By Angela Blackwelder
My story begins in November of 97′. Mom had a little cough. It sounded like maybe an allergy. My sister Brenda called and said that Mama just couldn’t seem to get over it. I phoned Mama and insisted she go to the doctor. This was OK with her. Mama was 70 but very active. Never sick. She grew her own garden, which she dug by hand. She loved to grow her own herbs. She cooked every day and Daddy would get on his little cart and take their neighbors a good healthy cooked meal. They lived in an apartment and they had lots of neighbors. Daddy rode his cart because he had emphysema and was on oxygen. It was a pleasure for them both to help so many that were sick.
Mom was ready when I got there to take her to the doctor. When we went into see Dr. Hendricker, I could tell he was concerned about Mama. He did an x-ray and told us to go immediately to the hospital and have some tests done. They weren’t good, however, he was unable to tell us exactly what it was. So he sent Mama to another hospital to see a cardiologist. They kept Mama. I stayed with her the whole time — never left her side!
After they had done a bone scan they came out and told me it was cancer. I really almost fainted. Dr. Rodgers was so nice he sat down with me and tried to help me get it together so I could go in with him and be with Mama when he gave her the bad news. She had a tumor in her left lung and 15 pounds of fluid. They had to draw the fluid off then.
I tried to get my composure. All of a sudden a lady walked up to the doctor and me. She said, I am a pastor’s wife and I have been praying God would give me boldness and you are the first person I have seen that I felt like you need prayer right now. The doctor was a Christian also. All of a sudden she started praying and it was like the whole room was filled with God and Angels, I can’t really explain the experience I had. When we all stopped praying I was a new person. I had strength that I never thought possible. How could this be? My world was falling down around me; I actually thought I would die until she prayed.
They gave Mama a year to live. She had 3 chemo treatments that wiped her out!! She got to come home for Christmas, then back to the hospital. Both Mama’s doctor and her main nurse had just lost their mothers to cancer. They were very compassionate. The doctor said he thought it would be a good idea if Daddy came to see Mama because they felt like she was doing well, considering. My husband was going to bring my sister and Daddy the next day.
By the next morning, however, Mama just didn’t look right. She had a white ring around her mouth. My son, Chuck, had come to stay with us at the hospital so I could sleep and get a little rest. Chuck noticed her mouth. Around 1:30 my husband brought me some clean clothes. I really didn’t need the clothes but he said he just wanted to check on us. We were all talking, including Mama when all of a sudden Mama said, “Mama, Daddy!” We all went to her side. I knew something was happening. Mama turned to my husband and said, “Ricky, please don’t leave. She (meaning me) can’t take this.” She knew she was dying. I stepped to the door. My son Chuck came to me. I looked at my son and said, “If you’ve got anything to tell your Nanny you had better tell her now.”
He went to her bed squatted down so she could make eye contact, and he said, “Nanny you don’t have to worry I promise you I will meet you in heaven.” The second he said that she raised her little weak arms and said, “That’s what I’ve been waiting for.”
All of a sudden a film came over her eyes she never spoke another word. The nurse and doctor couldn’t believe she had gone so fast. People began to come in: Pastors, friends, family, but Mama wasn’t dead. It was like she was waiting for something else. We were all still with her at the hospital all night. Three times it was like she died but in several minutes later she would catch her breath. My father-in-law is a Pastor and he kept saying she isn’t ready yet.
Then something came over me. You could feel the presence of the angels, really you could. An inward voice said to tell her not to worry about Daddy. I was holding her hand like I had been doing all night. I leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Mama, you don’t have to worry about Daddy; you know I will take care of him. I will stay with him and not leave him, even for a second; you know I will.” When I told her that she tried to raise her arms like she was reaching to Heaven and her last breath went out of her. I heard it. She was waiting and worrying about Daddy. Mama passed away Sunday January 3, at 5:35 am.
They ask us to leave the room after awhile and I knew I didn’t have to hold the tears or screams any longer. They set me down in a chair while they were taking Mama out. I felt warm arms around me all at once. I actually thought it was my who was husband behind me, but it wasn’t. I sat there probably an hour and the arms never left me. I hardly cried. I learned what the phrase, “the peace that passeth all understanding” means. I couldn’t move. It was like Angels were holding me so tight. I had never experienced anything like that.
Daddy moved in with us. We spoiled him so. However Daddy passed away May 3, at 5:35 pm. Four months to the day from when Mama passed away.
I have had so many Angels with me at times I didn’t think I could ever be myself, It is still very hard for me, but on the bad days I would find a feathers in a silverware drawer, a broken wing from a ceramic angel in Mama’s drawer when I was going through her things. I would always see things in threes: three squirrels, three roses three of everything. I believe the Angels were letting me know I wasn’t alone and that I will never be alone.
By the way, my Sister Patti passed away Sunday Sept. 3, 2000 at 5:35 pm. I wasn’t with her so I didn’t look at the exact time. They estimated it. Daddy passed away on Sunday also. I wish I could explain how each time I was held by the Angels. I don’t have to wonder; I already know they exist. I hope this will help some one who is out there hurting the way I still do but there is Peace in the arms of a Mighty God we serve and all of His Angel’s.