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Connie Oleksak

I like to run. People like to litter. I see litter when I run. I also like to think about and talk to my loved ones who have passed, including my mom.

Sometimes, when I run, I see miniature liquor bottles people have littered. One brand I see often is Fireball. A few years ago, at my niece’s wedding, a handsome young friend of my niece introduced himself to my mom and was playfully flirting with her. She enjoyed his attention and flirted back. At some point, he offered her a Fireball drink. She had never had one but tried it. (She didn’t like it.) Every so often, she would reminisce about that young man and the Fireball, giggling like a schoolgirl. It was so cute!

So, each time on my run that I saw a littered Fireball bottle, I’d think of my mom and her joy of that party, even months and years later. I wondered if those littered Fireball bottles could be a sign. Nah, I told myself. I asked for a sign from my mom. On my next run, I happened to look in the ditch. There was a Fireball liquor sign that had blown away from a nearby store. I got my actual sign!

Every now and then, I question myself and the ‘signs.’ The other day, I thought maybe signs have to be in threes to really be signs. The next day, I went for a run —different from my normal run. I happened to look in the weeds and, somewhat lined up, all facing label up, were three bottles of Fireball!

I got my sign of three! The other funny thing is, if I had to describe my mom with one word, it would be ‘Fireball!’

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