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February 15, 2012



I don't believe in accidents nor do I give coincidence, in regard to these matters, much credence. But, synchronicity is something I like to entertain.  These are events which inexplicably show up and weave their way through our lives, often unknown to us as they happen but sometimes revealed in ways that make us respond with an 'Ahhh" or "OMG."  At least they have in mine.  

That said, I have some stories I would like to share here.  Then, you can come to your own conclusions, explain or try to rationalize them ~ whatever.

The first example comes to mind each Christmas as it now coincides with my mother's passing several years ago.  I am reminded of her whenever I see the Salvation Army kettles in the stores.   

Mom was fiercely loyal to the organization and has supported them all of her life.  The attachment began when, as a young girl, she marched with their band through the streets of Toronto.  

She told me how they'd helped her family during the depression years, providing clothes and food for her and her three siblings when her father was unable to find work. His pride wouldn't allow him to accept straight charity, so he would do odd jobs for them, in return. 

They came to our rescue in much the same way when I was about six years old.  We were in trouble. Mom described how we were down to bare cupboards and it was Christmas.  She was alone with my sister and me at the time. It was winter and she had no means of work in the summer resort town we had been abandoned in... another story.   

Shortly after waking that morning she sat over coffee in the kitchen wondering how she was going to get us out of this situation, when the doorbell rang.  There was no one there, but on the doorstep sat a hamper filled with everything needed for a modest, Christmas dinner and some extras to take us through a few more days.  

There were winter coats and mittens for me and my sister, and wrapped toys to open.  Mom hadn't contacted them herself and assumed a neighbour must have noticed our situation.  She was never particularly religious, though she often told me that she felt blessed and believed that someone watched over us.

That story has stayed with me ever since and I continue to make a point of including the Salvation Army in my annual donations in memorial to mom.  This brings me to the incident at the end of her life.

Mom was close to dying and I was sitting by her bed, holding her hand when I noticed a flash of dark out of the corner of my eye and turned towards the hallway to look, but there was no one there.  I don't know what made me go to the door to look down the corridor, as lots of people passed her door all day long.  .

I could see someone in a uniform making his way towards the elevator and knew immediately who it was and set off to try and catch up to him before the elevator doors closed.  

I called out to him and as he turned to face me, I recognized the uniform of the Salvation Army.  I was right and for whatever reason, something made me look at the right moment.  I asked if he could come to her room and say a prayer with her, explaining her loving connection to them all of her life.  I knew how much it would mean to her.  It would be perfect.  

He happily obliged my request and as we walked back to mom's room, he began explaining how they aren't allowed to just walk into a patients room - they have to be invited.  Luck?  Serendipity?  Angelic Intervention?  Maybe none, maybe all, but there's more to the story that might convince you.

Shortly after he left, mom seemed to re-energize a little and as my sister and I stood beside her bed, she began to slowly raised her hand, something she hadn't been able to do in days.  She was pointing to the window behind us.  As we all looked out at the spectacular rainbow that had formed, a second one began to manifest behind it.  A double rainbow?  What a precious moment and gift to cherish forever.  Coincidence? Perhaps.  

There were more things that happened during my mothers struggle to remain on this earthly plane.  She had married a tall, Norwegian fighter pilot with Hollywood good looks, during WW11.  
He was shot down over Belgium within a few months of their wedding, but not before she had given birth to their daughter, my sister, the night before he was shipped out on that fateful mission. 
There would be two more men in her life after him, but I think he was always the love of her life. It's an incredible story in itself and my mother survived many things far worse, but she had always kept him close to her heart and he used to come to her in her dreams - in a swirling mist, was the way she described it.  They kept trying to find each other and once they did, she'd ask him, "Where have you been?"  He'd answer, "Looking for you."  

I would spend each day at the hospital by mom's side, from early morning until late at night.  One night in particular, it was right before she passed away, I awoke abruptly one morning to a male voice exclaiming;  "There is a small military presence in her room right now."  

It came to me immediately that it had to be her fighter pilot husband, coming to prepare her so she wouldn't be afraid. I believe this happens when people pass over into death.  I just knew that he was the 'small, military presence' in the room. What else could it be and I often wonder about the odd wording of the statement?   

Another morning I had one of those 'dreams' where you know you aren't really asleep, and although your eyes are closed you are aware of your surroundings.  

In this odd 'dream' state I was visited by a small, black French bulldog.  She was up in my face, happily licking me all over.  The dog was actually smiling at me and I could sense that she was happy. As she turned to leave the room, she told me she was very happy and then said something like, "You will know the answer in a few years."  I haven't a clue what that meant, but I knew with great certainty that the little, bulldog was my mother.  
If I was to describe that dog's persona and then compare it with my mothers, it would include the words small, feisty and stubborn (bulldog?).   What a lovely gift that was.. it gave me a little peace.

The night before she passed, she had been agitated all day. I couldn't get her to settle down. She wanted to write something but she couldn't hold the pen to the paper and she'd drop back onto her pillow, exasperated.  I tried to guess what she wanted, but it was futile.  She kept pointing to the end of the bed and calling out to 'Annie."  She would point and tell this 'Annie' to go away and then cry.  Her mothers name was Dorothy Annie, but she was called 'Annie.'

Mom passed away the next morning before I could get to her side.  I will always be sad and feel guilty that I wasn't there to hold and soothe her in those last moments.  It still weighs heavily.  I wanted to say goodbye and to kiss her one last time while she was still conscious but it was not supposed to to be that way for whatever reason.

After mom had passed away and I had returned home, I was attending to the many administration duties that fall to the executor of an estate.  It had been a very, long and exhausting few weeks and I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I fell asleep at the table.  

My head was nodding forward onto the keyboard when suddenly, there was a shower of light on my right side and in my right eye. My first thought was that I must be having a stroke or something because it was absolutely blinding white, like a lit sparkler. It only stayed a few minutes but I was left with a knowing, that it was my mother.  I can't explain how I knew it was her but I'm sure.  It happened that way just once more a few months later when I was thinking very hard about missing her. 

And finally, I need to mention the kiss. Again, I was nodding off at the table while working on mom's papers late one night, when I saw her face coming towards me, just her face, floating above me, moving slowly towards me. She  was smiling.  She floated up very close to my own face and then kissed me, before retreating backwards... floating and slowly fading away into the ethers.  I knew she was telling me goodbye.  

Years before mom passed away she used to describe these 'visions' she had. It was always at night, before she fell asleep.  She said that she'd lie there looking at the ceiling and suddenly my face would appear there. I'd be smiling down at her and my hair was blowing like there was breeze in the room.  

I was astounded and wanted to know more, but that's all that would happen.  She said it was like I was there to watch over her, for protection. She'd been widowed shortly before (third husband) and was alone, so this really seemed to be comforting her somehow.

Then, other visions began to join me in those nightly visitations.  She didn't recognize anyone, but she said they looked 'old fashioned.'  They would float above her and move in and out very quickly, she said.  

The most interesting aspect of these events was the man with a beard. She described him as lovely and came to believe he was Jesus.  She couldn't say absolutely, that it was Him, but her description was pretty close.  As she became more dependent upon me for help, the visions began to fade and and eventually disappeared altogether.   

We often discussed what this might have meant and came to the conclusion that we were so closely connected that part of my soul came to watch over her each night because she was alone. Then, when I was spending more and more time taking care of her, she no longer needed me in that way.  There's no way to know for sure, but I remain open to the possibilities.

There are more stories that I've experienced, and am at a loss to explain away with logic. There are some very compelling stories that people have shared with me, which I am planning to share with you in these provocative postings.  So, I invite you to return for #2

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Linda, you brought me to tears! So good!! love cathy