You Don’t Test A Miracle

by Lori Dwyer on January 11, 2012 · 15 comments

January 9, 2012.

It is an onion day, as I thought it might be, and all I do is cry. I wake at a friends house and cry from the moment I get out of bed.

I’ve been feeling as though I need some form of physical pain for a week now, and a friend and I go for a long drive to the Mountains, to a piercer there. I get a bar of steel put sideways through my eyebrow and it hurts and that feels good. It’s just another marker, just another medallion… just another way to leach the pain out through my skin without cutting myself until I bleed.

As the sun goes down my heart breaks all over again… is it really a year, since I last curled up and slept by him? Even when he was unresponsive, even when he was technically already gone, it was still the ultimate comfort to lay down next to him and sleep, to curl myself against his skin. That’s what I remember most about that last night- curling up on his arm and feeling the warmth still in it, the strength, the broadness of it. I’ll never forget the smell of his skin. There was ceremony to it… I knew, that this was our last night together as husband and wife, and I told him that too. That hurts, but I suppose there is solace in it, one I’ve never realised before… I knew, and could appreciate fully, our last night together, despite the pain it bought. Some people never get that.

My mum takes my kids and I leave my house filthy, work to be done, and run. I drive as carefully as I can, sobbing all the way, talking to Tony in the emptiness of our car. Please, please.. I need something. Something. Something to tell me you love me. Something to tell me you’re still here. Something to tell me it’s all going to be OK.

I sleep the night on Bunny’s lounge. I fall asleep with tears in my eyes, and don’t wake up for fourteen hours.

The year before he dies, I gave Tony a ring for his birthday. It was expensive and something I knew he’d love. And he did. 
God bless his socks, it took him only a month to lose it. He never told me he lost it, but he did tell my brother, worrying and fretting about how mad I’d be when I found out. I remember thinking a few times in the months before he died that I hadn’t seen that ring in while; but it wasn’t something I was particularly worried about. I think I suspected he’d lost it, but that it would turn up, like most of the things he misplaced (watch, phone, keys, even his shoes on one occasion).
It did turn up, eventually, about two days after he died. My mum was at my house, and took my toaster outside to shake the crumbs out. The ring fell out with them.
I think of that, after I ask him for a sign. Signs, omens, what common people consider to be small miracles… aren’t they mostly just happy coincidences with perfect timing? Not that that diminishes their power any, or shakes my ‘I think I believe’ faith in them… but how may happy coincidences can be left, after a year? How can he give me a sign, when there are no dominoes of fate left for him to tip, no mechanisms left on Earth to show it to me?

January 10th, 2011.

I sleep through half of this awful anniversary.

Half an hour after I wake- eyes swollen, really still asleep- my phone rings.

When a person becomes an organ donor in Australia, their family are given, amongst other things, a card to send off to a garden nursery. In return, they are sent back a Remembrance Rose- a specially bred rose bush only available to the parents, siblings, partners and children of organ donors.

We all sent our cards off months ago… February, I think mine went. While my Tony’s mother and sister received their roses within a few months, mine never came. I thought of it occasionally, but had mentally written it off- my card had been lost, perhaps. Or maybe the Universe just knew about my hesitation with the donation process and decided I wasn’t worthy of a rose.

It seems neither of things happened. The phone call I got was telling me my rose bush was ready, my name had made it’s way down the waiting list, and it would be posted today.

I hang up the phone slightly in shock. And I smile. If there are signs, then that feels like one. My rose, coincidentally- happily- posted on the anniversary of Tony’s death.

Bunny suggests that maybe the nursery waited, as a special condolence to me, maybe they do that with widows… wait for the anniversary of the death to call them and post out the rose.

It seems unlikely, but it makes me want to call them anyway, and check. In the end, I don’t. Years ago I had a friend who’s father was a devout Catholic with a set of rosary beads he prayed with daily, and had been praying with for years. Those beads had turned from silver to gold, an unexplainable alchemic reaction that it commonly noted amongst devout Catholics who often pray using the same set of beads.

“Hasn’t he taken them to a jeweler to have them tested, see what the metal is?” I asked her, skeptical.

“Of course not.” She smiles.

And why not, I ask? It’s simple, she replies. You don’t test a miracle.

It feels the same in this situation. You just don’t test a miracle. A sign is nothing but a happy coincidence… how it gets to me is meaningless.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin | Farewell, Stranger January 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

Just came by to say I've been thinking of you this week. You did it. One year. Awed by your strength.


Jenn January 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Though I 100% percent believe in signs after death, I'm yet to receive one that I've recognised. Both my brother and my best friend (you know that friend that is the only one you can bitch to, laugh with, forget every important date about but you still love each other?) any who….. both of them passed on the same date (September 11) but different years. Neither being the year of the USA tragedy. I wait for such a sign…

Perhaps neither of them think I need a sign, either way… I believe in signs and I'm so happy that you, Lori, received one. You, more than anyone, certainly deserve one.


•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• January 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I believe in miracles and signs too. Thinking of you right now as the navigate the first anniversary of losing Tony.


Canadian in Glasgow January 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I love that saying…it's perfect. And it's true…you don't test a miracle.

HUGS to you xoxo


Melissa January 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

So glad you had a sign on this hard day. My thoughts are with you. Lots of love


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow January 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I think signs are always there… but it is us who perhaps stop seeing them after a while. xxx


Lipstick and Licorice January 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Lori I think it's just belief…not in any chosen,organised religion but just belief in whatever we choose to believe…..the messages will be there just believe that they will


Miss Pink January 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I think there will always be more signs for you Lori.
They may not be physical things you can touch, but there will be more. I think there are so many that you're probably not even aware of. A TV commercial, a smell, the way something may be said to you by someone….
I am so happy your got your sign on this day when you needed it.


Stinky January 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

Love this post, love the miracles. This was always going to be a hard marker, right?

Not testing miracles? ye gods, nope, I have to rule out every possible and rational explanation first (but thats just me, wish I had that faith sometimes)


Amy xxoo January 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

THose with faith dont test miracles… which means you've got faith Lori. And when you have faith – in whatever it may be – you have strength. We all know you do, so call on it when you need it. Thinking of you mate xx


Amy xxoo January 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

THose with faith dont test miracles… which means you've got faith Lori. And when you have faith – in whatever it may be – you have strength. We all know you do, so call on it when you need it. Thinking of you mate xx


Amy xxoo January 11, 2012 at 7:05 am

THose with faith dont test miracles… which means you've got faith Lori. And when you have faith – in whatever it may be – you have strength. We all know you do, so call on it when you need it. Thinking of you mate xx


Kristen January 11, 2012 at 4:34 am

I'm sorry for your heartbreak. I'm sorry for your pain. There really aren't any other words to say…. I mean – even that sounds fake. I have to tell you – I love that you got a rose on that terrible day. And I love that you aren't testing it. And – I'm sure you don't care that I love it. But …. I really love that you shared those feelings. xo Kristen


Purple Gin January 11, 2012 at 2:50 am

Lori – ever since I came across your blog a few months ago, I've been keeping up with you. Today is actually my birthday, but I thought of you as soon as I got up. I feel compelled to say something, but I'm not sure what…here goes…

I am sending positive, comforting thoughts your way. All the way from Texas (home of y'all and all things fried). And I'm one among many. When you can't quite "do this," we're here, by your side. And that's really all we can do, stand by you in solidarity. Support you. And we do. Because girl, you didn't choose this path, but you're walking it nonetheless. You're a great mom and and pretty kickass chick. Funny. Spunky. Inpsiring. And you're doing the best you can. I know it may not mean much coming from a complete stranger, but I'm so proud of you, girl. So proud.

I have had my fair share of piercings, my favorite are my daith piercings and my nose stud. The eyebrow looks great!

Take care.



toushka lee January 11, 2012 at 1:02 am

Not much to say really.
sending love. We have been thinking of you a lot this week.
I love signs. I believe. There are too many not to.


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