Over the last six months I have received more visitors than my total for a lifetime. This is not a complaint. I have cherished each visit as the visitors strived to keep my spirits up - and they did. I loved every minute.
Two visits stand apart from the rest. The first visit I have only told a few about -- my husband, priest, daughters and a couple friends. The visit occured after I received the worst of news. The doctor had called and asked me to send the CT scan CD overnight. The tumor in the lung had grown twice in size in less than six weeks. They were not sure it was operable. It would have to be reviewed by the surgical team. We would know within the week.
I could not sleep. My husband and I stayed up and talked all night. I had only found out about the cancer two months before and the end was already here. If they couldn't operate and it was growing so fast, then it was only a matter of short time. Hours passed and he finally fell restlessly asleep around 2am holding my hand. I tried to sleep by listening to healing music a kind friend had sent. I watched the shadows flicker on the ceiling and listened to the music when my visitors came.
The first visitor was my mother. She smiled and put her fingers to her lips. She looked beautiful. Her face was unlined and her eyes twinkled. The figure beside her was taller and shadowy. I sensed an incredible love pouring from the figure. Reaching over me, the figure lifted a basket of stones from my chest. Each turned and walked from the room. My mother waved as she followed the shadow from the room.
Filled with an incredible sense of peace and well being, I woke my husband and told him what had just happened. We held each other and I was asleep within minutes.
The second visit is as fantastic as the first. The night before my second surgery we attended mass at St. Patricks. The "Our Father" is my favorite part of mass. Growing up we held hands during the prayer and now my own family does the same. This moment of prayer holds us together united in that moment.
That moment was different for me during this mass. I felt hands my shoulders as I held my husband's hand during the "Our Father." My mother, grandmothers and grandfathers surrounded me and said the prayer with me. I could hear my Grandmother Marie scold my Grandmother Emily - "This is not about you." My Step-Grandmother Bill grumbled behind me. My Grandfathers stood silently. Just before the end, my Mother leaned over and whispered that they would be with me till the surgery was over.
I think about these visits often. Many would describe them as hopeful hallucinations. I prefer to think of them as visits. I do not think that many are visited by their deceased mother and God. Nor are many visited and comforted by their grandparents. Those visits taught me the meaning of faith but also the comfort of life beyond. They will be there when it is my time.
So will He.