When my mom, Hella Drizen, died 21 years ago this July, I started seeing things.

Empty parking spaces for one. And not just any space—the space. The one at the front right next to the place I was going. The lot could be packed without a space for miles; and there, as I drove to the front, would be the empty space—my space that somehow magically appeared. My sons and I became so used to automatically driving to the front of well, any place we went, we named this uncanny phenomenon after her. We call the coveted empty space a “Hella spot.”

Then there’s the hummingbirds. They were prominent on the teapot I bought her when I was a teenager. She loved that teapot; so much so that after she died I am convinced she brought it to life. I’d be sitting at my kitchen table and out the window a hummingbird would appear…much too often to consider it random. Then it would hover; like it was letting me know she was with me. On vacations, on walks, on my way into restaurants and sitting in my parked car—at the most unlikely times and in all seasons—these little hummingbirds come to visit. And every time, I smile and tell Hella hello.

If these two signs were not enough to make my day, my mom has come to leave hearts around too. Heart-shaped rocks, heart-shaped leaves, heart carvings on the sidewalk and hearts in the clouds; they seem to appear every single day. Perhaps she got a little bored with the parking and birds and decided to switch it up a bit. Those hearts make me smile every single time I see one…and the feeling I get when I look to the heavens to tell her I love her makes my day.

These signs of my hero, my mom, never cease to illicit those feelings of love and gratitude and ache in my heart, no matter how many times I see them, nor how many years have passed since I could give her a real hug. She and I had our ups and downs, and yet the strength of her love for me could not be denied. I cannot be more sure that her deep soul lives on long after she left this earth.

It reminds me that the power of a sign to illicit strong feelings is a gift we must fully embrace at DDCC as our team creates imaginative and creative logos, websites or newsletter and e-blast templates for our clients large and small. Sometimes this “identity” sets the tone for an event; other times it sets the stage for an entire company. It can be illustrated or just a type treatment of the words themselves, or any combination thereof. No matter what, it must—absolutely must—illicit the feeling of the forum. It must subliminally convey the descriptive words our clients desire and command. And it must bring that exact feeling to the forefront for a company’s customers, employees or members every single time it appears.

To date, DDCC has not shared hummingbirds, hearts nor parking spaces with our clients as their identifiable signs. I’ve preferred to keep those to myself. Yet there is an unlimited array of images and words that we have saved for each one of you. For those of you who have given us the opportunity to create signs that bring feelings to life, we are forever grateful. And for those of you who have yet to ask us to make that happen, we await your call. We promise the feelings your customers and employees have when they see your company’s communications will absolutely make their day. And the feeling we get when we compel your audiences to action will certainly make ours.

Ruth Drizen-Dohs