I grew up Catholic and attended church every.single.Sunday and I would say it was under duress! I could never sit still or focus on the priest as he said his sermon. My sister’s and I used to get in trouble all the time and mom would have to separate us. My mother was a very religious person. She went to church every single week no matter what and if they had anything going on during the week she was there as well. She was a big part of the church community. My dad was very much involved but not as much as my mom. Mom would always drag us to some rosary at someone’s house and she would make us read the bible and say our prayers in English and in Spanish.
For the last 20 years I’ve had an on/off relationship with God. Mom taught us never to question why He did the things He did, why He took Abuela and Abuelo (grandparents) at a young age (70’s is young to me). When my mother got sick with Cancer at 45 I don’t remember questioning Him at all. Mom was so religious, she accepted it to be what it was – God needed her and she was ok with that. I remember my sister’s and I telling her that she needed to fight, that WE needed her but it didn’t make a difference, God was calling and she accepted the call. I remember her final week at the hospital. I was supposed to go back to school that Sunday when she became ill and we brought her to the ER and was admitted. That was a difficult week for us, especially for me. See after I graduated college (I decided to go back to school) things had changed between us and we seem to clash –often, we stopped talking for a while and really didn’t connect again until we found out she was sick. That week I never left her side and I was able to make peace with her. She was constantly surrounded by loved ones and members from the church. When a person is that close to leaving this earth they seem to be “floating” between Heaven and Earth. Mami spoke about people that have long since passed, she spoke of things that happened in the previous weeks. She also spoke of her father. Growing up she never ever mentioned her dad and I never heard my grandmother mention him either and we really didn’t think to ask. At one point when she was sitting up and “awake” she told us that Jesus was sitting at the edge of her bed. Of course we all look at the foot of the bed and we just told her that it was just the white blanket that she had folded there. But she insisted it was Jesus. For a while we thought it was just the morphine making her loopy but considering the other stuff she said, we knew she was probably right. Jesus was there along with her parents and other family members waiting for her to make her journey. We were comforted knowing she wouldn’t make that journey alone and yet scared because it was almost time.
Although Mami and I were back on speaking terms again I knew I had to make peace before she left us and it was too late. My mother was the typical stubborn Puerto Rican woman and if she told you that your hat was dark blue and not black then you were wrong and she was right. There was no arguing with her and I knew she wasn’t going to apologize for anything that happened and I was ok with that. But making peace was so hard for me to do. Mami wasn’t the easiest person to talk to. She was the strict parent. But at that moment when I was trying to muster the nerve to do this I felt an overwhelming feeling of strength, of peacefulness, it was incredible. Remember that Poem “Footprints In The Sand” - I totally felt that.
The Lord replied, "My precious child.
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering
when you saw only one set of footprints...
That was when I carried you."
That feeling didn’t last too long though. When I lost my mother at a young age of 23 I was angry. This time I did question Him, my relationship with the Lord changed. I left the church, wanted nothing to do with them. Why would He do this to our family. My mother served Him, she was so religious, why would He take her away from her family who needed her even more. How could He be so selfish. I’ve had many challenges in my life and as angry as I was with God I knew that if I needed Him He would still be there for me. I also knew that I had many Guardian Angels that are looking out for me. I no longer have my parents here on Earth but they are always with me in Spirit. This I believe to be true because I felt them. When I had my Stroke, it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. I remember having my 3rd or 4th MRI done and being nervous because they still couldn’t find what caused my stroke and just before I slide into the tube I felt them, felt them put their hand on my right hand. I had been thinking about them wishing that they were there with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone. It was the most amazing feeling ever. There was no one else in the room because the techs were in the other room and you are strapped into the MRI machine and have to lay completely still. If you have ever watched the show “Ghost Whisperer” and at the end when they are ready to move on they touch the person’s check – well it was like that. I know my parents were there watching over their little girl and it is absolutely amazing knowing you have Angels watching over you.
So tell me, do you believe in Heaven?
photo credit: Google