It was February 2019, and my Mom had suffered a stroke. She was resting in the ICU in Cincinnati. I booked the next available flight from Seattle to Cincinnati to be with her; I was at her bedside when we decided to move her into hospice.
We thought she would recover. We doubted the doctors. We prayed with her. We told her stories from our childhood and we stayed by her bedside while she lay nearly unresponsive.
But Mom was there – she was listening to each of us as we held her hand and comforted her with our voices. Mom was holding on strong. She was not ready to leave this world or her husband of 67 years.
A week went by and mom was still hanging on. She was not ready to leave us. The nurses thought she was waiting for someone else. Was it me, or perhaps my wife?
Soon, Mom would send me a sign that we should come home to be with her: it arrived as my wife and I flew out of Seattle back to Cincinnati to be with her. During our flight, I connected to the free WIFI aboard the plane. The system generated a random 5-digit code that must be typed to confirm your session – 4 5 2 2 4 – it was Mom and Dad’s zip code!
I stared in disbelief.
It was Mom! It had to be. She was calling out to me through the computer screen. Mom was communicating with me. She was telling me to come home. What else could explain that “random” number – 45224? That number has been the anchor for our family for the past 60 years. I grew up in that zip code. It is my parents’ home address, their church, and the post office!
The likelihood that a meaningful random number would materialize was rare enough, but the fact we were traveling to that very destination only made it more significant.
At that moment I sensed that Mom was waiting for us to come home and that I would see her and speak to her one last time. But how was this possible?
We drove straight to the hospice center. The room was full of family members, many had been there since early morning. My wife and I went to Mom’s bedside and said our final goodbyes. I held Mom’s hand and told her in a whisper, “I got your message, Mom. I heard you calling for me to come home. 45224. So, I came home to 45224 to be with you,” in the hope that she was listening. I wanted her to know that I received her message.
It was late and everyone was leaving, but my wife wanted to spend more time. We thought that Mom should not be alone, so my wife stayed with her for the night, and I took Dad to our hotel room.
My wife later told me how grateful she was for having that time alone with Mom, and how she spoke to her that evening in the peace and quiet of the now-empty room.
She told Mom it was all right for her to go. That all her children were taken care of, and not to worry about Dad; we were taking care of Dad, so it was okay to let go.
Mom was not alone when she passed in the early morning of February 13, 2019. My wife was by her side.
In my heart I know that Mom sent me a Divine Sign – 45224 – through God – and that she wanted us to be with her one last time. We were grateful for the few precious moments we shared on her last day.
I know it may be a coincidence, but it is too much of a coincidence to explain away. I would rather believe God sent me a message from Mom using the internet. I look forward to more meaningful coincidences as I deal with the loss of my dear Mother.
Rest in Peace Mom
(Sophie Magrino, 4/17/31 – 2/13/19)
Fondest Love and Sweet Kisses
P.S. — to this day I wonder what number would have appeared if I had hit the refresh button and generated another random 5-digit number.
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