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 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.