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Connor and Brannon in Cozumel Nov. 2013

As we head into February it shocks me that it has been almost 5 years since Mark passed away. In some respects it seems like yesterday and in others, like when I look around my life and see almost nothing the same as it was 5 years ago, it seems like a lifetime ago.

That said, the universe seems to always tip it’s hat at us and say, “I’m still taking care of you, remember?” This was evident last November when I took the boys on our first cruise together.

One of our stops was in Cozumel. If you have read my book you will know this location holds a deep meaning in our lives, but one the boys are not aware of.

On the morning that our ship pulled into port in Cozumel they announced that all of the excursions had been cancelled due to high winds. This was terribly frustrating for the boys and I because we had hit bad weather at all of the ports on the whole trip. We had had high hopes this would be different. Plus the sun was shining and it was beautiful outside.

But since we had learned in the past few days that even the best laid plans can and will change, we shifted. Brannon pulled out the ship’s daily newsletter and started scanning it for fun events.

The next thing I knew he said, “Hey! Do you guys want to go see Daddy tonight?”

Connor and I looked at each other like Brannon was crazy. And my head started to spin.

I said, “What do you mean sweetie?”

He looked at me with a huge grin on his face and said, “The comedian’s name at the comedy club tonight is Mark Hawkins.”

I shook my head in disbelief. Not only had I not run into or heard of another Mark Hawkins since his death but his name came up when we were in Cozumel? For only one night? Uncanny.

That night we went to the show. As we walked in the comedian said, “Are there any Dad’s in the audience who would be willing to come up on stage.” I thought, “And it’s a show with Dad’s. Nice.”

The next hour was spent watching the boys laugh so hard they almost fell out of their seats.

As I went to sleep that night I couldn’t help but think that Mark had a little something to do with the show that night. Thank you for the laughter, love and reminders universe, thank you Mark. You are still in our lives, even 5 years later.



Jennifer -
This is SO wonderful!! How wonderful that you and the boys had such a wonderful night. I am convinced YOUR Mark was behind the scenes!
Bright blessings and wishes for more amazing adventures for the 3 of you!

Reply to comment | The Gift Giver Book

Your style is really unique compared to other
people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this page.


Thank you Phyllis,
It seemed like he had a plan for sure. :)

Yes, he is the gift giver who

Yes, he is the gift giver who keeps on giving! Thank you for sharing. Simply amazing!


You're welcome Kathy, some of his 'moments' just make me smile. Always want to spread that around. :)

Time Sensitive Media Req: HuffPost Live - September 29, At


I’m Melissa, a producer for HuffPost Live.

Monday at 3:21pm/et we’re hosting a conversation about dating after being widowed. Would you be available and interested to join us by web cam?

If so, happy to provide further details.

Melissa Montanez


"A story about loss turns into a beautifully written affirmation of life."
       .... Neale Donald Walsch, author, Conversations with God