that the salesman is married to the lead detective for the Michigan State Police, who headed up the investigation on the night of Brad's death/fire. She has since turned it over to another detective, (the case is still open). Just A Coincidence or a sign?? Truthfully, we aren't sure. But this deal went off without a hitch. The car is in our driveway now--as I type. Could it be Brad's way of saying.."this car is the one."? No idea. Whatever the case, it gave us chills to meet the detectives husband and buy a car from him.
Earlier today, Paul and I headed to the dealership to pick up Ashleigh's car. As we were getting ready to leave the dealership, keys in hand to that pretty, shiny, blue car, we ran into a very familiar face. Even though we hadn't seen this face in quite sometime. Mandy, one of Carly's favorite oncology nurses was in the dealership buying herself a new car. She took care of Carly many times while we were inpatient. And she kept me company on many endless nights. We just loved her. We were always somewhat relieved to see her face come into our hospital room. We knew we'd be well taken care of. When Mandy's eyes met ours while standing in that dealership and she screeched..."Carly's mom and dad!" Yep, she remembered us and our sweet girl. She hadn't seen Carly in about 4 yrs..or more. I guess it's been over 4yrs, now that I sit here and think about it. She had her son with her today, who is 5yrs old. . . she didn't have kids when she took care of Carly. Anyway, the next words out of her mouth, and I knew they were coming... "Oh my gosh, how's Carly?" Instant tears poured out of my eyes. And I mean instant. So instant, that I was kind of thrown for a loop. And I'll never forget the look on her face. Ever. Oh my gosh! Poor Mandy had no idea what had happened. And then, she cried too. We stood inside that dealership hugging and crying. Just A Coincidence or a sign? Again, no idea. But we think maybe, just m a y b e, both Carly and Brad were with us today.
Through all my counseling, reading, and research on grief and grieving, I've read and been told countless times.."there will be signs." We are starting to believe this to be true. And we're somewhat freaked out by it. Favorite songs of both Carly and Brad come on the radio more and more often lately. What's even more freaky than hearing those songs, is the timing of the songs. Purple (Carly's favorite color) flowers poppin' up randomly. Finding everything imaginable in Eagle form..Brad loved Eagles! As a matter of fact, I found an Eagle garden statue about 2ft tall...I bought it (wasn't even looking for one) and placed it at his grave. It seems wherever I go, I see something with Eagles on it. And as crazy, weird as this sounds, I've even thought that I smelled their scent a time or two. Just don't know what to think, are these all Just A Coincidence...or a sign?
There is not a day that goes by, that we don't miss Carly and Brad. There is not a day that passes, that they aren't heavy on our minds. We are so completely lost without them both. Our hearts actually hurt. Every. Single. Day. I think often of what we'd be doing with Carly. Playing outside everyday after school. Watching Disney 24/7. Listening to her boom box blasting out Hannah Montana. I miss her sweet little voice and her chuckle of a laugh..which was exactly like Brad's! We miss Brad's voice. His chuckle and we are lost without him helping us with all our techie stuff. We are totally in the dark when it comes to all things techie. We miss the relationship that the two of them had. And we are so very sad that Brad never will have the joy of being a dad. We will never see any grandchildren from our son.
The week before Carly passed away, we ordered pizza. When the pizza arrived, Carly came around the corner, into the kitchen, took one look at the delivery guy and spun around running to Brad's room, screaming, "BUBBA, B U B B A" He came out of his room and said, "dang Carly, I can hear ya know" Whenever Carly had candy, she'd run to her "Bubba" and make sure he got a piece too. Truth be known, he probably told her she HAD to give him some of her candy! She even put stickers on his bedroom door - he left them there for a LONG, LONG time. And even though we are struggling with God right now..we are trying VERY hard to hold on to any shred of hope. We are doing, or trying to do this..in hopes that our two kids are together. It's not easy for us. We are still VERY pissed off and will likely be for many, many years to come.
On a lighter note. Paul and I are heading to VA on Thursday to personally deliver Ashleigh's car to her. She's super excited to get the car and we're equally excited and super anxious to see her. Even if only for a few days..it will do all 3 of us good. And, we'll be together for Easter, which is also the 6mo date of our fire and Brad's death. I'm thinking we're going to do something completely different for Easter dinner this year. Not the traditional ham dinner. Maybe a nice big steak dinner. Steak was Brad's favorite meal. It's also the meal he requested just 50 minutes before his death. I know he'd enjoy a steak for Easter dinner..he never liked ham.
1 day ago