Good morning to everyone. Well, today is already Thursday and it just seems like I blinked and Easter blew away in a big puff! Yesterday, I was able to see the movie Heaven is for Real. Good movie...I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the book. Supposedly it was a real hit dollars wise. Funny how so many are so curious about whether heaven is for real. I never questioned heaven. I guess hearing about heaven growing up in a Catholic home and attending Catholic schools all my life...it just became a norm for me. I heard about the near death experiences...and well, I suppose I just believed them. But it wasn't until I was 26 when I knew for sure.
That is what today's blog is about. My entire life, I believed and that is the operative word...BELIEVED...but there is a difference between KNOWING and BELIEVING!! And so, this is where it all changed for me.
Growing up, my mother and I lived with my grandparents. I was very close with them both. My Grandfather passed away when I was just 12 and so the next 14 years...I built an unbelievable bond with my grandmother. We would speak to each other perhaps a dozen times a day on the phone. She was a sweet, loving woman who had always put family first.
One year, on Christmas day, I received a call from my Grandmother that she was not feeling well, her pain level was way too high...she had psoriatic arthritis, and couldn't come to my house for Christmas. I, of course was devastated over the way she was feeling and told her not to worry. I would just call everyone up...there were only a handful, and I would just bring all the food over to her house...and we would all just celebrate the holiday there. I now sooner hanging up with her and called those that were coming when the telephone rang and it was gram on the other side of the line. She told me she took some extra meds and decided she would come after all. I questioned whether she was sure...and she insisted she was. I called everyone back and the plan to have Christmas at my house resumed.
Now when Grandma arrived, it almost broke my heart to see her climb up the back steps like a toddler with her hands faced down on the top stair as she slowly climbed up. I got her settled in the living room where the children were more than happy to keep Great Grandma company. They spent the next half of an hour showing off all their gifts from Santa. Soon it was time for pictures and then time to eat. After the meal was finished we opened presents and I snuck out to do the dishes. Within 10 minutes, Grandma entered the kitchen with a gift for me. I was quite surprised because we had already exchanged presents. She told me that this was something special. When I opened it up...there was Grandma's SPECIAL popcorn pot. She was known for making the absolute best popcorn ever and no one could ever make it better than her...it was just like the popcorn in the movies. She said it was my turn now....and the secret was in the pot. What a treasured gift she entrusted me with.
Now, the next day, my mother called and said that Grandma was feeling worse and a visit to the doctor landed Grandma into the hospital with of all things, pneumonia. I was at Grandma's side almost continuously. My mother and I took turns from day through the night. Grandma was put on respirators and had lapsed into a coma. It was New Years Eve, and my mother, after coming from work, told me to go home to be with my children and husband, but thought of leaving Gram broke my heart. My mother insisted and said I could come the next day and bring lunch. She would stay through the night. I left and spent a half hearted New Years with the family. The next day, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things when half way through the store, I felt the urgency to leave...right then and there. I felt something was terribly wrong. I listened to my instincts and left the cart right there in the aisle and went home. When I walked in the back door of the house, my husband was there on the phone speaking with my mother. He said we would be right there. From the look on his face, I knew that there had definitely been a turn for the worse. I told him to get his mother to watch the children and left immediately. I raced at full speed to the hospital....the entire time telling Grandma she had better not leave me before I had a chance to say goodbye. I got there in time and shortly after, my husband arrived.
We sat in the room with my mother. I on one side facing the window in the room and my mother and husband on the other side. I held Gram's hand and repeatedly told her how much I loved her and how much I appreciated all the things she did for me. As I held her hand and lent over to kiss her I saw out the window the most peculiar sight. The best way that I can describe what I saw, was that it looked as though the sun had literally dropped down from out of the sky and was slowly approaching the window of Gram's room. I was holding Gram's hand and it began to fell so cold...I kept looking out the window as that ball of light approached closer and closer until it almost looked as though it would crash right into the window. I couldn't speak, I was in total shock and awe. Suddenly, a nurse stepped in and distracted me and asked if we could please step out of the room for a few seconds. We complied with her wishes and as we stepped out of the room, the nurse closed the door behind us. We stood right there on the other side of the door waiting for her to finish. In the meantime, while we were standing there, the overhead light in the hall flashed on and off very quickly. My husband just stood there...nonchalantly, and said "Goodbye Gram" and in the same moment, the nurse opened the door and said "I'm sorry, she's gone". GONE...GONE???? NO...she couldn't be gone and then I thought about that ball of light....then I recalled all the stories I had read about near death experiences and their seeing a light. I....I repeat....I.....saw that light coming for her. From that moment on...I no longer BELIEVED....I KNEW FOR SURE! I knew in that instant that they were coming to take her. There is more. It is as they say it is. I was not having a near death experience....I was there when they took Gram's spirit. I saw it. They can't say it was electrical malfunction going on in my brain...it was real. Heaven is for real. The light that comes is for real. No one can convince me otherwise. Not now...not ever.
Now the most amazing thing....as though this wasn't amazing enough...when I had the pictures developed from that Christmas Day...All the pictures for the day were perfectly fine and clear....except for the ones that Gram were in. Every picture of her had an unusual light and glow around her. I like to think the angels were already waiting with her on that day! Perhaps the ball of light was the chariot to take her home.
I still think of Gram everyday, but I KNOW she is is in heaven and someday...we will be together again. I BELIEVE and KNOW!