She walks into the cold hospital room where my father and I sit discussing his upcoming surgery. She smiles cheerfully as she says, “Hi, My name is Rita.” My dad stares at her as tears are already streaming down my face. Through emotional eyes my father asks, “What did you say your name was?” She smiles and again says “Rita.” As she glances at our overly emotional response to simply stating her name, my dad explains that Rita was my mother’s name. My mother who is now in heaven.
She continues walking towards my father as she asks his name and date of birth, introducing herself as the hospital dietitian. As my father states his name and birthday, she stops and says, “Oh goodness. I am not supposed to be in this room.” We’re all stunned and temporarily speechless. My dad was in fact, not her patient and not on her list of people to see. It was a mixup. She had somehow walked into the wrong room and made a mistake.
Except it wasn’t. This was no mistake. This was my mother, working through someone else to prove that she is, without a doubt, here watching over my dad and all of us. A breath of hope, a signal of love and a reminder that things will be ok.
At 12:12pm, a woman named Rita walked into my father’s hospital room, the day before his open-heart surgery, a place she wasn’t meant to be, and gave us confirmation that people show up from eternity. Proof that we are loved so limitlessly it can reach us from heaven. Validation that the support, love and comfort of those we’ve “lost” is without end.
Sometimes a sign from my mother will come and I’ll push it away with excuses or chalk it up to circumstance or coincidence. This isn’t one of them. This was felt by all three of us, including the stranger named Rita. As she left the room, she said, “I wasn’t supposed to be here, but I was supposed to be here.” And we all knew exactly what she meant. We felt it.
It was serendipitous. It was a message from heaven.
Everything we needed, exactly when we needed it.
A message from heaven.
A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.