Tag Archives: After Death Communication

And a Good Time Was Had By “All”

3 Jan

Anna and I returned home today after spending the last 24 hours in downtown Minneapolis.  Yes, yet another mother – daughter bonding adventure!  We seem to have quite a few of them … but they are so much fun and honestly, we are very much alike (sorry Anna but it’s true) and we get along well and we enjoy many of the same things.

We headed up about Noon on Friday, checked into the Westin Hotel, went to Panara Bread for a quick lunch, then spent some quality time in Barnes & Noble.  We headed back to our room to relax on the most comfy bed I’ve ever slept on.

We had a wonderful dinner at Palamino … we got a table right by the window and we had a glass of wine and a relaxing and very delicious dinner.

After that we headed to the Orpheum to see GREASE!  It was equally entertaining.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about John Travolta.  I found it so ironic that here we were at a performance of GREASE after hearing that his son Jett had passed away earlier in the day.  I know all too well those horrible first hours after such a devastating loss and my heart aches for him and his family.

 And as much as we both enjoyed the production, I think we were both thinking about that soft wonderful bed that awaited us back at the hotel.  A bed is a bed, you may say … but this was no ordinary bed.  All the linens and dubay cover were white — white!!!  I’ve never slept in an all white bed before and it was beyond comfortable.  Oh, and did I mention a flat screen TV?

We left our room behind at 10:00 am this morning and drove to Cracker Barrel in Lakeville where we had a fabulous breakfast.  Who doesn’t love Cracker Barrel!! Grits, bisquits and gravy, mmmmm …. it was so good.

We came home and relaxed alittle more and then went to see the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith.  A great movie … I love Will Smith. 

Having fun and making memories … nothing could be better.

Oh and Liz let us know she was around as well.  Our room number at the hotel was 820.  I know it should have been 920 … but the number 20 is very significant, so when it pops up,  in whatever way, shape, or form, it means something.

While we were at dinner a woman at the next table was celebrating a birthday.  The waiters all serenaded her with a round of Happy Birthday.  Well, guess what?  They sang:  Happy Birthday dear Elizabeth … happy birthday to you!  I just had to smile!  Yes, I get it dear daughter, I do, I’m so happy you joined us.  If that wasn’t enough, I got a new purse for Christmas which I discovered, also at dinner, was made by “Liz&Company.” 

Thanks Girls!  I’m the luckiest mother in the world!


A Nurse Named Liz

14 Nov

I spent some time in Rochester this week.  My sister was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.  On Wednesday she had a very successful surgery, and she is now recovering just a block away from me at our parents home.

When situations like a serious illness arise, it is always stressful.  But there are also great opportunities for learning and growth … for everyone.  I have every confidence that this is a learning experience for my sister and for our entire family.  And, it brings us together as a family even closer than we already are.

My sister (at least to my knowledge) has never felt like she ever gets any signs from her oldest niece – my daughter Liz.  I’m always sad about that and I keep asking Liz to do something and hoping that one day it will happen.

Last week I said, “OK Liz, if there ever was a time when you needed to connect with Auntie, this is it.”  Of course, anyone who knows Liz, knows that you can ask, plead, and beg and she still might not do it.  (some things just never change.) 

Wednesday was a long day of waiting.  I had forgotten about Liz and was just trying to keep myself occupied with the magazines and books I had brought along to pass the time.  Rochester is such a fantastic medical facility.  They take care of everyone in such great ways.  We had continuous contact with a nurse who kept us informed of how the surgery was progressing.  And, we hadn’t even gotten into the pre-op room yet, and we had a chaplain there to offer a prayer for my sister and our family. 

About 3 pm another nurse came in to tell us she would be taking us up to Sue’s room.  She was in recovery and would be back soon.

She said, “Hello, Baldwin family!  My name is Liz and I’ll be taking you up to the 6th floor.”  I just broke out laughing!  Everyone looked at me with confused expressions … what on earth is funny?  I said, “Really, your name is Liz?”  And I tried hard to end my laughing.  By this time Liz the nurse probably thought I had cracked under the stress.  I finally got it out that my daughter’s name was Liz.  Oh, she said nodding, still thinking I must be a few marbles short.

But you see, it was no coincidence that Liz the nurse was involved in our activities that day.  That was my Liz’s way of letting me know she was present!  Of course, there are those who will say, oh no it was simply a coincidence … and of course, they have every right to believe that if they choose.

But think about this —  if you were very present with your family, only they couldn’t see or hear you, how would you let them know you were there? (without scaring them).   Through other people  … and then you hope like heck somebody picks up on it and figures it out.

I’ve been fortunate these past 5 years because those signs always seem to me to be as obvious as the nose on my face. 

I don’t know if anything else happened while we were in Rochester, but Liz did make her presence known … and that’s a wonderful thing.

Oh, What a Month!

14 Oct

I think I’m on a roll … a very good roll.  I’ve had the sense for a while now that I needed to share my story with people.  Early on, I had no idea how that would happen or be possible.  But, I set my intention  and asked God to lead the way.  He has.

Within the last month I’ve done a TV story on Liz and fire safety – spoke at a picnic for U of M students, done a one-hour radio interview, put on a workshop presentation at a women’s spirituality conference, and yesterday I did a photo shoot for a story about Liz’s Letter that will be in Midwest Caregiver magazine.

I’m amazed at just how many opportunities have opened up for me … and I love it!

Yesterday we did the photo shoot at my house in my living room.  It didn’t take long before I knew that Liz was along for the ride.  The photographer asked if I had the folder that Liz’s letter had originally been in when her French teacher found it.  I always use that folder to keep my notes in when I speak — so it was laying on my dining room table … I hadn’t put it away since Saturday. 

Then he asked if we could light the large candle I had sitting on my coffee table.  Of course I said.  And, I thought … but where am I going to find matches?  I had no idea but started to look through one of my kitchen drawers.  I had almost given up when I came upon a box of matches from Green Mill.  I had to smile.  Liz worked at Green Mill.  Just that simple little event made me aware of her presence.

I think she’s getting a kick out of watching her Mom these days!  I’m sure there’s alot of other things she’s doing, but knowing she still finds my life interesting and worth checking in on once in while makes it all worthwhile!

Thanks Liz!

But the best part of the past month isn’t any of the above.  The best part is that I have finally had the opportunity to share my journey with my parents.  It was something I have struggled with for a while.  How do you even begin to do that?  I didn’t know.  But I knew it would happen when it was suppose to and that God was in control.  He rolled it out very nicely and it has been a very positive and affirming experience.

I don’t know what the future holds — but I do know who holds the future!

Make your day great!

Women & Spirituality Conference

10 Oct

Tomorrow I will be one of many workshop speakers at the Women & Spirituality Conference at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

It’s another step down the path of the journey of my life these past five years.  I’m calling my talk:  From Tragedy to Transformation – A Mother’s Story.    I’m amazingly calm and looking forward to it.  I’m going by myself.  I wanted to … not sure why but I did and that’s the way it worked out.

When I spoke in April, 2007, I played a part in bringing an estranged sister back to her family.  I can’t wait to see what the Universe has in the works for tomorrow!

Toward the Light Radio Show

4 Oct

This is now archived and can be listened to by clicking on the link below and scrolling down to the bottom and hit the SOUND button above the line, listen to Kimberly Wencl


A Teachable Moment

21 Sep

Yesterday was a beautiful day in many ways.  One of the best parts of it for me was that I was able to share just a little bit of the extraordinary experiences and way I view the world with the Speckiens, the Heidens and family and friends.

The Heiden’s and Speckien’s daughters were each married this summer.  Emily Speckien was married on a boat on the Mississippi River.  Margaret told the story of how the sun was shining but it was raining … but only on the river … and not enough to disrupt the ceremony.  It ended as quickly as it began and a huge double rainbow appeared and was captured in some of the wedding pictures.  And, Margaret said, they all knew it was their sign that Amanda was present and very happy.

Beth Heiden was married in Wisconsin … also on a rainy day, one week prior to Emily’s wedding.  They live in Racine, so they took several pictures on the shores of Lake Michigan.  A single rainbow appeared and is captured on several of their pictures.  When the wedding party arrived at the reception and Darlene told one of her friends about the rainbow, her friend excitedly went to the gift table, opened up the box containing all of the wedding cards, and dug through them until she found the card she had given to Beth and Mike.

Open this card right now she demanded.  Wondering why it was so urgent, Beth did as she suggested.  She opened the card, and the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow started to play.  Her friend excitedly went on to tell them that while at the card store she had asked Brian to help her select just the right card for Beth & Mike.  When she heard them tell about the rainbow in their pictures, she knew it was validation not only for her, but for everyone, that Brian was indeed present and acknowledging his sister’s most important day.

I was doing cartwheels in my mind … I was so happy.  I have always questioned myself if I should share more of my experiences with them … I knew how comforting they were for me … but my sense had always been NO, it would not be accepted, so I’ve always kept quiet.

Isn’t that just the freakiest story Darlene said?  I don’t think its freaky at all, I think it’s extremely comforting, I told her.  My friend believes in all that “wierd stuff” Darlene said.  “I believe in all the wierd stuff too, I told her — I’ve just had way to many amazing experiences in the last 5 years not too.”  I secretly hoped they would want to know more … but they didn’t.

I did share my story of 9/19 of Liz’s message and Monique’s email.  They all listened and thought long and hard.  I gave them as much as they could handle … it wasn’t much, but it’s a start.  It will be food for thought and may perhaps lead them to look at life differently and think about Brian in a new way … and that’s a very good thing.

Anna excitedly exclaimed, “Well I’m sure when I get married Liz will give me a triple rainbow!”  After all, she always wants to out do everyone and be the best at everything she does.”  I had to agree … but a triple rainbow???  That I can’t wait to see!

Something Really Cool Just Happened!

19 Sep

Something really amazing has just happened and I need to share it and document it.

Each morning I like to get up early, drink coffee and be on my computer to listen to music, play spider solitare, check emails, etc.  I have over 100 songs loaded and they play at random.  What I also have loaded is a phone message that Liz left us on 9-19-03 while she was at the Minnesota Wild Hockey game … “Hi Mom … it’s Liz … I’m at the game and I wanted to thank you for those tickets – they’re really awesome seats… so thank you very much … alright … bye.”

As I laid in bed this morning I thought about that message and I remember thinking that it hadn’t played in a long time.

I got up, got my coffee and headed into the computer room.  I turned it on, started my first solitare game and started the music.  After a couple of games, which I won, I checked my email.  I had a new email from Monique, who was Liz’s college roommate and one of her very closest friends.  Monique wanted to let us know that she was sad that she would not be at our anniversary gathering this year … she’s attending grad school in Chicago.

I just want you to know, she said, I think about Liz every day and she is the reason I chose Psychology.  Liz loved it and she knew how helpful it could be for people in need.

Just as I opened up Monique’s email and started to read it … Liz’s message came on.  I just had to smile … Liz was letting me know she was fine, and she wanted me to let Monique know as well, which I did.

She is so close whenever we need her.  Life is good … life is JOYOUS!

Make your day GREAT!