As a public speaker and radio/TV show host, many people have asked me if I have ever “seen signs” of my son’s presence. It may seem like a simple question, but when you really start to think about it, the answer is very complicated — in a simple way. 

Yes. I “see signs.” Early in my grief journey, I learned that the numbers 17 and 722 were very significant when speaking of Michael. 17 being the age that he died, and 7/22 being the date. I would be thinking about him, and one of these numbers would appear. I would be talking about him to somebody, and a number would appear. Or, I would be asking myself, or really asking God, to help me make a decision and one of these numbers would appear as if Michael was helping me make the choice. It happens quite often. It has become a simple sign of comfort. 

The complicated part of the story is all about a set of beliefs — beliefs which are different for everyone. I am Christian and know that my son continues on in the spiritual hands of God. He is with me, he is with my family and friends, and he is able to reach out to others all at the same time. He is the power behind my message and Michael continues to teach me more about living life every day. He makes his presence known to me and to all those minds are spiritually open.

And just like he was in his 17 years here with us, he is still, to this day, a jokester. Pranks, laughs, fun — but now with divine power behind him. He makes it rain when I need sunshine to film a TV segment, just to give me a hard time. He puts the slow car in front of me when I am running late to remind me to keep my eye on the time. And I think Michael is the one that moves my cell phone to all those strange places in which I find it just because he always thought that was funny. 

But these are not signs to me. These are just life experiences which makes me laugh and that I could just as easily say God makes happen. But to me, Michael, God and Jesus are together looking down and taking care of me, my family and friends and those who are now traveling along with me. Michael makes them a part of their life by just being the fun-loving Michael he has always been, but now with a bit of divine power in his hip pocket. But Michael also protects and guides our journeys as well and, at times, makes his presence clear as day in order to deliver a message. 

Early on in my public career, I had just given a talk at Borders and decided to enjoy a cup of coffee in the bookstore. I was with Clara, the woman responsible for getting me out into the public eye, and Judy, the women responsible for making my name a household word. Whilewe were casually talking, I started thinking about Michael and began to tell all types of stories. About how he was a great athlete. How he would run around all the time and create chaos as if he was making his presence known. And how at such a young age, he embraced his belief in God and the miracle of Jesus.

The memories began to remind me of how much I missed him, so I stopped talking and changed the subject. More casual talk led us to the subject of, all things, good eyesight. Since we were sitting at the end of a book aisle, we began checking out how far we could see by reading the titles and authors of the books we saw. 

Suddenly, our random eye exam was interrupted by a large, oversized book leaping off the shelf. Now, it didn’t fall straight down like it had slipped off the end. It tipped from the top and fell to the floor with a loud crash. The three of us all saw it happen. We laughed and said, “I guess chaotic Michael just ran by and knocked a book off the shelf.” As we chuckled, Judy went over to pick it up and put it back (BTW I even joked that Judy was always the one to clean up the messes even when it was not her own). She looked down at the book and, awe-stuck, showed us the title. The title of the book was “The Life of Christ.” 

Everything stopped. We were speechless for a few moments and then said, “WOW! How crazy is that?.” We started talking about signs and symbols of Michael and I said, “well, knowing my son, he is not done making sure we know that he is here because that was always his way.” We all laughed because a book flying off the shelf with “The Life of Christ” is a good enough sign for anyone. So how are you going to top that? 

We went back to talking about the eyesight and I went to read another book title and saw the last bit of Michael validation. The author of a book directly in front of me was Michael Louis — my son’s name. Judy and Clara shared later on that this was a sign to them that Michael was now blessing their lives. 

But, for me, it was a sign from my son that he is still right at my side, no matter what. From that day, I realized that by sharing my stories about Michael is all about sharing my son’s love. And that is the greatest gift I can give to myself, to others and to my beautiful son, Michael, especially on his birthday. 

Isn’t a book falling off a shelf a simple thing to understand? Sure. But it is also a beautifully complicated part about learning to love life once again after loss.

Ron Villano 2012

Ron Villano

Ron Villano, M.S., LMHC, ASAC is the leading expert in working through change. As a father who lost his 17-year old son in an auto accident, he always speaks from the heart. As a licensed psychotherapist and life coach, he counsels others on how to work through difficult times. As a national speaker and author of The Zing, Ron has appeared before sold-out audiences across the country, hosts his own radio show, and is currently featured on the new Verizon FiOS1 network. His funny, captivating and approachable style creates the powerful, life-changing moments you have been looking for. Embrace the Power of Change in your personal and professional life today! To Listen to Ron's Radio show Click Here Visit to listen to his featured interviews and for additional information.

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