I remember my birthday in 1998 vividly. It was my maternal grandfather’s funeral. He and I were not as close as I’d have liked, but I can’t help but feel that we became more connected while I was acting as pallbearer for the first time in my life. I remember very distinctly sitting with my mom & her brother as he commented on how eerie it was to see his name on the printed material…minus the ‘Jr’ (he shared his father’s name).
I remember the look my mother and I shared in response to that statement.
It wasn’t but a year or three later that he was diagnosed with cancer and given a less than hopeful prognosis. I recall waiting with my family during his extensive surgery, but what I remember most is the surgeon walking in to break the news that ‘they couldn’t get it all’ and he would have six months at best.
When he finally passed, he was surrounded by his family, and he knew that he was loved and would always be missed. Once his breathing finally ceased, we all stayed, prayed, and didn’t say a word.
It seemed like only seconds that we all stood there, but it was actually an hour or more before we left the room. As my mother and I were walking to the elevator (still unable to put what just happened into words) from his hospital room, we heard the flapping of wings…HUGE wings…HIS wings. The elevator door opened, the light in the elevator winked, and we knew that he was there. We know that he was taking flight to go home. That sound was likely the most peaceful I have ever known. Any doubt or question I’d ever had in my faith, my guardian angel, or the existence of miracles simply evaporated.