Those of us who have had traumatic experiences in life often wonder Why Me? Why Us? Why Now? I am not a believer that the Universe has a set plan for everyone that is followed on a straight course of life. That said, I AM a believer that there are people and things that occur in our lives that align like the stars and if you pay attention, you’ll realize that the Universe is telling you something at that moment. I don’t mean that the universe talks to you in voices or that there is a ring of light shining like a neon sign down a path or that special person, because that would just be silly. It’s taking in the sights, sounds and words of others you come in contact with and taking note of the things around your environment where you’ll see them. I’ll share some experiences with you:
The biggest one I can refer to is what led to the start of this organization. After Delilah passed away, I had many people that would reach out to me, and not only would they check in on how our family was doing, but they would also tell me that they had thought about her often, and that she had impacted their lives in some way. The stories weren’t just from our close friends and family, but from people who would tell me this when I had not seen them in months, they were past friends who we rarely got to see anymore, but she had made enough of an imprint on them for them to reach out and say something. After thinking about that for some time, I realized that this was the universe speaking to me; telling me that her short life was not for nothing, and that she was not done yet making her mark on this world. And so the Tangerine Owl Project was created.
Another experience was random, or was it? Bright Tangerine orange was the color that reminded us of our little girl. She was not the fru fru light pink, and had never done anything muted in her life. I had always loved lilies, but not the stargazer ones, or even the casablancas, I loved the vibrancy and the in-your-face vividness of the orange ones… Delilah’s middle name was Evangeline, and my husband called her Lily for short sometimes. It was for those reasons orange lilies were our memorial flower of choice. They symbolized a small representation of her. A few months later, after we had moved into our new place in another city, we were leaving our house to take our children to school and in our front yard, what had bloomed, but orange lilies. We hadn’t seen these yet, because it had been too cold, and it wasn’t anywhere in the pictures of the home when we were looking – completely random, and perhaps coincidental, but I had been having a hard time that day and had been thinking about Delilah almost non-stop for those last few days, and had cried myself to sleep the night before for whatever reason I was thinking about her being gone. That morning, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw those lovely flowers because to me, they were a sign that she was still there with us.
Another more recent, was the case of a few lovely ladies I met recently. I had been at my regular coffee shop one weekday morning just grabbing a cup before heading out to start my day and happened to see a friend of mine (who is a superb people connector) sitting there chatting with another lady. He does a lot for our community and seemingly knows everybody so I said hi, not wanting to interrupt their conversation. While doing so, he introduced me to the lady he was with, turns out she is with a blood donation company, and they were just discussing how summer is a hard time for them because people tend to donate less in that time, but the need is still in great demand. So I say, well, if you guys figure something out I’d love to help out with it, and take her business card, say my goodbyes and leave them to get back to their meeting….. I emailed her later that week to say hi and follow up, and when I did that she had mentioned that she’s working with a local resident to put together a blood drive to honor her son (yep, the one I’ve posted about earlier this week), and if I wanted to meet with them they’d be happy to work together. When we held that meeting, in talking to this boy’s mother and telling her more about the Tangerine Owl Project and Delilah’s story, I found out that her son had been a preemie as well (due to being a triplet), and she had had her own NICU experience in addition to the battle with Leukemia her son had faced in later years. We all laughed at the fact that the stars had aligned to bring the three of us together to now put on this upcoming event.
Some people argue that with cases as this people are searching for any connection to their loss or something that’s on their mind (like how people trying to conceive take more notice of baby bumps, children playing, etc.), and some will argue that its all random chance. This may be the case, but instead I’m choosing to believe that the Universe chooses to communicate with us sometimes, and listening to it when we notice leads to something positive. These aren’t answers to the “why?” or “why me/us?” but rather sometimes the “why now” and “where do I go from here” if you’re lucky enough to catch the whispers.