This weekend was a culmination of some very significant “coincidences" that all intertwined and pointed to a significant part of my life that shaped who I am in my spirituality and how I view the world.
Sunday was the anniversary of the death of a dear friend I had in high school. Her name was Melissa Joy Julien. She died 23 years ago. 23 is my favorite number and has been since the fourth grade.
Another friend had a swarm of bees around her house in Arizona on Friday. I was proud to be able to offer instructions on how to “contain” the bee swarm. I knew these instructions from my grandfather, Stanislaus Batura who died one month and nine days after Melissa.
Friday and Saturday night were rough nights for me and I think it’s just now as I type that I’m beginning to put all of these pieces together.
One of my last significant memories with Melissa was the day I learned the instructions I gave my friend Ashley. My grandfather kept bees in the garden and they swarmed right before Melissa came with her mom to pick me up so I could hang at her house for the afternoon playing Tetris and eating Skittles.
When they arrived I was outside throwing sand in the air and hitting the top of our tin trash cans with sticks to replicate a “thunder storm” so the bees would re-collect around their queen.
It worked. I left my house that afternoon with a massive collection of bees that looked very much like a giant living cone hanging on a low branch below my sister’s bedroom window.
One of the first moments I realized that angels were real to me was when I went to visit the bees after my grandfather’s passing.
I was wearing my favorite black t-shirt. It was a cloudy overcast day and as I watched the bees and started talking to my grandfather, I felt the warmth of sun cover my shoulders, like a hug.
I remember just letting it soak in because it felt so good; like a crack in the darkness I’d been in. Then I turned around to get sunlight on my face and there wasn’t a break in the clouds.
There was no hole for the sun to come through.
It was at that moment that I was convinced that it was my grandfather that had wrapped me in his embrace. Ever since then, whenever I see a bee I feel connected to my grandfather in a very real way.
Since this time; bees have always showed up during a significant event in my life.
Shortly after the passing of these two significant people in my life I received a gift from Melissa’s mom. It was a stained glass bee. It sits on my altar now and has always had a place of honor in my home.
When I was home for my 20 year high school reunion 2 years ago. I went to dinner with a friend, Jon who was also close to Melissa and her family. Through a series of interesting twists and turns our plans changed about four times before we connected at a local restaurant and chose to sit outside in the warm air.
We walked out of the door and sitting there was a couple I didn’t recognize but Jon did. Before I could process anything, there was this beautiful woman standing before me with tears in her eyes asking if I knew who she was. I didn’t. It turned out to be Melissa’s little sister, April and I didn’t recognize her because the last time I saw her she would have been somewhere around 10 or 11.
April and her husband Chris, came and joined us for a drink. While we were there, the musician who was playing very contemporary music started to play the classic Jim Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. This was Melissa’s favorite song. April and I looked up and both spotted a shooting star in the sky. We were both in tears and we knew Melissa was there with us, celebrating our connection and perhaps, even a bit responsible for this chain of events.
Saturday I found a picture of Jon and I from high school. Holding that photo and remembering that event gave me a certain sense of peace. It’s still sitting on my kitchen counter top.
In the research I’ve done about spirituality and my unique gifts in this space; I’ve done quite a few meditations to connect to my angels and spirit guides. I’m sure you're not surprised at this point, that both my grandfather and Melissa are part of that sacred group.
Sometimes the universe brings us a series of reminders, I call them gifts, that help us to remember some very important moments in our lives so we can recognize with gratitude their contributions to our story.
I don’t have any other explanation for the alignment of so many symbols and triggers from such a significant time of my life: from the anniversary date, to the number of years passed and from a bee swarm to a discovered old photo.
My trip down memory lane reinforced that 23 years ago was not only the first time I truly learned about how precious and fragile life is and how important it is to LIVE. It was also the first time I recognized consciously that there is magic in this world if we are willing to see it. It’s happening all around us, all of the time.
I count myself blessed to be so in-tune. It gives me the advantage of seeing this weekend as an opportunity to let go of even more grief and pain that I thought I was over. To make more space in my heart for the beauty of these gifts and their purpose. To deepen my trust in the universal plan for my life’s path and those I’m meant to serve.
It was also a beautiful reminder that although I had spent most of the weekend by myself, I am never truly alone.