Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visiting with the Dead

My sister, Jean, of blessed memory has been gone for a couple of years now and I wonder if she is trying to pay us visits!
by Charlie Leck

I’m not a believer in ghosts. Not at all! I’ve written about that here before and it got several comments out of readers who did (sort of) believe in them. My sister, dear Jean of blessed memory, believed in them. She became agitated when I told her the idea was impossible and defied the laws of science. She claimed that she had seen ghosts and knew that the spirits of the dead were always nearby – and that I was wrong, science or no science!

If some sort of earthly life after death were at all possible, I wouldn’t put it past my departed sister to try to prove it to me.

One of my daughters sent along a message a few days ago.

I should tell you about a great dream I had--so real.
I was at a family gathering, kind of a party. In an oversized chair sat Aunt Jean--a little younger with darker and more hair, a bit of make-up, and a bright, bold top. I was so surprised to see her. When I went to give her a hug, I actually crawled on her lap. I squeezed and hugged her as hard as I could. Then I woke up with the sense that someone was hugging me too. I was crying--real tears. Jim was on his side of the bed with his back to me, so I couldn't help but feel that Aunt Jean visited me. It was amazing.”

Well, all I can say is: “I wonder!”

I’ll try to be alert around this season of the year that she loved so very much. She came up from Texas and spent her last Christmas on earth with us here in our Minnesota home. She brought a teenage grandchild with her because she wanted the girl to experience a northern Christmas. She had hoped it would be a white, white Christmas; however, when her plane landed the earth laid uncovered and wintry brown.

However, on Christmas Eve, as we sat at the dining room table, the snow was falling heavily and all the land and the trees were covered with a lovely, white blanket. My dear sister couldn’t stop smiling. She believed God was giving her a special and very blessed holy day. She had been to an afternoon mass.

“I prayed for this at church today,” she told us as she looked out the windows at the wondrous, white world. She was beaming with pride. “I knew it would snow. I knew it!”

In my entire life, I have never seen such a glow of happiness and thankfulness.

She loved coming to Minnesota to visit us. For some reason, she liked coming during the winter so she could see the stark differentness from the Texas winters. It reminded her of winters at our home in New Jersey when we were young. The photo in the heading is from her 2003 visit. She was also here in 1991 when we were moving into our newly constructed home on Halloween Day. The moving vans came with all our furniture and it began to snow as the men began unloading. They hadn’t gotten half our things out when they realized how hard it was snowing and that they might have trouble maneuvering back down our long, zigzag, up and down driveway. They retreated and promised to return with the rest of our furniture another day. Dearest Jean stood in our kitchen, looking out the window and listening to the radio warnings about a very serious winter storm. Well, we broke all the records for such an early snow. More than 31 inches fell and we were to be isolated for two or three days before plows could get through to us and get our driveway opened up. Though she had been frightened at first, the old girl reveled in the absolute beauty and wonder of the whiteness that surrounded us. She had stories to tell to her friends, when she got back to Texas, that they were never going to believe. She urged me to take photograph after photograph for her.

Now, as this Christmas approaches, the land here is covered with a heavy blanket of clean, bright, white snow. I believe, if my sister was going to visit anywhere on earth at this time of year, it would be here, in Minnesota and in our home. I’ll try to stay open to the possibilities. I’ve never missed anyone as much as I miss her. I think of her nearly every day.

“Come on, dear Jean Madeline – come and see all the beautiful snow that God has spread upon the earth!”


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