We've felt Austin's presence so many times since he passed. They are what we called his "presents" or gifts to us.
The first time, it was the day of visitation. We were silent in the car on the ride over. Our hearts were heavy and we were bracing ourselves for what we knew would be a long day. The radio was turned off, because I got mad and turned it off the night before. Austin passed right in the middle of the holidays so every station was always blaring some cheerful Christmas tune - and I didn't want to hear that. Anyway, as we pulled into the funeral home, the radio came on and one line of a song played. It said "God's getting ready to do something good in me" - and that was all. Then the radio went off. Instantly we were calmed and ok to walk in. I feel it was his message to us, to help us through the day.
Since then, there have been many times that I will smell his scent, especially after I've been very upset. Or the beautiful chimes we were given in his memory will start to play, on a windless day. I know he is watching over us and sends us those small presents so that we feel his presence.
Today is my birthday. Of course, all day I haven't much felt like celebrating. I would have rather forgotten it but my friends and family wouldn't let that happen. I don't know that there was a single hour that someone didn't call, email, post a message, come by and see me, etc. But as I was driving home today, I still couldn't shake my sadness. The only gift I really wanted was Austin. And I knew that was impossible.
Lately, I've been checking the mail as soon as I get home. I make sure I'm home before Noah gets off the bus and I check the mail so that he doesn't have that reminder. (He and Austin would race each other to the box each afternoon). As I opened the screen door, there was a large white envelope. For some reason, I didn't open it right away. I knew Noah would be home soon and didn't want to upset him. So, I waited for Tim to get home and we opened it together.It was Austin. His freshman school photo. Our last school photo of him. It came on my birthday. Now, I don't know when photos should have gone out but I would have expected before Christmas. I thought about them once during this process. I figured, since I hadn't received them, that Austin probably lost the order or turned it in too late. (He had a habit of doing that!) But they showed up today, at my front door, on my birthday. So, he was here, in some way for my day. ....Just another one of his "presents" to me.