Patti's sister, Becky, was with their mother when she was escorted home to heaven by two angels. I have asked her to share the story with you so you may also be comforted and encouraged.
Thank You, Lord, that leaving this earthly body is just the beginning of our heavenly existence!
Sitting carefully on the bed, I picked up her hand and gently began to trace it on the paper I had brought from home. She always had such beautiful hands. Yet those were the hard-working hands of a farmer's wife and mother of three girls. These hands had canned fruits and vegetables, kneaded bread, sewed matching dresses for Easter and Christmas, tended her colorful flowers, brushed our long curls, and were often folded in prayer over her open Bible on the kitchen table.
Though at 85 Mom had been aging, suddenly a week ago she had collapsed and no longer could compete against the cancer that had taken over her body. Cancer -- a diagnosis that had surprised all of us. We had been at her bedside constantly. She had stopped responding yesterday and my time with her was almost gone.
Her life story was one of poverty, humiliation and loss, but also strong faith. Her father dead from WW1, orphaned at 16, she was torn from all that was familiar. As a young woman, she met our father, whom she adored. The last 22 years she had lived without this godly man of integrity and faith, and she missed him. His motto from Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," had shaped our home growing up. We had been raised with love, discipline and the immeasurable gift of a Christian heritage. We served, we worshipped, we understood eternity. Death was not to be feared. The family rejoiced that soon she would no longer be alone. Jesus, her mother, and her husband were waiting. Until then, I would be there.
It was a stormy night so I had urged the rest of the family home earlier while I kept vigil and remembered. As the thunder rumbled overhead, her breathing became less regular. Being a nurse, I knew Mom would soon be with Jesus. For a time, I would rest on the couch in the adjacent room, then slip into her bed to hold her and tell her what she meant to me, my husband, and our children.
As the clock approached four a.m., wearily I left her room and lay on the couch. Drifting off, suddenly I was jerked awake and sat up. It seemed someone had called my name. There before me I saw two white fog-like figures pause, then cross the small room and fade away at the door. Mom had said "good-bye." And she was not alone!
What a gift to her, and to me. A sense of peace and love so beautiful settled in my heart.
How about you?
Thank You, Father God, that we are never alone. Thank You for Your presence and that Your company of heaven is always with us - comforting, encouraging, protecting and strengthening us.
If you would like to learn more about these heavenly hosts God has assigned to you, we invite you to explore our resources on Everyday Angels - How to Encounter, Experience and Engage Angels in Everyday Life. Both hard copies and e-learning module are available.