Our home was built with love in 1999, on virgin land by the previous owners, Rick & Nancy, who intended to stay for life. But they both developed health issues that necessitated a move, so we bought their beautiful home on September 1, 2004.

Two months later, on November 1st, my beautiful daughter Julia passed in her sleep of SUDEP - Sudden Unexplained Death from Epilepsy; I learned later from a pharmacist friend that the 'unexplained' is the epilepsy drugs that damage the heart, specifically Tegretol. A year later with a heavy heart I took my first walk through our woods and came to the largest stone on our back hill.. here's the first shot as I approached the stone. . .

I brushed off the leaves and peeled off the moss and noticed that the stone was covered in cupmarks, scooped-out half-circles rare in New England. It's said they were carved by the ancients to represent the constellations.

I took a few more pictures and headed back and when I loaded the pix onto my computer, there on the side of the stone was an unmistakable red heart, with a glowing white heart balloon in the center!

Julia loved to draw hearts and heart balloons...

She'd reached out to me many times throughout that first awful year and in the moment I'd know it was her, but later I'd doubt it as coincidence and descend back into despair. But this was undeniable visual proof! I believe Julia manifested the heart with help from the spirits who dwell here to let me know she's more alive than we can even imagine being.

But I still couldn't believe my eyes and ran down to the stone thinking it must be a heart-shaped leaf, but there were no heart-shaped leaves. Then I noticed that the stone was embedded with glittering purple stones, so I chipped one off and in a kind of dream state I took it to a jeweler, who said it was garnet, Julia's birthstone! The room started spinning but thinking garnet is red I took it to another jeweler, who also confirmed it.

I printed out Julia's heart stone and I put it on my fridge for the whole family to gaze at many times a day over many years and helped to soothe all our hearts.