You Have Guides to Protect You: Watch for the Signs

Written by Lynn Balter

A few weeks before my mother-in-law, Roberta, passed, I went to Las Vegas to help care for her. Neil, his brother Craig, and I took turns during the last weeks of her life. I had just flown in from Phoenix. She was in hospice and had a few friends visiting when I arrived. I went immediately to work to put things in order, checking what food she could still have, arranging gifts and cards from friends, managing what friends could visit and when, and making sure she had everything she needed. It’s what I do. Roberta felt the energy of my need to please immediately. She knew me well. 

“Who do you think you are? Joan of Arc?” she asked. “You can’t make everything better. Stop trying to save the world! Now, get over here. I could use your help.” 

I stood beside her and didn’t question her judgment. She was showing me what was important—that I couldn’t rescue everyone; that I needed to spend more time rescuing myself. I had learned to appreciate her pithy wisdom, however harshly it might be delivered. Since she passed away, I miss her blunt, enlightened guidance. 

She used to talk to all of us that way—direct, brassy, hardcore. She didn’t put up with any nonsense. We knew she loved us very much, though. Not long before she passed, she told me she would give me a sign when she was on the other side. “A feather,” she said. “Like a French feather.” Later she said her last words to me: “You’re okay, Lynn. You have guides that protect you. They’re always there for you. Trust that. Keep learning to grow closer to yourself. I love you very much!” She held my hand with compassion and watched the tears slide down my face. That was the last time she was able to speak to me. 

She died shortly after on November 13, 2017. I was honored to be with her when she passed. 

Roberta had been gone for over two years, and I hadn’t seen the feather she promised. I missed my mother-in-law dearly, and I looked and looked for that sign, trying to rediscover that connection with her. I needed the wisdom she gave me when I was off track. 

It had been a week since I had had the deep meditation in Munds Park. I had closed up the Munds Park house and returned to Scottsdale to get the twins set up for online schooling. This was September of 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic was raging. The first day I was back, I looked down in our backyard, and there it was, a flashy Vegas leopard-skin French feather. Of course! I picked it up and held it in my hands as if it was a newborn bird. She’s here, I told myself. 

That week I found two other feathers just like it. They appeared as I glanced at something else. Roberta was enfolding me in her love and guidance, bringing me to a new level of awareness on top of what I had achieved through meditation. She was telling me I was on the right track.

Lynn Balter’s memoir, Walking Through Pain to Purpose: Turning Trauma into Triumph, shows how she transformed unimaginable traumas into a triumphant life of compassion, purpose, and philanthropy. Her story illustrates the lessons she learned while surviving and thriving after childhood trauma, sexual assault, divorce, addiction, cancer, her brother’s traumatic brain injury, near bankruptcy, near death, and her own co-dependency. Lynn’s experience illustrates how each lesson was perfectly intended for her soul’s growth. Her extraordinary journey of self-discovery will make you laugh, make you cry, and inspire you to find your purpose while walking through pain and learning how to turn any trauma into triumph. Get a copy of Lynn’s book here.

Written by Lynn Balter