I have signs and symbols that might seem arbitrary, because I picked and chose them after Olivia was gone; but they make me feel like she truly is winking at me, so I'm happy to take that. Then there are the symbols that I didn't pick, the ones that are 100% her because they are just reminders of the things she loved when she was alive in my belly.
First let's go with the lovely, yet arbitrary ones:
The day we got back from the hospital, my mom had left some soon to be flowers on the living room table. That day they looked like green stalks and I kept staring at them during the worst hours after we got home. Two days after, pretty yellow flowers started blooming and they also had a delicious smell and my mom kept saying to get yellow flowers and everything that meant happiness; that's how my love for yellow things started. I have never been a person with a particular opinion on the colour, but I have to say that since Olivia was born I get what the link with joy is. My mom was right, it brings happiness and an instant perkiness to things. So, the first and most powerful arbitrary sign and symbol I get from Olivia are all things yellow, specially yellow freesias and sunflowers in the flower world. A lot of my friends and family get winks from the yellow side of things and I love it when they share them with me - thank you!
I also see a lot of Olivia in nature and the way beautiful moments that humans can't create make me feel. If there is a magical sunrise or sunset I can feel her hand on my face, if I'm surrounded by a breathtaking place I know it's her telling me she's ok.
Now, let's go for the one that makes me smile the most because I know that it is my daughter without a doubt:
I have never been a person biased towards sweet stuff, and the things that I do like are mostly Venezuelan and not easily accessible in London. Starting from around when Olivia was 4 months old in my belly, I was craving sugar in ways I have NEVER done; but wanting to take care of our healths I ate fruits to try and hit the sugar craving quota. Olivia had a very specific agenda in mind though: one day looking for snacks at work, I stumbled upon a snickers (the celebration size ones) and I was irrationally compelled to eat it... that's when the love affair began. That was the single craving I had during pregnancy and I have never been a snickers eater, but my daughter has her dad's sweet tooth and she wanted those little pieces of heaven. I fought it most of the time and told her that fruits would have to do, but sometimes I would literally shake at the sight of those little mini rectangles of perfection and I HAD to have some.
Everything is back to normal in the eating sweets department and I don't ever feel like a snickers since Olivia was born; but if I see one in a random place, I know is her winking at me. Most unexpected snickers found so far? Two Tuesdays ago we were having dinner in Frankfurt and there it was when we got the bill, a little box with celebrations mix and a snickers pointing out. If that is not a hello mami, I don't know what is!
Of course, I haven't had this joyful attitude towards winks all the time, when they first started to appear, I thought the universe was punching me and not letting me stand for a single minute. Then, I read a post from my mum guide and how she found an R written in the snow when walking one day, it was her son Ryan saying hello. Reading that single post changed my attitude towards this symbols and what once was very painful became a moment where I am certain Olivia is winking at me (and at everyone who is willing to see the winks).
Don't get me wrong, I have a love hate relationship with my Chiquita's winks because I love that she reaches out somehow, but I hate that it's not her hand I can hold or her eyes I can see. My friend Jayne, Rory's mum, described this moments perfectly when she said they are bittersweet; but if we focus on the sweet part when we can, we will be able to smile back to our children. So, if you are a mum like me and the universe keeps throwing things at you that make you want to fall on the ground and cry, think that maaaaaybe some of that is your child saying hello.