Tag Archives: on valentines day

Can Stinkbugs be Signs?

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a dead stinkbug, her house is inundated with stinkbugs, dead and alive.Can stinkbugs be signs from The Other Side? The psychic medium told me to watch for hearts. Hearts would be signs from my daughter who died. But I’ve had no sightings of hearts since the conversation with the medium. And I’ve looked.

In fact, I went looking for some sign of hearts in Marika’s old bedroom. The only ones I found were on an ancient mug of mine that was holding up Marika’s prom bouquet of silk roses. I lightly stroked the fake flowers, and a dried-up stinkbug fell on my hand. Shortly after, I found another dead stinkbug lying belly up in the dog’s bed (Marika’s beloved dog that I inherited). And just a few nights ago, I was reading on the couch when one landed in my hair. I was so shaken and disgusted, I quickly captured it in a glass, ran outdoors, and shook it out into the snow. Finding them dead is a lot easier on my karma. The DustBuster is full of dead stinkbugs.

With temperatures hovering around zero, the house has been inundated with them. Yes, they’re just trying to escape the cold, but it wouldn’t be so unimaginable to think of these icky things as gifts from Marika. Who on several occasions told me she hoped I’d fall off a mountain. Told me to go f— myself. She was never going to send me roses.

Maybe I should look up and say, Thank you Marika, every time I encounter one of these hideously ugly bugs. It might make me feel more hospitable to them. Always opposing my sentiments on everything, Marika would probably insist, Mom, I think they’re cute.

In the two months since I spoke with the medium, I’ve spotted rainbows, feathers, ladybugs, cardinals, and dropped coins. Things others count as signs from their deceased loved ones. Things Marika might just as easily have considered sending me. None of these ever smacked of Marika though. Not like this spate of stinkbugs. Dead and alive. Lots. Still, no hearts.

Valentines Day is coming up. The holiday that makes me want to hide under the bed. Marika loved that day. The time when sweethearts send flowers and chocolates, and friends show off the new jewels they received from their husbands. In the stores, red hearts are pasted all over everything. But that doesn’t count as a sign.


What signs have you received from deceased loved ones? What signs would you like to receive? If you could, what would you send to someone you loved who died?

In the Eye of the Beholder

In the Eye of the BeholderThe sign on the gate said Chef’s Garden. The place looked abandoned. No one was looking so she entered, and right away was drawn to a patch of blue. Fresh, frosty, mentholated blue.

Oh, that color. An icy, almost iridescent blue that could thaw into green or purple with the passing of a cloud. A blue you could fly in. Or float in. Like the color of snow at twilight, a ghostly pale blue that defied reality. And petals with ridged edges, like the gnawed ears of tomcats. Leaves that opened to the sun, yet wrapped the flower’s core tightly in shadow.

Blue roses, she thought. How beautiful. For an hour she photographed them up and down, zooming in and out.

She knew her roses. Roses were a symbol of love: Pink roses showed appreciation and gratitude. Yellow roses said Remember Me. White was the bridal rose, and orange meant excitement and desire. Peach-colored roses extended sympathy. The darkest crimson was for sorrow and grief. Over the course of her life she’d given and gotten them all.

But a blue rose. That was special. A rarity in nature, a blue rose symbolized the impossible, the unattainable. An unrealizable dream, a never-to-be-fulfilled wish. Or it could mean starting all over again but on a different path, and triumphing against all odds. A blue rose could represent immortality. Or the death of hope.

She considered her situation, her life. All the changes. The sorrows. Worries. Things she was grateful for. Things regretted. She thought of the manuscript she’d written and was returning to, her dreams of traveling, her yearning to discover who and where she was meant to be. Now, finding a whole patch of these roses, was this a blessing? Or –

Later, when she viewed all the photos she’d taken in the garden, it was the ones of the blue roses she kept coming back to. The camera had almost perfectly captured the moonshadow-blue color. Her eyes danced over each image with something like joy.

People told her, that’s just a rotting cabbage riddled with wormholes. But she knew better.