8: Paradise Cove Revisited

8: Paradise Cove Revisited

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

Paradise Cove Revisited

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

~Author Unknown

When John died, a part of me died with him. Though we knew each other for only eighteen months and lived on opposite coasts, we had fallen deeply in love and entered into a long-distance relationship. John Crawford was a retired actor in Los Angeles, best known for his role as Sheriff Ep Bridges in The Waltons, and I was a widow with two children in Maryland. I had written him a fan letter, which had unexpectedly led to a romantic relationship. I loved visiting him in California and being a part of his world. After he crossed over, I longed to be close to him again, so I went back to L.A. a year later and revisited many of the places where we had been together. But the glow was gone, and I found it all achingly empty. I soon realized that it was John who had given everything we shared its magic, and John was no longer there.

One special place I went back to was Paradise Cove in Malibu, where John had first introduced me to the Pacific Ocean. I ate dinner outdoors at the beachside restaurant, surrounded by the same magnificent panorama of sea and sky that I had shared with John, but instead of feeling comforted, I felt even more lonely. Memories only intensified the pain of losing him.

I finished my meal and wandered along the beach, looking for something, anything, that would signal John’s presence. The weather had been an odd mix on that last day of September, but the sun had finally managed to break through the clouds and showers. As I gazed out over the ocean at a beautiful late afternoon sky, deep blue with gold- and rose-tinged clouds, a rainbow formed—no, two rainbows in two completely different places, but they weren’t your typical rainbows. They were more like pieces of rainbows, carefully arranged. I took pictures of them, and they were so unusual that they were reported on the local TV news that night. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I couldn’t help but believe that those unique and lovely rainbows were somehow a sign from John.

A few more months passed and I still longed to be close to John, so I made an appointment to see a psychic for the first time. Irene Richardson knew nothing about me, much less John, and she didn’t even know why I was coming to see her until I walked into her shop and sat down. After nervously telling her that I wanted to connect with someone who had passed, I was careful not to feed her any information other than what she asked for: name and date of birth for John and me.

She immediately connected with John’s spirit and asked me if he had been a writer. I said yes, because John was indeed a writer as well as an actor, with a book and an award-winning screenplay to his credit. He was a wonderfully talented artist as well, and his oil and acrylic paintings were hauntingly beautiful. He had given me one that had been in storage, but I was always admiring the special ones that adorned the walls of his home. I often wished that he had left one of them to me, but I didn’t tell Irene any of this.

A little later, Irene asked me if John had been famous. Hiding my amazement, I simply said yes and didn’t elaborate. She saw him associated with classic Hollywood. Another bull’s eye. She continued to tell me things that she couldn’t have known beforehand about John and me. Then she asked if I had recently visited a beach that I had been to with John. I said that I had. Had I seen a rainbow directly in front of me, out over the ocean, in the shape of a cross? I almost stopped breathing for a moment. I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but that was exactly what the rainbow over the ocean had looked like: a bright, colorful cross, brushed across a canvas of blue sky. Had I seen another rainbow at the same time, back and to my left? I had, just over my left shoulder, towards the cliffs. I got goose bumps as this woman I had just met accurately described the unusual rainbows I had seen on that September day in Malibu.

What Irene said next completely blew me away. “John is saying, ‘I was there with you that day. Forget about the other paintings; those rainbows were my painting for you.’ ”

When I got home, I looked again at the photos I had taken of the rainbows, and they were just as Irene had described them. On God’s canvas, John had painted a masterpiece for me.

We can sense a loved one’s presence beyond the veil, but we don’t often get the tangible evidence that we crave. I got mine that day in Paradise Cove, and I have treasured it ever since.

~Elizabeth S. Kline

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