It often happens when I'm busy...or rushing to get in the car to pick Brian up from school...or feeling frazzled. That covers nearly every single day. I glance at my phone or the clock on my dashboard or the clock on the oven and it reads 11:11. It's been happening consistently for months.
Why haven't I noticed the clock hitting 11:11 like this before?
In the meantime, over the same past few months, I have been missing my Dad. A lot. And, to be honest, a little more than bummed that I hadn't "heard from him"...hadn't seen him in my dreams. I thought, "Well - I am the youngest of five. Maybe he's visiting everyone in order and hasn't gotten to me yet." What? It's possible, right?!
But then it occurred to me.
My Dad has been visiting me almost every day.
It became a bit of a joke at my parent's house when I would call there every single day. He'd say, "I knew it was you! When the phone rang I said to your Mother, That's Kate!"
And now he has been calling me just about every day. Yet it took me several months to answer. I'm sorry, Dad.
My Dad and I were...and are...very close. I always liked to run things by him and he was always more than happy to share his knowledge...his opinion...his research. If I shared with him a new therapy I wanted to try with Gavin - he'd go to the library and get books on the topic. Or he'd print out 25 pages of research to give to me. He was always very interested in Eastern medicine - long before I did Acupuncture or saw Dr. Trish...or even met my Chinese husband! He had us see a dentist who practiced holistic medicine. And when I was ill and no one could diagnose me, he pushed to have all of my mercury fillings removed and I got better. He knew acupressure points and could get rid of your headache before you could search for an Advil. And he took Cod Liver Oil for health benefits. He was very open to alternative medicine and I was always grateful to have his support and understanding when I would seek those methods to treat my own child. I learned to be open to it from him, after all!
So over the past few months I have felt more "in touch" with my Dad.
Like when I sat in the dark in a hospital room the night of Gavin's seizure and wondered if he'd be okay. I glanced at my computer - 11:11pm.
Or as recently as this past Sunday. Out running errands I was thinking about the special school we visited for Gavin. I talked out loud to my Dad in that moment - thinking other cars going by might think I was singing and not talking to Heaven. I pulled out my phone when I got to the parking lot - 11:11am. Like a thumbs up from my Dad. I wouldn't be surprised if he had visited the St. Gabriel's Public Library in Heaven to research Camphill Special School for me.
But more often than not, it's just a whispered "Hi". When I jump in the car to go pick up Brian from pre school. I see 11:11 and I stop...I breathe...I swallow down the lump that forms in my throat and I tell my Dad I love him. I love that it gets me to stop everything. And I love these moments - it's just me and my Dad. No distractions. Full attention. Just like the old days. He always, always made time for me.
I've mentioned many times that my Dad had a stroke six months before my wedding. I was only slightly disappointed (okay, maybe a lot) that we wouldn't be able to dance. It seemed that we had been practicing our unconventional, Jitterbug routine for most of my life...in preparation for this very event. I had to come up with something spectacular in it's place...something to honor him for the fabulous father he was. And to celebrate the fact that he not only made it to my wedding day, but managed to walk me down the aisle amidst loud cheers and many tears.
So I made him a video. It had three important components that I knew my Dad would appreciate - things that we shared a love of. Books. A song with clear and meaningful lyrics. And sentiment. I've never shared it since my wedding day...and the only way I knew how to share it was to videotape it from our TV. But here it is...on the most appropriate day.
Because Dad - now I know that you weren't forgetting me.
I should have known that everywhere I am, there you'll be.