My Nana called on Sunday…from the Other Side. Last week, we found her old cell phone in the bottom of a drawer. At age 90, she passed away in the fall of 2014, so the phone obviously no longer has service. But my seven-year-old, Truman, didn’t care; he wanted to pretend the flip phone was his, so we charged it up. He loved showing his neighborhood friends the lit-up screen as he pretended to make calls.

That was fun for several days, but on Friday, Tru told me the phone only had 2% battery life left. “It’s gonna die,” he said as he put it on a family room table and happily skipped off to play with something else.

Fast forward to Sunday night. As we (finally!) decorated the Christmas tree, humming along to holiday songs on the iPod, I got all choked up. I’d forgotten that I’d kept Nana’s Swedish flag garlands and as soon as I pulled them out of the box, I could feel her with me so strongly. Putting up her Christmas tree was always an event with Nana; family would gather to decorate as she gave instructions and marveled at the beauty of the twinkling lights, meaningful ornaments and nods to our Swedish ancestry. Nana’s parents both came to the United States from Sweden and she was fiercely proud of her heritage. So, when we were packing up her belongings earlier this year and I saw the Swedish flag garlands, I knew I couldn’t let them go. I needed to hang them on our tree in honor of Nana and our wonderful, extended Swedish family.

As I began to hang the flags for the first time on Sunday night, I was struck by the song that started playing. It was Kristin Chenoweth’s beautiful Home on Christmas Day. Perfect timing. While she sang and I hung Nana’s garlands, my eyes filled with tears…

And now I promise you with all my heart this Christmas
That all the love we shared will never go away
Your spirit’s everywhere and I hope you know
That you are always here, home on Christmas Day

I knew my mom would be touched, so I texted her this picture and told her Nana was here. Then I posted it on Instagram, saying “I promise to take good care of them, Nana. God Jul!”

And that’s when Nana called.

Out of the blue, Brad and I heard a loud digital-sounding song start playing – a happy little jingle we’d never heard before. We looked around, then looked at each other with wide eyes as we noticed it was Nana’s phone. “Umm, I think Nana just called,” he said. He opened the flip phone, but it was dead. Maybe it was powering off, he reasoned – not knowing that it had only 2% battery a full two days before. My heart raced with delight; I knew with every cell in my body that Nana had found a way to reach out with impeccable timing, putting her stamp of approval on our flag-adorned Christmas tree. My mom and I joked that Nana had finally figured out how to use her cell phone (I’m sure they have amazing tech support on the Other Side!). And now, every time I look at our beautiful tree, I feel like Nana decorated it with me.

lightbulb in hand - project light year 2016The holidays can be so hard when we’re missing loved ones who have crossed over. But when we open our hearts to the possibility that they are with us still, lift our vibration to meet theirs, and pay attention to the signs of their presence…magic happens. I have seen it time and time again in my own life and in the gasp-worthy experiences of friends and clients.

This is why I’ve decided to devote all of next year to joyfully exploring and sharing the multitude of ways we are supported, watched and cared for by beloveds in the Great Beyond. Sacred Sign Language is the just-announced theme of Project Light Year 2016. If your heart feels called to know more, find details and early bird pricing here. I would love to spend next year in awe with you.


(This essay originally appeared in my Divine Interventions newsletter and received such a loving response, I decided to share it here, too.)