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Finding hope through the language of hearts

Finding hope through the language of hearts
Betty DeCecco’s story of an everlasting mother-daughter bond as heart imagery continues to connect Betty with her deceased daughter.
Betty DeCecco’s story of an everlasting mother-daughter bond as heart imagery continues to connect Betty with her deceased daughter.
IMAGE: John Kinnear
Betty DeCecco with a treasured photo of her daughter, Debbie DeCecco-Orleni, who died in 2009. Betty has found healing in heart-shaped messages that appear when she’s not looking for them, often in ways that relate to Debbie’s sense of humour. She hopes other lonely hearts may be warmed through sharing her story.
IMAGE: John Kinnear
Betty DeCecco with a treasured photo of her daughter, Debbie DeCecco-Orleni, who died in 2009. Betty has found healing in heart-shaped messages that appear when she’s not looking for them, often in ways that relate to Debbie’s sense of humour. She hopes other lonely hearts may be warmed through sharing her story.

Finding hope through the language of hearts

By Somya Lohia
By Somya Lohia
Shootin’ the Breeze Community Journalist
Shootin’ the Breeze Shootin’ the Breeze Community Journalist
April 5, 2024
April 5, 2024

In the quiet corners of Betty DeCecco’s world, love weaves itself into the fabric of everyday life in the most unexpected of ways.

Since her daughter, Debbie DeCecco-Orleni, passed away in 2009, Betty has found herself navigating the expanse of grief, her heart aching with the weight of memories and the void of loss. Yet, amidst the shadows of sorrow, a glimmer of hope emerged.

Betty’s life changed when Debbie died of breast cancer in May 2009, leaving her heartbroken. Betty was passing her days when a glimmer of hope emerged, unfurling in the tapestry of dreams.

On a December night in 2014, Betty had a dream in which she found herself enveloped in the ethereal embrace of her daughter’s presence. Debbie’s voice, soft as a whisper, echoed through the realms of slumber, urging Betty to seek solace in the symbolism of hearts.

“I still remember that dream. Debbie was there. She told me, ‘Look for hearts, and you will see me,’ ” Betty shares, her voice breaking with emotion.

 

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Though the dream faded with the morning light, its message lingered, etched into Betty’s heart like an indelible promise. She started decoding the message of how she could see hearts. Years passed by and again, in December 2019, she had the same dream. Unable to shake off the message, she felt even more restless.

More years passed, and Betty searched, her eyes scanning the world with hope. Then, on a crisp October day in 2023, she stumbled upon a heart-shaped pebble nestled among stones scattered along the roadside. Shocked, yet inexplicably comforted, she knew this was no mere coincidence — it was a message from her beloved daughter, a beacon of love guiding her through the darkness.

Since that fateful day, Betty’s world has become a tapestry of hearts as she finds them everywhere — in spilled soup, in the crystalline embrace of winter’s first snow and even in fallen leaves. Each heart-shaped apparition is a whispered assurance from beyond, a testament to the enduring bond between a mother and her daughter.

Betty found solace in the presence of these tokens.

 

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Heart images

Do you see what Betty sees?

 

“They were not mere coincidences but cosmic affirmations of my daughter’s love,” Betty tells Shootin’ the Breeze, while showing the pictures of hearts she found everywhere.

In the embrace of each heart, Betty found the courage to confront her pain and to unravel the tendrils of sorrow that bound her heart.

In the last year, Betty has shared her journey with her near and dear ones. Some have offered solace, while others remain skeptical, unable to fathom the depths of her experience. Yet, in the warmth of Betty’s presence, even the most hardened hearts soften, touched by the rawness of her emotion.

“Many people told me that it’s just coincidence, but I know that even though she is gone, she is still communicating her love in this way,” Betty says.

And so, in the quiet corners of Crowsnest Pass, among the hearts Betty has kept saved in the form of photos, a mother finds peace in the midst of pain. Her journey is not about closure but continuation, a testament to the timeless bond between a mother and her daughter, forever etched in the hearts of those who dare to believe.

 

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In the quiet corners of Betty DeCecco’s world, love weaves itself into the fabric of everyday life in the most unexpected of ways.

Since her daughter, Debbie DeCecco-Orleni, passed away in 2009, Betty has found herself navigating the expanse of grief, her heart aching with the weight of memories and the void of loss. Yet, amidst the shadows of sorrow, a glimmer of hope emerged.

Betty’s life changed when Debbie died of breast cancer in May 2009, leaving her heartbroken. Betty was passing her days when a glimmer of hope emerged, unfurling in the tapestry of dreams.

On a December night in 2014, Betty had a dream in which she found herself enveloped in the ethereal embrace of her daughter’s presence. Debbie’s voice, soft as a whisper, echoed through the realms of slumber, urging Betty to seek solace in the symbolism of hearts.

“I still remember that dream. Debbie was there. She told me, ‘Look for hearts, and you will see me,’ ” Betty shares, her voice breaking with emotion.

 

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Though the dream faded with the morning light, its message lingered, etched into Betty’s heart like an indelible promise. She started decoding the message of how she could see hearts. Years passed by and again, in December 2019, she had the same dream. Unable to shake off the message, she felt even more restless.

More years passed, and Betty searched, her eyes scanning the world with hope. Then, on a crisp October day in 2023, she stumbled upon a heart-shaped pebble nestled among stones scattered along the roadside. Shocked, yet inexplicably comforted, she knew this was no mere coincidence — it was a message from her beloved daughter, a beacon of love guiding her through the darkness.

Since that fateful day, Betty’s world has become a tapestry of hearts as she finds them everywhere — in spilled soup, in the crystalline embrace of winter’s first snow and even in fallen leaves. Each heart-shaped apparition is a whispered assurance from beyond, a testament to the enduring bond between a mother and her daughter.

Betty found solace in the presence of these tokens.

 

Ad for Sara Hawthorn, Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass realtor

 

Heart images

Do you see what Betty sees?

 

“They were not mere coincidences but cosmic affirmations of my daughter’s love,” Betty tells Shootin’ the Breeze, while showing the pictures of hearts she found everywhere.

In the embrace of each heart, Betty found the courage to confront her pain and to unravel the tendrils of sorrow that bound her heart.

In the last year, Betty has shared her journey with her near and dear ones. Some have offered solace, while others remain skeptical, unable to fathom the depths of her experience. Yet, in the warmth of Betty’s presence, even the most hardened hearts soften, touched by the rawness of her emotion.

“Many people told me that it’s just coincidence, but I know that even though she is gone, she is still communicating her love in this way,” Betty says.

And so, in the quiet corners of Crowsnest Pass, among the hearts Betty has kept saved in the form of photos, a mother finds peace in the midst of pain. Her journey is not about closure but continuation, a testament to the timeless bond between a mother and her daughter, forever etched in the hearts of those who dare to believe.

 

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Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta