When Denise D’Ascenzo died on December 7th, I decided to focus much of my attention on trying to carry on her legacy as best I can. She was kind to everyone, and we both practiced acts of kindness over the years, but since Denise’s sudden and shocking passing, these measures have a little more meaning.
Since the pandemic began, I’ve kept a stack of Dunkin Donuts gift cards with me that I replenish as needed. When I see someone down on their luck at a traffic light or outside a building, I hand them one. Some hot food and a drink may not change this person’s life, but it could change their day, their outlook and give them a boost they need to change their life. I’ve been very blessed during my years on earth and I want to give back.
On Monday, August 31st, as I headed into work, I saw a woman at the entrance to the on ramp holding a sign that said she was homeless and hungry. I handed her a gift card and wished her well. I turned to my right and in the car next to me was a beautiful woman of about Denise’s age. She gave a smile and a thumbs up.
As the light turned green and traffic advanced, I noticed a 777 on a license plate. Denise and Kara would text each other when they saw these numerals in threes: 444, 888 and so on. Angel signs they said.
Denise loved the ocean and she loved Newport. This past weekend I went all by myself to a quiet place on the rocks there and spoke to Denise about what is going in my life. This was the scene. It was peaceful and beautiful, much like my TV wife, sister and one of my best friends whose loss Kara and I live with every day.
The next morning after my visit to this spot, I woke up after a vivid dream. In it, Kara, the kids and I were driving when we came along a herd of baby elephants. It looked like the Wilbur Cross or Merritt Parkways, definitely not a place where one would expect to see elephants. We got out of the car and touched these beautiful young animals. We looked for their mother and there she was, at a distance in the woods, giving a look that all was okay. Her face looked like Denise. And then I woke up.
Denise loved elephants and this sculpture of a mama elephant and her baby was a treasured gift from her daughter Kathryn that was displayed in her desk until her death.
I looked up the spiritual meaning of the elephant and this came up:
“Elephants have a positive symbolic meaning all over the world and are considered a symbol of good luck, power, success wisdom and experience.
Because elephants are highly social animals, they are also considered to be a symbol of loyalty, companionship and unity.“
What the dream meant I do not know, but Denise’s husband told me he believes I was visited by his beloved wife.