“As I faced my 50th birthday, my heart ached with grief. My older sister, Annie, had passed away just days before from a sudden heart attack. The loss was so devastating that at times, I couldn’t breathe.
“Through a veil of tears, I’d find myself staring again and again at the photos of us I had around the house—my sister’s smile beaming out at me from little bronze frames. I’d angrily ask God, Why? Then beg Him to take away my soul-crushing pain.
“At the end of one such prayer, I suddenly thought of the last phone conversation Annie and I had less than a week prior. She said, ‘I’ll be sending you hugs and kisses on your big day!’
“The night before my birthday, I lay in the darkness and asked God the same two questions, but this time, I put in a tall order. I prayed my sister could somehow be there to celebrate with me on my birthday.
“When I fell asleep, I had a beautiful dream: Annie and I were children holding hands, enjoying the warm sunshine and collecting seashells on the beach. Then the dream flashed forward and we were adults sitting in my kitchen, laughing and eating birthday cake. She then handed me a seashell and a birthday card in a bright pink envelope.
“That next day, I went to check the mail. I had forgotten about the dream until I saw a bright pink envelope with my sister’s slanted handwriting, postmarked on the day she died. Just like the image in my dream! I thought, sucking in my breath.
“I felt a warm rush of divine love and breathed deeply as some of my grief lifted…on the front of the card was a the most beautiful seashell, and on the inside Annie had written, “hugs & kisses.”
—Rhonda Evans, 54, Farmington, MI