I know my son Brandon would be extremely happy for two reasons. Number one, my book, Beautiful Gift: How I Found My Son in the Afterlife, came out last Wednesday. The book tells the story of Brandon’s passing on January 11, 2008; of how I found him in the afterlife with the help of Jamie Butler, a world-class medium; of how Brandon and I have talked to each other, using Jamie as a go-between, four times a year for the last eight years; and, most of all, what Brandon has told and taught me since his passing. The response to the book has been overwhelming and very positive. I would like to thank everyone who purchased one and for all my friends’ and loved ones’ love and support. I’m quite sure Brandon is beaming with pride, since he played an important part in helping me write this story with its message of hope.
But to me all that pales in comparison to the second reason I know Brandon would be happy right now: This week Brandon’s beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series, which hasn’t happened since 1908. And, even better, Brandon’s father and his brother Cody—and Brandon too, let’s face it—were there at Progressive Field in Cleveland, watching the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in game 7. I can just hear Brandon’s overjoyed whoops, can imagine the ways he would still be celebrating.
Cody’s birthday is November 2nd, the day game 7 fell on. After the Cubs won game 5 on Sunday, October 30 (a big relief because the Indians had won three games to the Cubs’ two up till this point and the Indians were one game away from winning the Series), Cody decided that for his birthday present he wanted to go to game 7 with his dad. He really wanted to do that for his dad, and his wife Britni was happy to go along with the plan. So they purchased two (very expensive) tickets for the game, but the Cubs would have to win game 6 on Tuesday night for them to be able to use them.
As everybody knows now, the Cubs won on Tuesday night. Cody called his dad after that game and they made arrangements to leave at six-thirty the next morning in order to make it to Cleveland in time. We decided I’d stay with Cody and Britni’s kids at Cody and Britni’s house the next night, the night of game 7. Kenny had a difficult time finding a hotel room where they could stay overnight in Cleveland after the game, as most hotels were filled. Finally he found a room out by the airport.
We were all filled with excitement and anticipation and my heart was full of gratitude that Cody and his dad were about to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kenny has loved the Cubs since he was a little boy and getting to see them play now when he was sixty—play on this momentous occasion—seemed like a dream come true. Cody was so excited he could hardly contain himself—could it be possible that he and his dad might actually watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series?
It turned out the game was a long-fought battle, with the Indians rallying late in the game and tying the score. A seventeen-minute rain delay stole their momentum, and the Cubs came back with an epic conclusion, winning the World Series in the tenth inning, eight to seven. Tears of joy streamed down my face as I watched this all unfold on Cody and Britni’s television. Brandon loved the Cubs at least as much as Kenny and Cody, and I couldn’t help but think of him being right there in the ballpark with his dad and brother. I was also overwhelmed by the fact that the game went ten rather than nine innings. I texted Kenny and Cody: “Of course it’s the tenth inning!” Brandon’s birthday was June 10th and his way of letting us know he’s still around is always leaving a dime.
The day after the game, texting me while his dad was driving them home, Cody pointed out that all three of my children’s birth dates were involved in the World Series historical win. My daughter Jessica’s birthday is November 7, lining up with game seven; the Cubs won in the tenth inning (Brandon’s birth date, June 10), and Cody went to game 7 on his birthday, November 2. (Technically, the game ended on November 3rd, shortly after midnight, but who’s splitting hairs?)
I like to think Brandon had something to do with it all.