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My Facebook memories yesterday reminded me of a connection I had with Perry last year. (Write your divine signs and connections down somewhere! We think we will never forget, but as these experiences add up and become part of our new normal, we can forget.)

"Some days are meant to be remembered. Others are meant to be redeemed."

These are not words my 17 year-old son would have spoken to me here. These are not words I would have believed were from him, early on this journey. It's usually through feeling his presence, and visions, that I know Perry is around, and sometimes I can hear/feel his voice. The words above came as a thought God spoke to me, through my son. The words fell fresh upon my heart when I read them again yesterday.

What these words above do not imply is that I ignore emotions that may arise around this 27th day of July - this day in 2015 that our world bottomed out. Nor do these words of wisdom tell me that I need to busy myself 'thinking up' a way to make this day better.

What these words taught me is that I can relax and trust that Spirit will lead me through difficult days, in ways I wouldn't necessarily expect, beyond my comprehension and exceeding my expectations.

In the months leading up to this day in 2016, we collected stuffed animals on behalf of the Sailor Kate Ministry. This ministry reached out to us and sent our children gifts of comfort after Perry returned Home. It felt very important to me shortly after Perry's physical death, that I channel my love for Perry into others here. Beautiful souls from all over the country sent us stuffed animals. As I prayed for each recipient, I also prayed for discernment over each stuffed animal, which one to send to which brother or sister, son or daughter. For Perry's birth-day 2016, my mom visited, and together we delivered stuffed animals to local bereaved siblings, sons and daughters. We also delivered some to our local fire department.

We received an additional blessing on July 27th of that year. Wendy Lee, the sweet (and energetic!) Momma of Sailor Kate and the SK Ministry, and her loving gang, visited us all the way from Georgia. My friend Beverly also visited from Tennessee, and together we delivered stuffed animals to children in a local hospice, and to the Ronald McDonald House of Phoenix. We received much more than we gave that day - love from the recipients, and all the love from Wendy and her crew.

An additional gift of love by Wendy was a handmade quilt, in honor of Perry. Beautiful souls from all over the country created squares and quilted them together. The green t-shirts and specific date of their visit just worked out that way, effortlessly. God was in the details, Perry was in the details.

Fast forward one year. Prior to this day in 2017, our daughter Rayanna had been anticipating a college tour of ASU. Logistically, it appeared that it would not happen until late summer. I found an unexpected opening, but it was short notice, and on July 27th. A voice in my head questioned, "Won't that be too hard for you?" I felt the conflict, the discomfort, in my gut. "What if you are too sad and ruin her day?" I knew that Spirit had opened the door, so I could trust. Despite my discomfort, all I had to do was take one step.

"Some days are meant to be redeemed, Mom".

If Spirit opens the door, Spirit will escort us through it.

We will never know the gifts we miss out on if we say no.

I received the gift of sharing my daughter's excitement on this day one year ago, as we got our first insider view of the campus Rayanna had hoped to attend.

Yes, I carried a tender heart that day, but I appreciated our time together even more as I marveled at the miracle of joy on unbelievably hard days.

I received an additional gift on that day. While following our group leader on a tour through a large student common area, I suddenly felt the holy spirit, divine presence. Love greater than myself or my own... what I often feel as Love outside of myself, entering from the outside-in. I have described this feeling as electricity mixed with love - first surrounding me, then enveloping me, and sometimes blending with me. I know through many, many connections that this powerful feeling of being surround by Love means that I may receive messages. I also felt this particular experience to be what I call "Perry-flavored", meaning that I also felt the essence of my son in this awareness of communing with Spirit.

The tour guide began to explain how students can use their student IDs as their debit cards, as she was standing next to the ATM. The tour guide held up her student ID with the ASU colors of red with gold. Instantly I was taken back to a few days prior when I had been in a spiritual connection. At the end of the connection, I had felt the energy shift in a way that I often do when Spirit begins to help someone else. Usually when this happens, I become aware of a new messenger or receiver. Neither impression had come to me, so I was confused, but the messages had been very clear and strong, so I shared what I had received. It turned out - not surprisingly- that the following messages did not connect with the receiver:

I saw the young man in spirit I had been connecting with hold up what looked like a driver's license. A feeling of love and pride was impressed upon me, as this young man beamed, in spirit, as if he was proud of himself for accomplishing this, or proud of someone here. I relayed the details as I began to see them on the card - the color RED. And a large A.

Instant awareness. On a hot July 27th afternoon in Tempe, AZ, surrounded by a crowd of hot and tired faces, I was in heaven. I was the recipient and Rayanna was the recipient. I felt Perry's love for me, and his immense love and pride for his sister. I felt Perry sharing that moment with us, in a loving bond that is stronger than human connection. I felt the immense love and joy we shared. That July 27th was one of the best days of my life. Redemption.

Today is July 27th, 2018. My heart is tender, but this afternoon we will pick up Rayanna from camp for ASU's Grand Challenge Scholars, where she has been all week. We will pick her up at the same dorm she will be living in very soon, on the same campus we toured for the first time on this day last year.

Rayanna has been having a "really, really good time". I have heard parts of stories, and I've been eagerly awaiting more. I am looking forward to hearing about our daughter's first campus adventures, of many more to come!

It goes without saying that I know Perry is close to us. He lives in heaven, safe in God's love, but heaven is among us. Perry lives in the flow of love with us. We are a family forever, joined by a spiritual cord that can never be severed.

Perry's soul is intertwined with my soul, his dad's, his sister's, his brother's. Perry is connected to all who love him.

In moments of taking steps of faith through open doors,

In moments of love,

We meet.


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