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The Strong Smell of Popcorn

In 1993, I was living in Houston, Texas when I received a call from my Uncle, a pastor in Arkansas, telling me to come home right away. My grandmother had suffered a massive heart attack just a day after her 75th birthday.

My two children and I jumped into the car and headed home but she had passed away before we arrived. I was overwhelmed with grief as I was very close to my grandmother – probably the closest of all of her grandchildren – and loved her dearly. I simply could not accept that she was gone. Even though I viewed her at the funeral, I could not let go.

For several years I continued to grieve for her and could not move past this grief. My grandmother had made a video with my mother and sisters that aired on my Uncle and Aunt’s television program just prior to her heart attack. It was a Christmas special and she never spent that Christmas with us. My mother had sent me a copy of the Christmas video and I would come home and put the video in each night and cry myself to sleep. I did this for several years.

In 1997 I moved home to Arkansas and bought a new home but continued to put the video in each night. One night after I had viewed the video and cried myself to sleep I was awakened to see a light on in my living room. I got up to investigate and moved toward the light. As I walked down the hallway I saw my grandmother sitting on the couch. I wasn’t afraid at all and was so happy to see her. I pulled her close to hug her and kiss her cheek. She was so beautiful. She asked me to sit down beside her because she wanted to talk to me but first she asked me to fix us a couple of soda pops and make some popcorn. My grandmother was a big fan of soda pop and popcorn and we quite often would watch Wheel of Fortune while snacking on popcorn. I got up and made the popcorn and fixed the soda pops and sat down beside her.

We talked and talked and then she told me she was very happy and not to grieve for her anymore. She told me to promise that I would not watch the Christmas video again but to rejoice because she was with Jesus. I cry even today when I remember that night. I promised her that I would do as she asked of me and have kept my promise to this day.

I don’t remember going back to bed but I woke up in my bed with tears streaming down my face. Then my daughter came into my bedroom and asked if I had popped popcorn that morning. I flew out of the bed and ran to the living room but found neither sign of an empty pop can nor a kernel of popcorn — but there was such a strong smell of popcorn in the house that it was like a movie theater yet there had been none popped.

I know my grandmother cannot come back because she is already with Jesus but I do believe a comforting spirit took her form that night and came to me (either in my dream or real) to give me the peace that I so needed to end my grief. I let go of my grief that day. I still think about her all the time but I do not grieve for her anymore. I know that I will see her again in Glory someday and we will sit and talk again — and possibly have a bowl of popcorn and a soda pop to boot.

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