My father died in 1997 on my daughter's 4th
birthday. He had been particularly close to my daughter because she and
I had cared daily for him during the last three months of his life. During
those months, he and I had many long discussions regarding life after death.
We came to the conclusion that we both believed in it. I was very fortunate
to be able to prepare for my father's death and to say things to him that
I had never said before. Nevertheless, I was absolutely devastated when
he finally passed away.
One day, two months
after his death, I was home alone. All of my children were in
school, including the four-year-old daughter. I found myself
looking at a framed photo of my father. Sadness tore at my heart,
and I just broke down into heavy, hiccupping sobs. I knew that
Daddy had never been the type to wallow in self-pity, and I could
almost hear his voice telling me to knock it off, get up off
my rear end, and CLEAN THIS MESSY HOUSE! (He was a serious neat
freak and a rather impatient man.)
I began to speak out
loud as if he could hear me. "Daddy," I said, "I know that we believe
the same things about the Hereafter, but I'm really worried about you.
You were a good man in a lot of ways. But let's face it, you were far from
perfect. I'm afraid for you, afraid of where you might be right now. Please,
if you can hear me, send me a sign. A strong one, not some wishy-washy
one that I can't feel certain about. If you'll send me just one sign that
you are okay, I promise I'll never ask you for another one."
Feeling almost comforted
by this one-way conversation, I dried my tears. By the time the
kids came home from school, I was feeling pretty silly for having
had this moment of weakness. I certainly wasn't about to tell
anyone that I had been talking out loud to my dead father and
had begged him for a sign!
Later that night, about
11:00 p.m., I was standing in the kitchen, pouring a glass of
Pepsi. Around the corner comes my four-year-old. Mind you, it's
a good two hours past her bedtime, and she should have been deeply
asleep. Well, she puts her hands on her hips in a very impatient
fashion and says "Momma, Granddaddy is
TRYING to tell you something!"
He always did accuse me of not
listening to him. Of course I had to ask just what he was trying to tell
Looking very much like
her grandfather at that moment she said simply, "He says he is with God and the Angels and
he's all right." Then she turned and went back to bed.
I still get goosebumps
when I think about it.
And I've never asked
him for another sign. I never will.