There are advantages to being a former science teacher. One is that you get to help your kids with their homework. My adult daughter and I stood outside her apartment and collected data for an online astronomy class. I gazed upward trying to find stars against the night sky of the city. Jupiter and Venus took center stage as the brightest heavenly objects, even though I identified them opposite of what they should have been! Other stars twinkled at us now and then as we made our calculations. We felt dizzy as we looked above our heads, and it took some effort to find our way even using the stargazing map. It contrasted the several times over the last few months when natural wonders seemed to be deliberately placed in my path. I have shared these before, but I want to include them in my Journey as I navigate to a new star-filled sky in the North.
A few members of my family and I participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness 5k at the Phoenix Zoo in September 2014. It was only three weeks after my husband passed away, but we had signed up several months previous and decided to follow through with our plans. I am a zoo lover and would drag my husband from zoo to zoo in our travels, so just being here in the early hours before it opened for the public made me think of him. It was much too soon for me to be there. I managed to make it around the course with tears streaming down my face, and I ended up walking most of the way with my young granddaughter. After the race we took some time to enjoy the animals. When we got to the lions, my heart melted. The affection between these animals, male and female, reminded me of the love I had shared with my husband. It was such a tender and beautiful moment, and I feel blessed to have captured it on my cell phone camera.
Thankfully I had my camera with me as I was driving along some fields near Tolleson, Arizona two weeks into the new year of 2015. I could not believe the rainbow extending from one side of the road to the other! It’s a wonder I didn’t cause an accident the way I was looking up at the sky while driving. I pulled over at the park to snap a shot, but the arch was so broad that I couldn’t fit all of it into the picture! I realize that many people saw that magnificent rainbow that day. The laws of physics governed its existence. But in that moment of time, it spoke to me and told me that God loved me and that all would be well. Even when life brings dark clouds, there will be a rainbow somewhere in our journey to lift and cheer us, even if just for an instant. Equally I realize that countless zoo guests had the privilege of enjoying the lions in their enclosure. Yet I like to think that God arranged all these things to assure me that my husband is still concerned and watching over me.
There was one incident that I feel was orchestrated especially for me. My daughter and I met in the parking lot of the Mesa LDS Temple on November 21, 2014. It was a Friday night, and we decided to attend the temple, because it would have been when my husband served there if he were still alive. My drive was a bit unusual with road closures and other traffic anomalies, so I arrived later than the designated time we had planned. I soon realized that I wasn’t late at all and that I had arrived just in time for a special event. As my daughter and I walked along the sidewalk, we looked up and saw a falling star shooting out from the dark sky right above the temple. In that instant I stopped breathing and was speechless. It took a second to register, like the fireworks of a first kiss! I was sure that only a handful of others had seen it. This star was mine. It was my husband welcoming me to the temple where he could be near me that Friday night. Now when I see the other winking stars in the heavens, I am reminded that he is always there for me, not just on Fridays and not just at the temple. As my grandson assures me, “He is always here in our hearts.”
© 2015 to Present Patricia J. Angus