Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that I have a new release coming up in a few days with Chicken Soup for the Soul. This book is sub-titled “Messages From Heaven”, and the description reads like this: “The 101 true and miraculous stories in this book of signs and messages from beyond show that death may take away the physical presence of our loved ones, but not their spirit. This book is for everyone, religious or secular, as regular people share their amazing experiences with the other side.” It’s available now for pre-order and will be on sale on February 28.

My story in this collection is called “A TOUCH FROM HEAVEN” and is about something that happened after my mother passed away in 2008, just three weeks after my dad passed in December that let me know she was still there with me, still watching over me. On three separate occasions, I knew she was beside me by something that happened. Many months later, my sister asked me if I had experienced “anything” since Mom had passed. “Like what?” I asked her.  “She called my name,” my sister said, “and it was so clear that I … I answered her!” I could tell it was hard for her to talk to me about it, because it sounded so odd. But when I told her about my experiences, we knew there was no doubt that Mom had been with us each time.  This book has lots of varied stories about comforting, uplifting occurrences that have happened after a loved one has passed on.

This experience gave me an idea for another fictional western story that I started on not long after I wrote this story for the Chicken Soup collection, and I know that is another bit of encouragement from my mom.

Do you have a story to share about something similar that might have happened to you? I’d love to hear it if you do!

I also have two other stories in another Chicken Soup collection, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE EMPTY NESTERS SOUL, an insightfull anthology of stories about those of us who are going through the period of learning to live without our kids, and not just necessarily when it’s time to go to college.


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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
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23 thoughts on “ANYONE LIKE CHICKEN SOUP?”

  1. What an honor to have something in these famous little books, Cheryl.
    I’ve had several experiences similar to the ones you describe–so intense and so personal that I don’t feel able to write about them here. The feeling was unmistakable and left me in tears.
    I know our loved ones are close by.

  2. What a joy to have such a special touch from your mother and to be able to share it with such a large audience is wonderful. Both my parents are gone now. There have been many times when I hear their voices in my head, but nothing like what your sister experienced.

  3. Elizabeth,
    I surely do understand that–the intensity is sometimes too much to think about for long without becoming a muddled mess of tears. But, like medicine, in short doses it brings healing to our spirits. Thanks so much for your comment, my friend.

  4. Hi Vicki,
    Yes, I hear those voices in my head too, and like my sister, I have heard my mother call my name just as clearly as if she were in the very next room. There are other things, too–signs that our loved ones are very near us after they pass. And I never think of them as being uneasy or unable to rest, but that they are there to help us in this life and give us comfort.

  5. I have several of the CHICKEN SOUP books and when I was working at the library, I made sure we were current with them on the shelves. They are popular checkouts.

    Actually, my post yesterday about my wedding:
    “My favorite wedding memory is bittersweet. My mom passed away in August and I married the following June. We had an outdoor wedding, the first (and last for a long time, 40 years ago they weren’t that common) in the area. The wedding was held at a shrine in the mountains overlooking the lake. It was one of my mom’s and my favorite spots. It poured for 2 or 3 days prior to the wedding and we were concerned because we had no alternate site. The morning of the wedding dawned clear and beautiful. The weather was perfect with a slight breeze to keep the black flies (a vicious little creature I had forgotten about) at bay. Within an hour or so of the reception, it started raining again and continued for 3 or 4 days. We all decided it was mom’s way of blessing the union and being with us.”

    There have been many times over the years that I have smelled her favorite perfume in a room, both at home and away. It is an Avon fragrance that hasn’t been made for over 30 years. I think there will always be a presence to remind us that we are still loved and watched over.

  6. Patricia,
    I really enjoy the Chicken Soup books and am so glad to be a part of them. Anthologies are a favorite of mine–I had quite a few stories in The Rocking Chair Reader anthologies that Adams Media produced, as well–and though not as well known as Chicken Soup, they were VERY nicely done and a quality series, usually themed around some kind of memory.

    I actually thought of the comment about your wedding when I was putting my post up. That was a very sweet memory for you, and I’m sure your mom WAS watching and holding back the rain for your wedding. As for the perfume, there have been a couple of occasions when I’ve smelled Mom’s perfume, too. Something else that happened in our family was, my dad had been given a perpetual motion clock for 25 years of service with the company he worked for. When we had moved to West Virginia in 1975, the clock never would work when he tried to reset it and put it on our mantle there. In fact, it never worked again, in all the years since, but he kept it out on his desk because it was so pretty. When he passed, my sister and I had a bitter dispute over who should get the clock–but she kept it, even though Dad had said it was to go to my son. (My parents lived with her the last months of their lives.)One day she called me and asked if I still wanted it. I said yes. And she said, “When are you coming down here?” I told her I had planned to come that weekend. “WHY?” I asked–I could tell she was nervous. She said the clock had suddenly started working. After 35 years, it had begun to move again. I got it set and held my breath, but it still worked after setting it, and still continues to, 3 years later. I thoroughly believe my dad made that happen.

  7. Cheryl, congrats on the story in Chicken Soup. I can’t wait to read it. I firmly believe that loved ones on the other side do visit us occasionally. I’ve seen too many things and had too much happen for me to doubt. I’ve actually seen some of my loved ones just as plain as day after they went on. I hear their voices at times. And I’ve smelled strong fragrances that could only have come from a loved one to let me know that they were near. That’s in addition to brushes on the arm and actually “feeling” their presence. It’s such a comfort to know that they are watching over me.

    I wish you lots of success. You’re a very talented writer. I love your stories. The one in the Western Fictioneers anthology was especially good.

  8. Linda, bless your heart! I sweated bullets over that story in The Traditional West (Western Fictioneers anthology) because there were so many wonderful writers included and that was my first published “western” (with no romance).LOL

    Oh, yes, the touch from one that has passed is unmistakable, as are the fragrances of the perfume and so on. I know a lot of people who have experienced this, and I have no doubt that it’s real. Thanks so much for commenting, Linda. I appreciate it–and thanks for the very kind words about THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS in the WF anthology. You are a dear!

  9. Lovely, lovely, post, and comments. I, too, have had moments that I’ve known my parents are still here, but the one thing I’d like to share is: My father passed away four years before my mother, and she had a Christmas cactus that bloomed at every holiday after he died. Not just the big ones like Christmas and Easter, but every birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s day, Father’s day etc. It was amazing. Mom passed this past summer and I now have the plant, and though it is growing and lush, it hasn’t bloomed once since she passed. I think it was just dad’s way of being with mom, and is no longer needed now that they are together.

  10. Such a wonderful story. I don’t have any to relate, except I’ve always heard my mother call me–for decades. When I was a young mother living in Houston, and ever so often whereever I lived. It’s certainly not often, but truly, I can hear her voice clear as day. I’ve asked my sisters if that ever happened to them, but they said no. Mother passed this last August, and a couple of weeks later,…yep, I heard her voice again!
    She had a distintive way of saying, “Celie Ann.” No question mark on the end, just a sort of flat “Celie Ann.” I’ll probably hear it the rest of my life.
    I do admit, that I have turned my head more than once to make sure she wasn’t standing there.

  11. I was 27 when Mom died after years of illness. we had always been close and I missed her terribly. My grandmother came to the funeral and I was very angry with her because she never treated my mother very well and didn’t come to see her when she was dying even though my mother cried on the phone begging her to come. I was filled with anger and turned to my grandmother to tell her something terrible when my mother’s voice rang out in my head and said, “Don’t say it. I love her.” I shut my mouth to honor my mother’s wish.
    Funny thing about my dad. Pop and I were so much a like that we fought and often. He died suddenly while he was on vacation. I had such a hard time getting through the emotional quagmire of his loss. Then he started talking to me right before the funeral giving me words of encouragment and comfort. The night after the funeral he said, “I have to go now. Your mother’s waiting.” He never spoke to me again except once when I was in an awful place in my life. I had a dream that someone was knocking on the door. When I opened it, Pop was standing there with a smile on his face and said, “I heard you needed me.” And I sure did. Just talking about it brings up all those emotions even now.
    This was such a delightful blog. I loved reading all these validating stories. There is a God. There is an afterlife. And those who love us never leave us.
    I am so happy to hear that you have another story in a Cup of Soup book. This particular book is a must have for me. I have several of them and they are so uplifting. Beautiful, beautiful blog, Cheryl.

  12. Oh Lauri! Your story just gives me chills. Kind of like my clock story. LOL But I do believe things like that happen and they happen for a reason. As you can probably figure out from the title of my story, my mom’s touch was what I experienced–and not once, but three different times. It means a lot to me to remember that now, because for most of my life we were at loggerheads. She was very “old school” and I…well, I was a child of the 60’s. She was 35 when she had me and I just can’t imagine being the age I am now (54) and having a 19 year old. A rebellious one, at that. But after what happened, I know that all is well, and one day, we’ll be together again and none of that will matter anymore.
    Thanks so much for your wonderful story, Lauri!

  13. Celia, I wonder if your mother was thinking of you or wishing she could talk to you or something when you heard her call you? You know, one time before G and I got married I had this compelling urge to walk over and pick up the phone, even though it hadn’t rang. When I did, imagine my surprise when he was on the other end of it. I hadn’t talked to him for several days. There is so much we don’t know about the brain and our surroundings, and the spirit world. I mean, just as there are odd things that happen – dreams and thoughts that “come true” and such, I believe that there are also these things we are talking about after people have passed that occur that can’t be explained away either. Thanks so much for coming over!

  14. Sarah,
    You have definitely had some odd occurrences, too, it sounds like. Who knows why these things happen? But I do believe that they occur at the times when we need them the most and that they are real, not imaginary. It truly is validating to hear that others have experienced things like this that are odd and maybe make us feel a little strange to talk about–I know that’s why my sister didn’t mention it to me for a long time about hearing Mom call her and her answering when she did. There are so many inexplicable things in the world that I have come to just accept and marvel at them, but I don’t question. Thanks so much for stopping by, I know you are busy!

  15. Cheryl, the same thing happened to me. Ten days after Mom died, I dreamed of her. She was in a room, surrounded by suitcases she was unpacking. My aunt who died two years before her was there too. I said: “I’m here to help you.” She said, “No, darling, go back to your house. I’m fine here with my sister. I don’t need you. Rest assure I’m doing well. Take care of yourself.” After that I relax and accepted her death.

  16. Oh, Mona…that is such a sweet dream! How nice to have that to think on and remember. I think sometimes it does take something like this to help us who are left behind to accept and go on with our lives, don’t you? Thank you so much for sharing that sweet story. I know you were relieved to know that they were together.

  17. Beautiful post, Cheryl. I still have chills. Everybody’s responses are awesome, but I can almost smell the Avon scent Patricia B. wrote about.

    I don’t know if this counts, but I do believe in angels. More than 30 years ago, I didn’t know I was pregnant and was scheduled for an abdominal x-ray due to ongoing UTI’s. As I was undressing in the radiology dressing room, a voice said, “don’t do this.” I was so stunned, I looked around the empty dressing room. Nothing…

    But it struck me enough to get dressed and postpone the x-ray. And eight months later our little girl was safely born.

    I am convinced I heard an angel’s voice.

    Congrats on the release, Cheryl I have Chicken Soup for the Writers’ Soul as well as the MOther’s Soul. Very tender, wonderful real stories!

    Best wishes, my filly sister and good friend! xoxox

  18. OHHHHH, TANYA!!! That story gives me chills just reading it. I’m sure you did hear an angel’s voice. I believe in angels, too. I am so glad you listened! I didn’t know you had a couple of Chicken Soup stories, Tanya! That is so cool–I have the Writers’ Soul but have not read it all yet. I love their stories, for sure. Thanks for taking a minute to come by and comment–I know you are busy. And I agree with you about Patricia’s story-I can almost smell it, too, and I know exactly what that’s like, since I could smell that perfume my mom always wore a couple of times when I knew she’d been with me.
    Hugs, my dear friend!

  19. After my mom passed, we were at my daughter’s and I was worried because some furniture that was supposed to go to my brother he had given to my daughter because he had no way to get it to his home halfway across the country. I smelled her and could feel her reassuring me that it was all right, that she wanted my daughter to have these things. That sounds weird, but she used an old fashioned face powder which is difficult even to find now, and I knew I smelled it. i was sitting in my daughter’s living room. In a few minutes, she came out of her bedroom, two rooms away and was crying. She said, “I smelled Mamaw. She was with me just now.” We were both reassured.

  20. Cheryl,

    Congratulations on another wonderful story. I enjoy the Chicken Soup books because the stories always inspire me. I’ve been missing my mom a bit. Though I haven’t felt her presence, I’ve had moments where I stopped and considered what she would do. It’s nice to have a bit of our parents to carry forwad with us.

    Best wishes for this release! Maggie

  21. Caroline, what a lovely story! And how wonderful that your daughter smelled her fragrance too. That was such validation for both of you, I know.Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. I’m really happy to have a story in this collection.

  22. Aw, thanks so much Maggie. You are always so supportive, and I think you must have the secret to 150 hour days tucked away somewhere! LOL I love Chicken Soup stories, too. As you say, they are always inspiring and uplifting. I have had many of those moments you’re talking about where you stop and think, “What would Mom do?” or you hear her voice in your head with things she used to say to guide you along–my sister and I have often talked about that. Thanks again so much for stopping by — I know you have a busy schedule right now!

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