“Just shy of my 44th birthday, my beloved husband, Edward, died in a small plane crash. He had gotten his pilot’s license right after we graduated from college, and ever since, he’d taken to the sky almost every weekend. After the crash, I tried to reason with myself that he had died doing what he loved, but the anguish all but strangled me. To be completely honest, some days I felt as if I had died right along with him.
“Loving the skies the way Edward had, one of our favorite pastimes was to sit on the front porch and watch the clouds drift by, taking turns saying what shape we saw: Mickey Mouse, a teacup, a person laughing…we could play for hours.
“One sunny afternoon, I sat on our porch alone, letting the warm sun shine on my face. I looked up at the clear blue sky and I prayed for a sign that Edward knew how much I loved him—I know now that I never told him enough. If I had it to do over again, I’d tell him every chance I got.
“Suddenly, a lone cloud appeared in the sky, virtually out of nowhere. It was huge, puffy and shaped like a perfect heart.
“‘It’s a heart!’ I said out loud, still playing our game as tears streamed down my cheeks. In that moment, I felt a sense of true peace for the first time in months. I took a deep breath, smiled and promised my dear Edward that I’d always be looking up.”
—Peggy Swanson, 49, Crossville, TN
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