Days before my dad passed away, I woke up from my sleep because I heard his voice say my name. I knew he was dying. I went to work the next day and told my boss I needed to take time off to go spend with my dad in the hospital.
A month after he passed away, I found myself in Rome, Italy running the marathon. I ran it in his honor. My dad was always proud that his daughter was independent and traveled the world. We bonded over episodes of "Globe Trekker" on PBS. My time after running the marathon was spent traveling around Italy, trekking up to Barcelona for a day to spend with a good friend, and ended in Paris, cheering a good friend on her race in Paris. I also had a small amount of my dad's ashes to sprinkle in the town his mother had been born in, Orleans.
That trip was epic. It is still one of my absolute favorite trips of all time, but what made it truly special was a dream I had while visiting Cinque Terre. In my dream, I opened an envelope with a note. I don't recall the note; in fact, I never saw the message on the note, I only saw that the envelope was lined with a pattern similar to a pair of tights I owned. I woke up, startled, and said out loud, this is what I'm meant to do!
Days later, while stopped in Montpelier, France to catch a connection train to Paris, I came across what became my real sign - I was crumbling up a bag my lunch had been in and as I turned it, I noticed a small logo on the bottom. It was a recycling symbol around a tree and it said "Le Papier c'es la vie!" or "Paper is Life!" I tore that piece off of the bag and on the train to Paris, devised my plan for starting what is now S2 Stationery & Design. In those moments, I knew my business was meant to be; that the Universe had brought it to be.
It has been eight years since my dad passed away and I started S2 Stationery & Design. It has been a long journey and an exhausting one, but I know that my dad is shining down wishing me well and supporting me. And I also know that he's helping me along. There is not a day that I don't remember that story and his influence. And I know that every day, he's watching over me, gently whispering to me, "Because I said so," a phrase he would tell me whenever I asked him a question questioning him.