The year of the fours-written 4 years ago


The year of the fours-POEM

By Jorja DuPont Oliva


Your voice echoed in my words today

Your smile reflected from your grandchildren’s faces

Your courage marched in your Son and Daughter’s steps

Your insight rose from your sisters’ assurances’

Your kindness flowed from family and friends

Your love shared with each hug, kiss, and handshake

Your light shined through what seemed like darkness

Your soul opened its door

You stand with me in the year of the fours…




The FOUR of us stood in front of the Niche where mother-in-law had planned to have her ashes placed when she passed. Questions about my life, my future, waved back in forth with no current to move it along. Just waves of unanswered questions swishing back and forth and I was petrified. The worry of someday having to face losing my own parents was the most frightening.  FOUR years had passed since we placed my father-in-law’s ashes in the Niche. Now hers were there right beside his. Exactly FOUR years to the day. Coincidence? That day, we all were stricken with grief, too stricken to think anything else but coincidence. Of course, my mind always over analyzed signs and I believe that day, confirmed it was the year of the FOURs.

To analyze was part of my job, part of my destiny. I wrote about “Coincidences” like this all of the time. A paradox was my friend, coincidence, my partner and irony my intrigue. I was an author, a fresh out in the publishing world Author. I wrote a three book series called Chasing Butterflies Series. The first book hit the public in 2013.  Magical realism type stories, using metaphorical ideas flowed from my fingertips. Which by the way fueled my fascination with the coincidences of life. Only certain readers really understood the enigma of my stories. Who doesn’t love a mysterious phenomenon?

My FORTH-published piece of work released three months before my mother-in-law died. The published work, a short story. A story about the change of a young woman and the beach town she grew up with.  Oceans of change. All the proceeds go to a non-profit organization that helps unfortunate children have Christmas gifts. My stories revolve around things to do with change and going after your passions. My FORTH year of being, what I call unemployed, although I was writing my series, and doing bookkeeping, it still was not a job. My written work presented in A Night like this made my mother-in-law proud. They also did a write up in our local newspaper. They interviewed me as one of the contributing author’s. I clearly remember the day at the hospital telling her I had gotten her a copy. Unfortunately, she never got a chance to read it.

I am forty-FOUR years old as well, and the youngest of FOUR siblings. The number FOUR is very prevalent in my life. I did not observe this until I began my quest for the explanations.  Are you starting to see why I believe it was the year of the FOURs? I did too, so my research on numbers started to consume my time. Synchronicities to be exact and especially the meanings behind the number FOUR.

Let me step back a few steps and give you an idea of my relationship with my mother-in-law. They say a man chooses a life partner that reminds him of his mother right? Well I looked nothing like this woman. She was a full blood Italian and I was a mix of many heritages. She was dark complexion and I was fair skinned. She was born and raised in the North, Brooklynn, New York. I was a true southern girl born and raised in Florida. We were far from being a like. Over the years, I grew to see just how we shared a love for a man (my husband and her son) that was very similar. Although we were very different in many ways, our hearts were very much the same. When we loved, we loved unconditionally. We shared a common love and an uncommon connection.

My mother- in-law name was Rose. Coincidently she passed the month of “Rose awareness month”, which alone should have awakened me to the signs. She remained a strong woman of her faith. That was something I admired about her most. She was a catholic, where as I, baptized at the age of thirteen as a Methodist. I too was very rooted to my Christianity beliefs. I was not one to go to church every Sunday but I did do my best to be an honest, dependable, trustworthy person. On the other hand, she made it a point to make her Sunday mass. She also made sure we joined as family on Sundays for dinner. The FOURTH of the Ten Commandments is to remember to keep God’s holy Sabbath day.

In the bible, it mentions God dividing our language and beliefs. Why would he have done that if he did not want us to find our way back to each other? He made us different, to find something that we all share in common, a common denominator. Love. Who loves and loves without judgement-a mother.

As we began to prepare to travel to New York to place her ashes in the niche, we were in the process of packing our suitcases in her car. I ran across little notes for the grocery store or an address of her friends from one of her grievance groups. I have to admit I felt as though she was talking to me through her written words. In addition, on each piece of paper the number FOUR always appeared. I did not pay much attention to this until later part of my mission.

One of the strangest things was finding three umbrella’s in her car. We planned to use her car make our trip to New York. Each umbrella, placed in different areas of the vehicle. One where my oldest son decided he would place all of his belongings. The next where my youngest son set up camp. The third in the front cubby next to the driver side where my husband would be sitting on our journey.

I made a cute comment to my family, “Grandma made sure everyone had an umbrella for the ride.”

Then my oldest son mentioned, “There is only three and you do not have one.”

I returned with, “Then she wants one of you to share with me.”

Throughout the trip, I started noticing the number FOUR a lot. Something as simple as the change I had gotten back from the gas station attendant $4.44 or the exit we would get off on to use the bathroom and eat.  I would tell my family about these strange coincidences’. I even mentioned to my husband that I wanted to write a book about these occurrences. Sure, they thought I was crazy and my oldest son would remind me that we still only have three umbrellas and not FOUR.

I would return with, “I’m sure grandma has one for me around here somewhere.” It started to become a running joke as we drove.

As the week went on, we traveled to and from the ceremonies planned for her. We drove through the old neighborhood where my husband had grown up and special places she had taken the boys to when they were smaller. A slight drizzle of rain hit the windshield and the umbrella joke surfaced again. My husband slowly pulls up to a stop sign, I glance at my phone, and the time is 4:44.

I laugh and tell them the time; at that very moment, my oldest son says, “look Mom an umbrella hanging from the stop sign pole.”

There it was umbrella number FOUR. An umbrella symbol means protection from outside elements. For me, it was a sign she was protecting each of us. She wanted to make sure I noticed it was the number FOUR I needed to find.

That was when I decided to begin my quest on the number FOUR or had the quest already began? As we returned home to start our lives without my mother-in-law, which she was very much a part of, I began to write notes for my story, about the number FOUR. As I was writing, I remembered a friend in my local writers group wrote a personal story about symbols and synchronicities. I had read her published work about it a year and a half before all of my fascination with the number FOUR surfaced. I really could not recall what it was about; I just knew I had enjoyed the read and the religious aspect of the book. The Magdalene Awakening by L. Shannon Anderson. At a book signing we both attended she had asked me if the number 4 was prevalent in my life. At that time of my life, I shrugged it off with no idea, a year and a half later, it would be this important. The book had a similar idea of the fictional movie The DaVinci Code. The female counter part of God. The raise of Devine Feminine. Made since to me, if I needed to name the Godliest woman that was a part of my life, my mother-in-law was that woman. Sure, I know the power of suggestion but seriously, it was almost a year and a half early. It was only recently I remembered the conversation. I did not even remember what number it was until I began to read her book for the second time.

Another coincidence in the book was the mentioning of the archangel Michael. He is the angel of protection, just like the signs given to me with the umbrellas. He is said to communicate through the number FOUR.

As for the gifts from my mother-in-law and the umbrellas, I was getting other gifts, past, present and future. Let me explain. My youngest son was born April 4(4/4) and my oldest son Dec 13(1+3=4). I always saw my children as gifts from God. Both pregnancy’s I had a very difficult time carrying both children. They both were brought into this world by emergency C-sections. The doctors, which with each birth I had different doctors, said that the baby and I were both very lucky to have survived and still be healthy. Yet I had never noticed until this story exited to my keyboard. Past gift.

I received a gift of a CD from my aunt a week after we returned home. The CD, a local artist of soul changing songs. As I listened to the relaxing music, a song The Rose played from my car sound system. No particular reason, I glance at the time on my cell phone. I knew it was much later the 4:44 but wanted to see the time anyway. It read 4:44. What the heck? My time setting on my phone had changed to Vienna time zone. It was 4:44 in Vienna! I cannot logically explain how it changed. I am not a techy person. I also had quite a time changing it back to my current time zone. What I do know is these coincidences where helping me heal and be less fearful of my future. I also held a wonderful since that my mother-in-law was where she needed to be. She was always with us. Suddenly everything had a reason and everything had meaning. An awakening. Present gift.

Another gift happened just as this story is being written. A coworker hands me a gold Rose he found on the floor of the restaurant I work at. Yes, I returned to being employed. The gold rose looked as if it had broken off someone’s necklace. I glanced at the time on my cell phone, the time was 4:44 pm I had to smile, within seconds of noticing the time, he hands me the gold rose he had found.

“Here it is yours and I didn’t want to give it to you.” He pulls his sleeve up to show me a tattoo of a rose with mom and a date scrolled across it.  I had to smile again, knowing it came from her.  I tell him about how I am writing this short story, THE YEAR OF THE FOUR’S. I show him the time to prove my sanity. I also explain how my mother-in laws name was Rose. So what if I look like some crazy person grasping at comfort through my vivid imagination. He also believes that the gold Rose is meant for me. I am getting comfort and protection regardless. Future gift.

Carl Jung described synchronicities as “an act of creation in time” and “meaningful coincidence”. He also quoted in one of his footnotes, “Continuous creation is to be thought of not only as a series of successive acts of creation, but also as eternal presence of the one creative act.” The week number FOUR in the Bible was considered Gods creation week.

Was she finding her way back to us? Was she trying to tell me to keep creating? Did she want me to notice all of the number FOUR’s? Was she telling me she was still a part of us? Maybe, just maybe, she wanted me to research the number FOUR and write this story.

I also read in Number Sequences From The Angels   By Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. The 444 means the angels are surrounding you now, reassuring you of their love and help. Do not worry because the angels help is with you.

As for numbers in general, everything is made of numerical patterns. We also know God is part of everything. Could it be a gateway to the heavens? Possibly a language of love from angels? An uncommon connection with those that we love from another place and time? My proof that we are all an integral part of a bigger something.

On the FOURTH day, God created the sun, the moon and all of the stars, what we call the universe. The universes function is to signal us of days, YEARS and seasons.  Welcome to the YEAR OF THE FOURS.

444 picture

Just do it-New Year-NEW YOU


Hey guys it is resolution time! It’s that time of the year we decide to put that best foot forward and approach that goal we want to work on. May it be weight loss, eating right or even just getting your house organized? Why do we do this? Why do we wait to start at the end of one year and the beginning of another? Should every day be the start of a resolution? Maybe we are all just so programed to stay in our everyday struggle we don’t look for reason to, until after the fact, like New Year “new you”.
Funny story but on a serious note. When my Momma passed I went to a therapist, same therapist I have used on several occasions. We discussed the passing of my Momma and my personal struggles I was having. She asked what I was doing in the times I was emotionally struggling. I said I get up and wallow in my misery “Like a pig in mud” I added. She laughed at me then added “That is fine, just don’t stay there.” Something clicked that day and made me realize it’s the people who keep their energy in the mud and don’t move forward. Now only a few months ago My Daddy passed, it was just as hard and just as painful. (I wallowed in the mud a lot) He said to me days before his passing, “Quit saying you want to do something, and just do it”. Let’s just say I still hear his voice telling me to “just do it”. I knew there was going to be a lot of wallowing, but I also knew, not to stay there. Lesson learned. (Still learning and I have wallowing days)
The same therapist asked me “what makes you happy?” I added “My Family, my writing and, believe it or not, learning new things.” I wasn’t much of a scholar my years of schooling, I did what the minimal requirements were to move to the next level. So learning wasn’t my cup of tea back then. And learning about myself wasn’t even a thought. As I push closer to the age of 50 (I’m not there yet) I find learning new things to be exciting and adventurous. I find jumping out of my comfort zone refreshing and rejuvenating. Like a “new me “is being born. What really is fascinating is, it’s the “me” that was always there, I just stopped exploring her, upgrading her. In turn, the main reason that I stayed wallowing and didn’t keep moving. I focused on the struggle, I stayed there because it became comfortable.
So I guess my reason for my post today is, try setting your 2020 NEW YEARS resolution on getting out of your comfortable mud of 2019 and do one thing that is uncomfortable to you. Like “believe it or not” taking care of your body. Become your own best friend. Visit new places. Ask yourself each morning, “What will make you happy today?” and just do it. (Like my Daddy said) Learn something new and focus all your energy on being uncomfortable and before you know it, you will be comfortable, and self-maintenance will be your habit you can wallow in all year. Try something new. I love trying food I’ve never tasted before. Most of all, practice this all year, it doesn’t have to be after the fact. Just do it and do it now! Most importantly be good to you! Happy NEW YEARS resolutions to you!


“I saw God in my child’s eyes”


“I saw God in my child’s eyes” Momma proudly forenamed her novel as she stood in front of our class. She turned to my chair, which I hunker seated next to her chair in class. She added in a whisper, “It was you…It was your eye’s, I saw God.”
What a beautiful title, I thought to myself.
Unlike my mother, I struggled coming up with good ideas. I was only taking the class so she could fulfill her dreams, besides I got to spend time with her. My mother was always very creative, ideas and imagination wasn’t something she delivered on occasion; inspiring words lived as a part of her being. I also was shy and unable to voice myself like she could.
At the time I didn’t understand what her seeing god in my eyes meant, except maybe the fact I talked her into doing the book writing class together. Writing a book continued as her lifelong dream. Even as she lived approaching her 70’s. She wrote for our local newspaper for years on a rusty old type writer and never followed through with her dream.

We were writing, spending time together, along with bonding as mother and daughter. At the time, I had no idea I would possess four published novels, two anthologies, a screenplay and many short stories five years later, and succumb to not having my Momma. I sat slouching that day next to her standing proud, about to embark on my own connection to something divine.
I began to write and Momma became my biggest fan. She was writing as well and writing a lot. She wrote short stories about her grandchildren and a children’s book about my youngest son who suffered from a hearing loss. All hand written. She even submitted short stories to a few magazines. Not sure if she ever wrote her original book title she announced to the class. What I do know is, her dream of writing a book was happening, but she insisted I continue to become published.
Five years later…
After hours of holding Momma’s hand and playing her favorite song, Earth Angel. My heart felt deflated, I couldn’t control the pain or the process, and I knew it. Doctors were no longer giving us hope, only decisions. “Go be with God Momma… Go be with God…” I sobbed uncontrollable and gently kissed her forehead as her beautiful baby blue eyes stared at me. If you could only see how blue her eyes were that evening. I quietly left the room.
Something followed me that night. As I proceeded out the exit of the hospital, it was late and dark. Silence of the February air stalled as the automatic doors to the hospital opened. I couldn’t quite grasp what I was feeling. With each step, I knew it was the end, the end of her earthly story. I had cried so much that week, and many weeks prior. I couldn’t cry, she wouldn’t want that. I kept coaching myself to be strong with each step I took. Car alarm sounded as I passed it but no one was around. I continued walking to the back of the unlit parking area where I had parked earlier that evening. Another car beeped as I passed, this time I glance over my shoulder to see if someone was walking behind me. There was no one there. I peek inside the car that had beeped as I passed, to see if someone was in it. The car sat empty. I finally get to my car and get in, surely I could look around the parking lot again to see if anyone was around, and not look like a paranoid female. I quickly locked my doors. My windows in my car were tinted, perfect for me to see out and no one to see in. The parking lot remained empty of people, it was late.
At the time, I believe I was kind of thankful my imagination or paranoia took my mind off of my dying Mother, if even for a few minutes. Until the next morning when I returned to the hospital.
As I walked in her room, I go to her bed, she looked as though she was sleeping tranquilly. Her eyes were closed and the ventilator pumped air. No other sounds. I gently placed my lips to her forehead stalling for just a moment.
“Something happened after you left last night.” My sister peacefully disclosed. “She hasn’t woken since. They don’t even think she will make it through the day.” My siblings never left her side and we made sure our sick father came to say his farewell. Momma’s eyes never opened again and she passed four days later. I was the last child of my Momma’s four children she saw before she left to be with God.
I never said goodbye; I wasn’t saying goodbye. She wasn’t leaving me, she was only moving to a different state of being. Was I in denial? My heart wasn’t going to let her go, that I did know. I knew it was only her body I would never see again. Was I just trying to convince myself? The guilt still consumed me, but I stood my ground. I refused to cling to a goodbye. I wasn’t accepting her death as the end, but a new beginning. It would be through words, words she had written would keep her alive, at least to me. Writing was a spiritual, soulful quest for us. We both had a belief that writing connected us to God.
I took for granted that night in the parking lot. Probably due to focusing too much on the new beginning I was about to engage in and not embracing the miracle that followed me. My mother is with me, in our own special way, just as she is, as well, with my siblings. She sends me signs through writing. I know what you thinking, it’s just coincidences. I can’t say that hasn’t crossed my mind as well.
After my mother passed, I ask if I could have her writings. My older sister ran across a few of her writings as she was going through some important paperwork and files with my father. She sent me through her phone, a picture of the one particular writing. A piece of writing that only I knew something about. A piece of writing, I needed the most.
At that very moment I saw the picture, I knew, without a doubt that she was not gone. She was on a new adventure of writing. Beginning a new story, a heavenly writing journey. I believe writing inspiration comes to us in its own time, and it can’t be forced…
This piece of paper confirmed my theory.
The picture showed, a piece of notebook paper with my Momma’s handwriting, “I saw God in my child’s eyes” scrolled across the page and nothing else was written on it. An unwritten story with divine inspiration. My mother had only written a title to the book she was planning to write. -Blissful writings Momma!



Thanksgiving Day


Poetry in Black and White

Thanksgiving Day

Crimson emotion flows your heart’s stormy seas
Tears blush torment across your windshield of life
Forgotten dreams… worse, the one’s remembered
All splayed before inner eyes which hold back remorse

All the deeds done and gone
Aspirations litter your familiar walkways
Yet, the actions not taken and the steps withheld
Haunt and gnaw as though their lives fell meaningless to time

Cherish those heartbeats, weak and weary
Fallen but breathing time in your mind
Some, far too late for finding fruition
Others, not waiting, stand anxious as the moment of their birth

Sadness never need crawl in your darkness
As a wretched, loveless, forsaken thing
But deserves a champion’s seat next to who you’ve become
For that melancholy threads itself within your soul

Be thankful for that person within
Your hallowed silent trials and foibles
Know yourself. Know yourself better than anyone
Discover keys to forgive each step…

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FREE Kindle edition SISTERLY


Friday September 21 SISTERLY Kindle edition will be FREE to download! It was awarded as a finalist in the AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS! Here is a chance to read it for FREE!!!

You can download the APP from Amazon and read it from any smart phone, laptop or your desk top!

Here is the link

Please don’t forget to leave a review!


American Fiction Award- Finalist 2018 SISTERLY


Hey friends!

I have wonderful news about my latest release SISTERLY! It was awarded as a finalist in the American Fiction Awards in the psychological thriller category!

I can’t express how special this is for me. You see, before my Momma passed away in February she was in the hospital. I would go see her during the day and we would eat lunch together. She was giving the nurses a run for their money and it was pure joy the spunk she still had in her. When I think about it, I can’t help but smile. That being said, during those lunches we talked a lot about me, still writing, and at the time my oldest sister had read Sisterly to her. Of course Momma would critic it back to me. One of those lunches Momma said “You are going to do something with your writings, just keep at it.” Momma was my biggest fan, that is for sure. That is why I can’t help but to think Momma made this award happen for me. I was feeling pretty defeated that day about my writings but Momma always encouraged me.  It’s special to have that encouragement and makes me smile, just as Momma did when she believed in me more than I did in myself.

Check it out


Thank you all for your support as I journey through my writing endeavor’s! This would have never been possible without all of you!

Lael Braday ~ I Hear Her Crying


DM du Jour

My baby girl died. But…

I hear her crying in the grave. They call it grief and force laudanum upon me. The drug weighs me down and slurs my words. Maxim, my love, does not understand my urgency. I cannot go to her grave with this weakness in my limbs. I can barely control the urge to scream. My fury rises in my like a wild animal. My baby hasn’t much time.

Curse the doctors! “Leave my home!” I scream.

I must save her. I cannot sleep. I send her love with all my heart. My soul cries out to a God I do not believe in to keep her until I reach her.


Horror sweeps over me as I awaken to Maxim watching over me from his rocking chair. I rise to climb in his lap and cry silently onto his shoulder. His tears also fall quietly. He…

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Mother’s Day without Momma


I got a text last week from my brother, he is the oldest of all of us kids. It read WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT MOTHER’S DAY? My first instinct was to not respond. To avoid the thought of celebrating that day. It has only been three months. I wasn’t ready to celebrate that day without her. I was still and couldn’t respond. My sister then responded I’M GOING TO LAY IN BED AND CRY ALL DAY. I watched the text conversation and still I never responded. I felt the same way. I didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s day, although I am a mother, to me is was just another day coming, without my Momma. I cried when the messages went silent. I knew both my brother and sisters were feeling just as I was, probably crying as well. I thought back to last year’s Mother’s Day and I remember how sad I felt about celebrating without my mother-in-law being present. She had passed a month after Mother’s day of the previous year. My Momma had said to me “the first year without them is the hardest, but once you conquer those holiday’s, the rest won’t seem so bad.” My Momma’s voice played over in my mind, as if she was reciting those words to me again.
After a couple of days of not responding, a voice inside my mind said, WE CAN’T AVOID MOTHER’S DAY, MOMMA LOVED TO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY! This voice was loud and wasn’t taking no for an answer.
You see, my mom loved to celebrate all the Holiday’s, she really didn’t celebrate Mother’s day because she was a mother; she celebrated all MOTHERS. If you were a Mother you were some kind of special. She would bring potted plants, cards, and goodies to every mother on Mother’s Day. The first year I was a Mother, she made sure I knew Mothers needed to be celebrated, she slipped me $50 to go get my hair done. Meanwhile, all I gave her was a card with baby split-up on it and a couple of scratch offs. Today, I totally understand why all Mother’s need to be celebrated, and I hope I can become the mother that she was.
So as I pondered on my thoughts and feelings about “Mother’s Day”, I knew we had to make something happened as a family. We need to still congregate together without Momma and celebrate all Mother’s. Not the fact that our mother was gone. I know she will be right there with us, she is already appointing everyone a responsibility. She wants me to bring some homemade macaroni salad. You know, the kind of macaroni salad with the little salad shrimp in it? One of Momma’s favorites.
We all decided to keep it simple. We have planned to all arrive at Momma and Daddy’s house, cook some hamburgers and hotdogs on Daddy’s grill, the one Momma had gotten for him last year. Add some slaw and baked beans to the plate and enjoy time with Daddy. We will celebrate all Mother’s. The Mother’s here and the ones in heaven. Sure it will be a tearful day without her, but I can assure you this, my Momma would approve.
HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY all of you awesome MOM’s!

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Happy Mother’s Day Momma!