darkness · death · grief · vulnerability



When we were kids, a friend down the street had a bunch of invisible lizards. They were contaminated from some sort of chemical and the friend let us play with them… Totally harmless! Well…. that was 20 years and 3 houses ago. Today our home is about 20 miles from the home the lizards were first seen. Since that time, we haven’t seen them… And mom has questioned when she will see them again.

Well.. the night dad passed, mom came home to find 3… yes 3 invisible lizards on the front porch entrance way. Mom, came running inside, freaking out telling us to come look. So Bridge and I rushed out the door and saw 3 lizards just chilling on the stucco wall. It was really cool in that moment… and mom kept saying I haven’t seen these since we lived on Yarbrough. Then Bridge (true to form) laughed and said, “Well… dad came back to us in the form of 3 lizards. You know there’s NO worries or stress in that life.”

Since that night, we see lizards everywhere. Seriously. There’s one that’s always on the outside window shade, and he peers in through the window at all times of the day… rain, sun or clouds… the little dude is always chilling there. And today… today, mom went out to dad’s garage to find a doorknob (she hasn’t been out there since dad passed) and there was a lizard just hanging out on his work bench…. Of course she yelled for me and was freaking out again… My mother isn’t dramatic at all…

So… since this morning I’ve been thinking about lizards some.. Is it possible that a piece of dad could come back in the form of a lizard? Is God just reminding us that dad will always be a part of our lives? Or… are we just a little crazy? I mean it is summer in the south and lizards are everywhere.

Whatever the answer is… I looked up lizards and discovered some pretty cool meanings and symbolisms behind them. The Romans say they symbolize death and resurrection. So, in a way, this means a lot to me because I am experiencing death for the first time and dad is truly dead… But, since we believe in heaven, his body is new and he has been resurrected in a way. And then I could go with the whole thought that he’s been resurrected into a lizard… but I won’t go that far.

But the meaning that meant the most was the West Africans. They believe the lizard represents protection. And I love this the most because it’s nice to think my dad is here in some way protecting me. This doesn’t in any way discredit God protecting me… I promise… But I’ve always felt very protected when my dad was around. I always knew he had my back… even when we didn’t see eye to eye. Even when we went through a time of arguing everyday… he still cared and wanted to make sure I was taken care of.

When I went to college, he hated that I was 6 hours away because he couldn’t control and patrol my every move. Thank God he wasn’t watching TV when the tornado landed in Tuscaloosa because… honestly he would’ve been flipping his shit. He didn’t even know anything happened until I texted him and said we’re alright. His response was, “what are you talking about?” And my response, “turn on the news.”

And… Once there was a bomb threat on LSU campus (I went to BAMA), and he sent me a text saying, “LSU campus evacuated after bomb threat- y’all keep your eyes and ears on around there, we live in crazy times. You and B should talk about what you’d do in a crisis on campus. Call me if you need some input.” And when I called him later to laugh about his text…. his response was even better, “I’m not kidding Amanda. Watch for guys in trench coats and stay aware of your surroundings!”

In a lot of ways… well in almost every way my dad was overprotective…. but he had good intentions for the protection of Bridge and I. He never wanted to see us hurt or in pain… Ever. One time I was very hurt by a family member and he wanted me to let it go… but I was in so much pain at the time. It wasn’t time to let it go yet. After getting in a heated argument, I burst into tears and expressed my pain. In that moment, my dad saw how hurt I was and just let me cry. He didn’t argue with me anymore. From that point, he took my feelings to heart and started protecting them for me a little more… making sure I forgave, but only when it was time.

And I am so grateful for his protection now. Yes, it was overbearing at times.. but I miss it. I mis him and his constant phone calls about living in L.A. and how earthquake prone it is… “Maybe you should come home pooch. Not too safe for living.” And.. I hate that it’s taken his death to be appreciative of his overbearing ways. I hate that. Why couldn’t I have appreciated it then? Or, at least acknowledged my appreciation? And, there’s really no reason to regret…. but I do hope… I hope with all of me that my dad is protecting me in some way… even if it’s through the sight of a silly little lizard.

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