Gifts From My Daughter

As I sit here and write this blog, I’m still in shock. My first book, Sometime Yesterday, is a finalist for the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in the Romance category.

Sometime Yesterday

How did that happen? How did I get on that list with so many amazing authors? The only explanation that makes sense to me is that it is a gift from my daughter, Deserae Marie.

On May 3rd 2006, I woke from a horrible nightmare at 4:44 AM. It was later that morning when I got the phone call that she’d passed and knew that was the time she died. For almost a year, I woke at the same time every morning.  At the time,  I associated the number with death, grief, and pain.

When I reached a point in that grieving process where I could let something other than the pain through, I realized my life and belief system and completely changed. I looked up the number 444 and found a site that gave me hope. According to Doreen Virtue, the number 444 is a sign from the Angels; a sign that they are nearby – reassuring you of their love. All is well.

It was one of those “aha” moments of clarity that has stayed with me and changed the way I look at the world around me. Death wasn’t the end – and I stopped being afraid of everything around me.  I started to stretch my boundaries of belief and change my paradigm completely. My psychic abilities became gifts instead of burdens.

“Write a book Mom.”

I had to write Sometime Yesterday. I finally stopped arguing with Dezi. Through a series of serendipitous moments, the opportunity came. Here’s the kicker – the email of acceptance from Bold Strokes Books came at: 4:44.

My daughter loved butterflies; she had a beautiful monarch butterfly tattoo on the back of her neck. I was watching videos one day on spiritual teachings and the speaker talked about signs. She said to ask for them. She literally challenged us to ask for butterflies. So, I did. I asked for butterflies from Dezi. I’m not going to tell you I had perfect faith they would come, because there was that little recovering religious girl inside of me that believed it’s not right to test God.

But there was also that glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe – that butterfly I wished for will come.  Not five minutes later, I looked up from the laptop and there it was. A beautiful monarch butterfly floating just outside the screen.

Lulu and the butterfly.
Lulu and the butterfly.

Now, this huge butterfly didn’t just appear and fly away, it stayed for over an hour. I went outside and it came right to me. It flew playfully around the dogs, circled the yard and came back – every time. I can’t begin to tell you the joy I felt. Butterflies became a daily gift. They still are!  Even in the dead of winter, I see butterflies when I go outside.

Back to the present – on Wednesday, I got on the computer and found that my Facebook page had blown up. I literally had 54 notifications of congratulations and emails.  How cool is that? Tracing backward, I found the link to find I was a Lambda Literary Awards Finalist.

Are you kidding me? I am so grateful and honored.

But also on my timeline, were pictures from friends at a convention in Ocean Shores.  This brought back the memory of scattering my daughter’s ashes in that same place years ago. Understandably, even though I was flying high on my nomination – my thoughts were heavy and sad – and I posted how much I missed her. I was humbled by the responses from my friends, family, and virtual strangers. I sat and cried while I read the kind words.

Look at the calendar Mom.

(I listen to that voice now!) I dutifully looked and then the “aha” moment of realization – the news of my nomination came seven years to the day that we said goodbye to Dezi on that ocean jetty.

There is no such thing as coincidence in my world.

I did an interview with Bold Strokes Books with Connie Ward back in July of last year and she asked me:

What makes Sometime Yesterday special to you?  Sometime Yesterday is special to me because I created it during the darkest time in my life. I needed to believe that love is eternal and can transcend time and space. The story will always be a reminder that a life can change in an instant and lead you in directions you never thought possible.

The dedication in my book reads:

For Deserae Marie, my beautiful daughter who sends me love on the delicate wings of butterflies.

I can only think of this whole journey as a gift from her.

Thank you sweetheart.


  1. This was absolutely beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us all.
    I wish you all the best on your books nomination!!


  2. Another great entry on your blog… and you said you didn’t know how to do it. 🙂
    Sending hugs and misses your way. You are loved by so many and I’m glad to be one of them.


  3. Oh Yvonne I am in tears. Such a beautiful way for how ever runs the universe to let you know your daughter is still with you. As a fellow traveler on the road to redemption from being a religious girl too, I am glad to have you as a traveling companion. And a very big congratulations of the nomination.


  4. Thank you for your heartfelt thoughts and message. As I prepare to bury a good family friend who lived his life as my brother your message has touched me and given me hope. Congratulations on your Lammy nomination.


Comments are closed.