Signs That Keep On Giving


Do you know what day it is?

Wait a minute...

I don't mean today...like two days after Julie's birthday. I'm talking about any given day...as when you wake up...as you go about your business...or don't.

Do you know what day it is?

Does it really matter?

Do you REALLY care???


Such was the conversation/argument between Brother John and Ron going to and returning from our St. Louis baseball adventure on August 16th...the day the double-rainbow appeared on the horizon.

Odd what "old folks" will talk about to pass their golden years...

Hey...it's better than leafing through the obituaries and remarking on your peers who failed to awaken with the sunrise!

John is of the opinion that knowing what day it is is important...a sign (if you will) that your mind is still engaged, has not slipped a gear, is not turning to mush.

I, on the other hand, strongly disagree.

Last year, around this time, I related my last year's birthday experience...that my school friends forced me to attend a party in my honor (since I had deprived them of a retirement party by slinking off into the sunset.)

At that party, I was informed of the retired people's calendar...their weekly schedule. According to that wise person, a retired person's week consists of 6 Saturdays and 1 Sunday. Since I have already confessed to not belonging to any organized religion, therefore not attending church, I made my retired life even more stress free.

Remember the old television jingle about Dollar General..."Everyday is dollar day at the Dollar General Store." Well, everyday is Saturday in the life of Ronnie Newell.

Hence, my failure to take John's obsession with time seriously.


Uh, Ron...where the heck are you going with this?

Well, since you asked...I'll tell you.

I'm going back to the postscript to Monday's posting..."Stalked by Rainbows II".

I concluded by saying...

Well, today is that appointed day. (John...are you happy? I'm vigorously exercising the old gray matter!)

It's time to reveal the "nagging fact"...the "pesky shadow"...the possible "flaw" in my sign.

Although I reported the sign on Julie's birthday (in response to Rachel's blog that I read that morning), the double-rainbow actually appeared the day before...on August 16th.

Did that matter, or did that relegate the sign to being a mere coincidence? I mean, double rainbows do appear across the world, probably every day. So, could I really lay claim to this one as mine...as a sign?

As I said in the earlier post...I had no doubt. But, there are those nonbelievers...

Then my guardian angel intervened, saving me from undo stress...

You see...John and I saw that double-rainbow in the late afternoon on August 16th...probably around 6 p.m.

Uh, "So?", you might be wondering...

Well, that was 6 p.m., Central Daylight Savings Time, on August 16th. It just so happens that the "wisher for rainbows"...the one who receives rainbow signs instead of butterfly signs...is Rachel, who happens to be in Kenya, Africa...which is like 9 or 10 hours ahead of us.

Do the math...

When John and I saw the rainbow, it was the wee hours of August 17th where Rachel was...where the rainbow originated. If it had been raining in Kenya, if the sun had been shining, if Rachel had been awake...she would have seen her rainbow. (Of course, if the sun had been shining at 3 a.m. in Kenya...the whole world would be talking about "the sign". (Sorry, folks...these are OUR signs. You want signs? Open your eyes, your mind, and your heart! As I keep saying...signs happen.)


I closed my aforementioned postscript by saying that for a "related reason" my follow-up would be on August 19th.

What "related reason"?

You always ask such timely and probing questions...

I've been "better" about going to the cemetery to visit Julie's gravesite...only a couple times a week. (Well, maybe three...)

The "week" of our birthdays, I got back into the everyday routine because I had decided it was time for real flowers...Julie loved them so. With the blazing sun, I decided that I needed to check the water level daily.

And, on August 17th...

Spent much of the day writing and editing the two posts to julieanewell.com. As I had indicated in the first post of the day, I made a late morning trip to the florist to get the yellow roses that Rachel wrote about and take them to the cemetery.

When I returned home, it was more writing and editing for the second post...along with "normal stuff". (Nothing like a "Saturday" afternoon nap...or two!)

Along about 7:30 p.m., the day and the writing prompted me to get out of the house...get some fresh air. And, yes, I wound up at the cemetery. Didn't stay but a few minutes (it was getting dark) and didn't even get emotional. Just felt the need to be there at the end of the day.

When I got back in the car, I started 'er up...and turned on the radio. One song was just finishing and, without any intro, another song started playing. The song was Bette Midler's "The Wind Beneath My Wings".

Well, last year - on August 19th - Rachel posted an entry to her blog which she entitled "Perfect Timing". I "borrowed" her post, added a short intro, and named it The Wind Beneath My Wings"...the song that prompted Rachel's post, her birthday dedication to Julie.

Talk about "Perfect Timing"...

And, you naysayers...don't you dare quibble!!!

The song played on August 17th - Julie's birthday - right there in the cemetery...Julie's "sign" of appreciation to Rachel for the roses!

You want more?

I'll give you more...

Last night (August 18th) at approximately 7:30 p.m., I made an impromptu decision to go to Sikeston and shop. Yes, I turned on the radio. The host (Delilah) was talking to one of her call-in listeners...some lady talking about her daughter and how her daughter had made her 50th birthday such an "awesome experience". The caller gushed and gushed and gushed. Delilah asked the lady what song she wanted her to play in honor of her daughter. The lady deferred to Delilah (as most callers do)...trusting her to pick the perfect song.

Yep..."The Wind Beneath Her Wings" by Bette Midler.

"The 18th?", you say. What's with the 18th? You were talking the 17th...the birthday...we can buy that. Then you jumped to the 19th...of last year...when Rachel heard and dedicated her song. Okay. But...the 18th?

Pity, pity, pity...

John was right!

You don't know what day it is...and it IS important!!!

I told you, tried to educate you, and you failed...miserably.

If it's 7:30 p.m on August 18th in Cairo, IL...

What day is it in Kenya, Africa???


Footnote:

My posts yesterday and today have focused on Rachel and her rainbow signs and, now, her song dedications.

Julie would not leave Ronnie out...

Especially after he worked so hard witnessing OPS (Other People's Signs), fulfilling flower orders, and delivering messages to a loved one who lives thousands of miles - and 9 or 10 time zones - away.

So, I was not totally surprised when Julie rewarded my efforts...

After doing my shopping, I climbed into the car and started it up. Since I did not turn off the radio when I arrived, it was still tuned to "Julie's Channel". Now playing..."Never Alone" by Jim Brickman et al...the subject of a previous post.

Then, about half-way to Cairo, almost fell out of the car. Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But when the radio host said that the next song was going to be by James Taylor, I thought "If this is 'Fire and Rain', well beam me up, Julie!"

To my chagrin...I'm still here...trusting in God's timing!


As a final aside...

Another "ho hum" sign, another incident of perfect timing...

As I reached for the remote control this morning to turn off the TV and go sit down at the computer to compose this post...a song began to play.

It was the chosen theme song for the "Live Life" organization's TV commercials...

It's engraved on Julie's headstone...

"I Hope You Dance"


Still have doubt...still don't believe in signs?

I'm reminded of a yuletide song...

A certain mother of the mother of a child...walking home from our house Christmas Eve...trampled in the snow by hoved creatures.

With only slight modification, my response is the same as the singer of that song...