Standing In The Light of Darkness
by Jessica Williams
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A few days have now passed since the passing of Emily’s grandfather. She now stands in the darkness of night staring heavenward hoping to see a glimpse of him, though all she sees is the stars and moon brightening the night sky. With a tear stricken face, she begins to smile, but not because she has seen a glimpse of her late grandfather, but from a message sent from up above. The. message flowed through her, announcing louder then words what she had been told all her life.
(There's always light, even in the darkest places of life.)
She remembered her christian upbringing. She'd heard the same message many times; from parents, friends, her pastor. It had always seemed hard to believe. How could there be light when so much darkness surrounded her? .Despite the heart felt message, Emily continued to stare heavenward, still waiting for that glimpse of her grandfather, whom she wished to see one last time.
Emily's eyes filled with tears again as a torrent of regret overwhelmed her, feeling like a plague upon her heart. If only she could take back the words she had said, the thoughts she had prayed. But she knew it was too late for wishes. Even though it was impossible, Emily wished she could turn back the hands of time in hopes of some how stopping his death. Even so, Emily had good intentions while praying. For months that was all she could seem to do. She’d rather have had God calling him home than seeing him in so much pain and that was her continuous prayer. When she realized it, her hands were covering her face, her hands drenched with tears. Slowly, she lifted her hands from her face and laid them at her side.
“ Why did I have to say, pray, or even think those words,” she whispered to herself ?
Suddenly a voice spoke. It held such an aura of power, and warmth - of light and hope - that she knew it could only be the voice of the Lord, “Don’t blame yourself for the words you so graciously prayed, for you held the best of intentions. You were not in vain. It wasn’t the words you said or thought that caused his death, it was I who called him home, for it was his time.”
After hearing those words, Emily felt his presence descending behind her. His right hand laid upon her shoulder, while his left stroked her hair. Emily lifted her left hand and rested it upon the hand of her savior and soon began to relive the moments that were still so vivid in her memory.
It was the thirtieth of March and tears were trying to seep through the lids of her eyes as she saw her grandfather lying in a hospital bed in which he had been for a month. Of course, Emily knew he didn’t have much time left upon this earth considering the fact that his body was completely shutting down.
Her grandmother and mother also kept vigilence around her grandfather's bed. All three were close to tears, knowing he could slip away at any moment.
Half out of it, her grandfather pulled her grandmother near to his heart and whispered, “I love you. I love you . . . ”
“I love you,” she replied; tears streaming freely down her face.
Emily became on the verge of tears herself after hearing their love being expressed for one another. This continued on for the remainder of Emily’s visit. She soon left, leaving her mother behind to stay the night and went home with tears that were unstoppable, knowing this may very well be the last time she would ever see him alive. Worries, regret and anxiety plagued Emily before she had even closed her eyes. They swirled around and around her tired mind, preventing any chance of sleep finding her. It was as if her unconscious mind knew of her grandfather’s passing.
The night gave way to day, and Emily rubbed gritted eyes. The little sleep she had managed had been light and filled with nightmares. She awoke to the sound of her door creaking as it was being opened. Undoubtly, she knew he had now slipped away from this life and onto a better one in which she could only imagine. As her eyes began to adjust to the darkness of the room the shadow of her mother came into view and the light was turned on.
One look at her mother’s tear stricken face said it all. Before her mother could utter a word she asked, “He’s dead, isn’t he?”
“He’s gone baby,” said her mother with tears flooding down her cheeks.
In her mother’s arms she cried, though she knew it was coming for months, but wished it were not so. Emily leaned back, her mind blank. She was distraught losing someone so dear, despite knowing he was better off without his suffering.
“Honey, get dressed so can we get back over there. I will warn you. His body is still there. If you don’t want to go, I will understand,” said her mother causing Emily to jolt from her state of mind.
“Yes mom I’ll go. I need to say goodby,” she said as she wiped away the tears that fell freely from her eyes.
They soon left and within minutes they had arrived. As soon as she walked in, she saw her grandfather’s body and had to leave the room. It brought tears to her eye’s to see him so lifeless, so limp. She soon found her grandmother in the kitchen crying softly, taking it better than expected. Trying to compose herself, Emily went over and embraced her grandmother.
Soon the funeral director arrived and everyone went into the living room to be with her grandmother as they put him on a stretcher to be wheeled out. Her grandmother cried harder then before, causing Emily’s heart to break even more so. He was her grandmother's life, her soul.
“I will see you in heaven, I know that’s where you’ll be,” said her grandmother as she kissed his forehead and held his hand in her own.
Soon he was wheeled out and her grandmother was held back. As this was happening, her grandmother cried, “No! ”
Before Emily knew it the day of his funeral came into being. It was the fourth of April, and the sun was shining bright. That day a firefighter’s funeral was held in his honor. Firefighters’ from all over the county came to pay tribute to the man who was once a dedicated fireman himself.
Soon the funeral director nodded to Emily and she began to recite a poem that she was asked say in his honor.
Once this life on earth is over
I know you're in heaven walking down the streets of gold.
Your fears, worries, doubts,
and even pain
are now and forever gone.
I will always
but I will
that you're walking down
the streets of gold
and being side by side with our Creator.
I can just see you now
talking with the ones who had died before you.
I can also see your pain erased
and never to be felt again."
Emily soon ended with tears in her eyes. As the funeral began to progress and as the pastor began his speech his words were muffled as if radio were turned down low, as Emily tried to listen despite her tears. Amazing Grace was then played and the flag was folded as the final call was being announced. Emily stood there at the head of her grandfather’s coffin wishing this was all a dream and he would soon arise having everyone laughing from one of his jokes. In the back of her mind she knew that was impossible and was just wishful thinking.
Emily’s eyes soon opened with tears that were more hysterical than before. Though, with a tighter grip, her hand still was still clutching the hand of her savior. Looking into his eyes she saw only the love and comfort she so despretly needed. Soon peace like a river flooded through her and she began to smile. It was as if his eyes had magic lurking in the depths. She stood still, still looking toward the heavens. As before, she hoped to see her grandfather one last time.
Just as she was about to lose hope, her grandfather soon appeared descending from heaven. Tears of joy then flooded her eyes shortly thereafter. Emily couldn’t help but run and embrace her grandfather whom she hadn’t seen in a few days, but felt months had passed.
Soon her grandfather began to say, “I’ll always be with you and looking down on you from up above. I want you to do me a favor Emily.”
“Anything grandpa,” said Emily as she looked into her grandfather’s eye’s.
“I want you to look after your grandma for me, “said her grandfather with concern in his
Emily knew that her grandmother would soon lose her will to live considering the fact of her grandfather’s recent passing.
She didn’t have to think twice before answering, “yes, grandpa I’ll look after her.”
“That means the world,” he told Emily as he embraced her and kissed her on the forehead.
“I love you grandpa,” said Emily
“I love you too. I have to go now,” said her grandfather who embraced her one last time.
With a smile Emily watched as her grandfather ascended back to the heavens with the Lord at his side.
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