When Jamie was a baby, like most parents, I kept a baby monitor in his room so I could hear him if he started crying, listen to him breathe as he slept, etc. etc. etc. As he got a bit older, it was common for me to hear him babble, and later to hear him turn his babbling into actual words and make all the other cutesy baby noises, laughter and silliness that warms a momma's heart to hear. By the time he started serious efforts at talking, we had moved out of my mom's house into an apartment of our own. I was still unpacking things, and hadn't started putting out any of the homey touches yet - figurines, candles, family pictures, etc.
One night, after I had put Jamie to bed, I heard him laughing and babbling excitedly in his crib. Then, he painstakingly formed two syllables - "Jo......deeeeee!" - with a happy little shriek and more laughter. The babbling and laughing continued, and I thought I must have imagined what he said, or that it was just coincidence. How could he know the name of my sister who died approximately 12 years before he was born? Furthermore, it wasn't like my mom and I sat around saying her name over and over in front of him. We really rarely talked about her - it was too sad for all of us - and certainly didn't make a habit of saying her name in front of a baby who wouldn't know who the heck she was, anyway. Just as I had convinced myself of this, he started laughing and babbling, and said "Jo.......deeeeee" again! I walked into his room, to find him standing up in his crib, looking fixedly at one spot in the room and babbling like he was trying to talk to someone! Again, I convinced myself it had to be coincidence and tried to put it out of my mind.
To take my mind off thinking about Jodi - she would have loved a little cuddly baby nephew to spoil - I decided to start putting out my homey things in the livingroom. I put out my candles and knick-knacks (up high where a curious baby couldn't reach, naturally), and hung some family photos on nails the previous tenants left in the walls of the short hallway leading from the livingroom back to the kitchen. Just as I finished that, Jamie started fussing and acting cranky in his room. I figured he was probably hungry because he hadn't eaten much earlier in the day -plus, he seemed like he was always hungry. I figured a warm bottle and some baby food would put him in the mood to finally go to sleep.
As I carried him in my arms down the hall toward the kitchen, Jamie suddenly let out a squeal and shrieked out "JO....DEE!" I turned to where he was looking, and almost dropped him; he was looking right at an 8 x 10 photo of my sister taken not too long before she died! That's when I knew that Jodi was not only watching over me, but over my son, as well.