Something strange happened to me today. For a very brief moment, I honestly believed that my father had faked his own death and moved to Hawaii. No, I did not see someone that looked eerily similar to him (though that happens sometimes). I was stalked by a helicopter, and I convinced my self (or rather, I REALLY wanted to believe) that it was him following me along my run to check up on me.
I was in my living room this morning, in my running gear, getting the kids fed and dressed to load them up into the stroller and head out on our run. A sat down to feed Sam, and I heard a Robinson. This is nothing new. I live across the street from the airport, and I'm pretty sure that Honolulu has a higher helicopter per capita rate than most places. I've grown used to hearing helicopters flutter over my house every day. Sometimes I just smile and think about my dad. Sometimes I get a little sad, especially when I hear a Robinson. I am definitely not trained to recognize other rotor systems and be able to name what kind of helicopter they are, but the sound of a Robinson R44 is one of the most familiar and cherished sounds to me.
I was feeding Sam for a good five minutes or more. I never stopped hearing the helicopter. I thought that was strange. It seemed to be hovering right over my backyard. I proceeded to change Sam's diaper, get him dressed, take Jocelyn potty, get her dressed, and put them both in the stroller, the whole time still wondering why there was a helicopter hovering over my house. I had looked out my back screen door and didn't see anything. As I pushed the stroller out of my front door, I saw it. It was a white Robinson R44 with some small black lettering on the door. It wasn't super low or anything, but it was just hovering directly above the center of my cul-de-sac. I smiled as Jocelyn shouted, "Heycopper, Gruppa!"
We started up the hill on our normal route, and I noticed the helicopter was following me. It seemed to break it's hover to move slowly along as we made our way to the top of the hill. My heart started fluttering. It was just a completely unique feeling, I can't even explain it! I took a picture of it with my phone, then I proceeded to run along. It started circling my neighbor hood (or circling me, as I was convinced). Each time it banked left to circle, I could just imagine myself making eye contact with the pilot across the 800 or so feet that separated us. Then, of course, I imagined seeing my dad in the pilot seat. I fabricated some amazing story in my head about my dad faking his own death and moving to Hawaii to be a tourist pilot (which is absurd because he would probably rather have actually died than worked for someone else). Anyway, I let myself believe my story for a minute. I convinced myself that flying circles around while I ran was his way of letting me know he was still alive. I KNOW, I'm a weirdo.
I ran for 45 minutes and about 4 miles. The R44 was there for every step. I took a picture about every four or five minutes. There was a period of time that I was running under the H-1, in which I could not see or hear it, but when I came out the other side, it was there.
I don't believe in communication from dead people. I know a lot of people who do, but I do not. I do believe in signs from God, even though I'm not sure I believe that God would really spend a whole lot of time and effort giving me signs. Whatever the reason, or coincidence, I love the feeling that I get when stuff like this happens. I love the feeling that I got when I was at a stoplight a couple weeks ago, behind a car that was the exact same as my dad's, with a bumper sticker from his favorite fast food place on it, at the same time that 'Ride of the Valkyries' was playing in the background of the radio DJ, as a helicopter and airplane flew in formation right across the sky in front of me. It's THAT feeling. The feeling that is exciting and scary and makes you smile even as you are thinking to yourself, "Nobody is going to believe this actually happened". Nobody even needs to believe that it happened, because it is a moment that was meant for you and nobody can take away that feeling once it has happened. Whether these types of things are coincidence or some high power trying to communicate something to me, I'm just glad it happens. It just feels good.
It feels good to feel loved. These experiences seem to communicate love to me. As I sprinted into my driveway at the end of my run, the R44 took off toward Waikiki. And as I stretched, it disappeared into the distance. Nuts. A coincidence could never have had better timing. As crazy as it sounds, I feel consumed by fatherly love today. My father's love, and God's love. I just have this amazing sense that I am being watched over and cared for. As much as I struggled with believing it while he was alive, my father did love me and care about me. It really sucks that it took his death and some silly "signs" for me to truly FEEL it. Perhaps he is taking communication classes somewhere in the afterlife? I'm not one to glorify people upon their death, my dad had his faults, but I now realize that being unloving was not one of them.
On a completely different note, Jocelyn yelled, "Hurry up mommy, hurry up!" about 573 times during our run today. I wanted to smack her, but chose instead to thank her for for being so cute and so motivational (urgh).
On another completely different note, I think the last half mile of our run today was the fastest half mile I have ever done. We were cruising down Nimitz in the shade of the H-1, when we see a bicycle headed our way. I stay as far to the right of the jogging path as I can to give this guy plenty of room to get by...but he stops like 30 yards before us, gets off his bike and disappears behind a concrete support for the highway. I freaked out, like he was going to jump out and attack me as I ran by. Nope. As we ran by, he was standing there peeing...not even with his back to us! I saw his wanger! Oh my. I was so scared. What kind of person would see me coming with two kids in a stroller, and decided that was a good time to whip it out and take a leak...facing the street!?!?. Creep! I ran so fast, looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn't get back on his bike and follow me home! Anyway, my mood was brightened again once I emerged from under the highway to see that the R44 was still there, looking out for me! :)
These pictures are horrible because they were taken with my crummy cell phone, but the helicopter was a lot closer than it appears to be in the pictures.