I usually got off work around 10:30 pm. Most nights, as I walked through the courtyard to my apartment, I would see a big bullfrog sitting out by the pool, soaking up the moonlight. I usually am squeamish around any kind of slimy, hopping, crawling thing. I think the bullfrog was a little wary of me, too. Every time I would approach, he would frantically hop away trying to avoid me. He would take long leaps back into the garden and hide within the foliage. This little game between the two of us went on for a few weeks. It was always the same until March of 2010. In that month, I lost my mother to complications of colon cancer.
The death of my mother left a big void in my life. She had been my confidant, traveling companion, and best friend. I really missed her. The loneliness was intense after she passed. I spent the next couple of days just listlessly going to work and returning home to the lonely apartment my mother and I had shared.
In August of 2009, my mother had moved from Kansas to California to live with me. We spent the time we had together traveling throughout California and the southwest. We were together for just nine months before I lost her. After her death, I didn’t feel like traveling or going anywhere. I spent long days just going to work and coming back home.
A few days after losing my mother, I returned home from another long work day. I got out of my car, walked up the sidewalk from the parking lot, and turned the corner into the courtyard. There again, sitting by the pool, was the bullfrog. I just ignored it at first and started walking towards my apartment. I was positive the frog would move as I approached. But something strange happened this night. Instead of hopping away, the frog actually turned and looked right at me. I stopped for a moment and just stared back. I decided to just keep walking forward. The frog was sure to get nervous and jump away from me. But he didn’t. instead the frog just sat patiently by the pool and waited for me to come nearer. When I walked by the frog, he suddenly turned and started moving in the direction I was walking towards my apartment. He hopped along with every step I took. He stayed right by my side and I had to laugh that he stopped when I stopped and moved when I moved. He stayed with me right to the steps of my second floor apartment. I stepped up the first step and the little frog hopped up beside me. This is as far as he would go, however. He stayed on the first step as I continued on up to the second level. His large black eyes followed me all the way up the stairs. Once I made it to the top, I glanced back down over the balcony railing and watched as the frog turned in my direction. He stared up at me and gently chirped, serenading me with a beautiful natural song.
After a few minutes, I went inside my apartment. However, every time I glanced outside, my frog was still there, still sitting on the first step and staring up at my apartment. And suddenly, I realized I had laughed for the first time since my mother had passed. I went to bed that night feeling hopeful and safe with my frog prince sitting down at the bottom of the steps. I never saw the frog again after that night, but I continued to wonder about the experience. Was this frog a sign from Mom or the angels? Could this frog have been my prince, my knight in shining armor? Should I have kissed him and found out? I don’t know. I didn’t try. I just had the enjoyment of knowing, even after the loss of my mom, that I was safe and protected and loved in God’s great universe.