As we sat around my Mom's cozy kitchen table, My sisters Gracie, Margie and myself, we let the reality of the last few weeks lay dormant in the back of our minds.
Our dad, diagnoised with lung cancer six weeks eairler lay dying in a hospital not far from our old country home.
With angished hearts we sat by his side and watched his suffering and the life slowly drain out of him, death would have been merciful if only it would claim him quickly.
of those weeks had taken its toll on all the family ,our older sister Gracie was the strong one, She sat by his bedside, held his hand and wiped his forehead with cool cloths. Her strong unyeilding faith kept her going , while the rest of us were falling apart.
We girls had returned home to
take a rest from staying at the hospital, we were all bone tired, but unable to sleep.
We joked and felt so lighthearted , it was like the pain and suffering was dettached from us. The freedom from the stress made us giddy and our laughter rang throughgtout the house.
In a way that seemed almost unnatural that our hearts were so carefree, yet we were also painfully aware of the eerie feeling of impending sorrow that was soon to come.
We felt like we were being
almost disrespectful to dad by enjoying being together and trying to put the agony of what he was going through aside for a short while.
We never slept at all that night, we drank coffee and just looked back at our lives , and remembered how good God had been to us all.
Somewhere around one clock that night the phone rang , and I jumped up to answer it, knowing at this time of night it had to be bad news. "Hello !!, Hello !!" I said , but there was no one on the other end. "Wonder what that was all about ?" said my baby sister Margie ," I don't know ", I said " but it was kind of spooky "
We had hardly settled back into our chairs around the old wood stove, when we heard footsteps come up on the porch, We all stood up at once , and like frozen statues we wailed for the knock on the door, but just as quickly as the steps had come, we heard them retreating from the porch.
We all three
rushed to the door to see whom had come ,but had not made themselves known. We threw the door open to the bitter cold of the December night. As we looked out, the snow lay undisturbed in drifts on the steps and on the porch. there was no one to be seen, no footprints, Nothing!!!!
We all looked at each other total
amazement , we all had heard the footsteps, and the were no low branches or any wind to explain away what we had heard. I could tell by the looks on my sisters faces that we all shared the same thought, there was something going on here that none of us could explain.
But we each kept the thoughts to
ourselves , as if we said them out loud the truth would be too unreal. As the morning dawned , we spoke now in muted tones as
if waiting for what we knew would inevitably come, and just as we expected around 5 a.m. the call came.
With dread I once again answered the phone knowing what I was going to hear.
"Hello, said the subdued female voice, "This is Steven's Clinic Hospital, "I 'm sorry to have to tell you this" "but your dad passed away around 1:o:clock this morning , We're so sorry for your loss !!
As we embraced each other we let our tears flow, letting go of our dad, knowing that he was at rest with the Lord.
We never spoke about what had happened that night until sometime later, But when we did finally talk . it seemed all three of us felt the same, The phantom phone call, the footsteps on the porch that left no footprints, This was more than just a coincidence, The timing of Dads dead and the first phone call.. we knew in our heart of hearts that God has sent us an omen, " A Messanger" to let us know that Dad had gone to rest.
And I believe God in his wisdom gave to us the joy and merriment of the last evening to help us in the days that followed, gave us the strength to go on , and be thankful that our Dad was at last was beyond the pain he bore, and was now resting in the arms of Jesus.