This Article is About
gut feeling
mysterious ways
religious beliefs
atheist
uncles
grandmother
existence
dad
fool
doubt
sleep
What Do You Believe?
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For as long as I can remember I’ve believed in God. Sure, there have been times in my life that I have questioned his existence, but I’ve always had this deep down gut feeling that he is there, somewhere. I don’t know how faith works, but it does. I don’t know if its something that is instinctive, something that we need to have in able to co-exist as a civilized society, or if it is something that we are taught. I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as an atheist, that the very last thing humans do before they die is pray. I don’t know if that’s true or not but it sort of makes sense to me. I don’t know how you could prove it though, if that was the last thing they did how could you ask them?

I do know one thing, anyone that tries to tell you that their religious beliefs are the only right way to believe is a fool. How do they know, are they audacious enough to think that they have figured out the mind of God? I sort of doubt it. The only thing I’m sure of is that there is a God and that he does indeed work in mysterious ways.

My dad had five uncles that were ordained ministers and their sister, my grandmother, could out preach them all. Every Sunday when I was a kid she would come and pick me up and we’d go to church. Neither of my sisters nor my parents would go along, just me. I really didn’t mind though, Gram would give me a stick of gum and I would sit there watching some guy standing in front of a big box read out of a book and wave his arms around in the air. When he was done everybody would stand up and sing. After a while I would get sleepy. I’d lay down and put my head in Gram’s lap to go to sleep, but not before she took the gum out of my mouth.

When church was over Gram and Pop would stand around talking to people about the stuff that the guy up front had talked about. It was boring and I couldn’t wait for them to get done. When we finally hopped in the car I knew that the best part was yet to come. Pop would drive us to the towns ice cream stand and buy me a chocolate cone.

I tried to hurry up and eat mine before I got home, but the stains on my shirt always gave me away. I had a great time going to church and I couldn’t figure out why my sisters didn’t want to go along. We moved a long way from Gram and Pop when I was seven and I didn’t go to church much after that. But that didn’t mean I stopped believing in God.

I just got home from work and stepped in the door when the phone rang. I answered it and it was our family doctor. He asked me if my dad was home yet and I told him no, not yet. He said that when he gets home he needs to get right back in his car and go over to the hospital. I said OK but why? Doc told me that dad had just had some blood work done and they found some things and they needed to run some more tests.

I no sooner hung up the phone and dad pulled in the driveway. I met him outside and told him what Doc had told me. He turned around and muttered something about not having any blood left, that the vampire lady already sucked him dry. I went back inside and was met by my wife. She asked me what that was all about so I told her. Then she asked me how I was doing. I knew better than to lie to her, she can read me like a book. I told her that I was dog tired and hungry, hoping that I could side steep the real question. I should of known better. She said, “You know what I mean, how’s your back?” I opened my mouth to say some wise crack and then I looked her in the eyes and thought better of it. “Terrible.” I hurt my back at work several months earlier and it just kept getting worse.

“When are you going to listen to the Doctors?” my wife asked me for what seemed like the hundredth time. “

About what?” I said. “

Don’t play dumb with me, you know what I mean.” she said with an odd combination of anger and worry. The doctors ran a bunch of tests on my back and told me that my back was worn out, and that if I didn’t find another line of work that I would be in a wheelchair in no time. They told me that there was so much wear and tear done to it that surgery would probably make it worse. I was thirty eight at the time. “

What am I supposed to do? I asked her. We had this same conversation over and over. “I am a carpenter, my father was a carpenter and my grandfather was a carpenter. It’s the only thing I know how to do.” “

How are you going to do it from a wheelchair?” she said with that same odd tone. I never could think of an answer to that question. Instead I asked, What’s for supper?” as I took off my back brace, ending the conversation. Later that evening mom called me to let me know that they were keeping dad overnight to run more tests.

The next day I found out that dad’s problem was that the arteries to his kidney’s were blocked and that he needed to have surgery to repair them. Our Dr. suggested that we take him to the big city hospital to have the surgery done because the doctors there had more experience in these cases. So that’s what we did.

Dad grumbled and growled that he didn’t even know that he was sick until the doctors told him he was. In typical dad fashion, he had to prove his point by making the three hour drive himself. Dad always had to do things his way.

When he checked himself into the hospital, they started prepping him for his surgery and the doctors ran some more tests to see if he was able to withstand the operation. He had more problems than he thought.

The tests showed that four of his arteries to his heart were either blocked or partially plugged. Dad also had an aortic aneurism the size of a grapefruit. The doctors didn’t know where to start first and were afraid to start anywhere. It was the start of an agonizing journey for all of us that lasted over four months.

Dad had been home for about a week after doctors in the third hospital he was sent to decided to operate to fix the arteries of his heart. During all this time in the hospital he lost a lot of weight and looked, well, sick. We were having an early spring and dad decided that he was going to sit on the back porch to get some fresh air.

He spent the whole afternoon sitting in his double rocking chair talking with mom. I checked on him several times, without them knowing it, and each time I looked they were sitting there holding hands with their heads together like a couple of kids. They had been married for fifty four years.

To finally see the look of relief on moms face and to see the happiness on dads face really warmed my heart. That evening he asked me to come have a talk with him. All kinds of things went through my head, along with a sense of dread, when I tried to imagine what he wanted to talk to me about.

He said, “Bill, I’ve got to tell you something.” My heart jumped into my throat making it impossible to breathe. He went on, “Today, for the first time since all of the stuff started, I finally feel a little better.” You could’ve filled a blimp with all the air that rushed out of my lungs. Relief doesn’t begin to express the way I felt at that moment.

After four months of torture he was beginning to feel better. “But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.” I snapped right back into my previous state of mind. “You remember that story I tell about the turkey?” Puzzled, I said, “Yeah.” Wild turkeys were probably the furthest thing from my mind.

Dad had this little “Story” that he liked to tell people about wild turkeys. He would say that he had just seen a turkey gobbler so big and he had a beard so long that he had to walk uphill backwards to keep from stepping on his beard. I had listened to him tell that to people since I was a little kid. Years an years had gone by since I had grown tired of hearing him tell that story, but he never grew tired of telling it. I even caught myself telling it to people, and I have to admit I told it to quite a few people.

“Well, I think I actually saw it!” I think my brain just locked up, not knowing what to think, just like this damned computer does that I’m writing on. “Your mom and I were just sitting on the rocking chair when the biggest turkey gobbler I’ve ever seen stepped out of the woods and walked right across our yard!” He glanced across the room and so did I. Mom was standing there with a smile on her face. “Isn’t that right Fat?”

Mom continued to smile and started nodding her head yes. Fat was my dads nickname for my mom. It didn’t mean that he thought she was fat, it was more like what the kids today mean by “Phat.”

Relief again rushed over me along with another emotion that I hadn’t felt in a long time, laughter. I laughed so hard I had to sit down because of the tears that were rolling down my cheeks, and the pent up emotions that were flooding out of me. I wasn’t the only one laughing, so was mom, and despite himself, so was dad.

Every time dad tried to insist that it was true, we laughed harder. Eventually the laughter subsided and I felt totally drained. When I finally willed my legs to stand up, I walked over and gave dad a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Just the look on mom and dad’s face told me that everything was going to be alright. I went to bed early that night and slept harder that night than any night since this whole ordeal began. The next morning dad’s aneurism broke.

I don’t know how or even why he was still alive by the time we got him to the hospital. We arrived shortly after the ambulance and were met by a doctor. He told us that dad was loosing blood faster than they could get it into him. He said that he needed surgery immediately and he needed our permission now or he was going to die.

My mom and wife were overcome with grief and couldn’t speak so I asked him if he could do it and he said yes. I looked at mom and my wife and knew it was up to me. “Do it.” was all I could say, and the doctor was gone.

We spent seven agonizing hours in the waiting room until the doctor came in. My heart was beating a thousand beats a minute when he started to speak. “Well he pulled through the operation and I think we got the bleeding stopped. His heart is strong and I think there is a good chance he’ll pull through. But there is one problem, his kidneys have stopped working. If he’s going to have any chance to pull through he has to have kidney function.”

I was trying to process this information when he continued, “Were going to bring him up to the intensive care unit in a little bit where you will be able to see him. Only two at a time will be permitted to see him and for only a few minutes at a time. But I must warn you now that when you see him he will be bloated with fluid from the operation. He won’t be able to speak to you because he is in a coma. We have all kinds of tubes and wires on him including a tube that’s breathing for him. When his kidneys start functioning again you see the fluid going down and he’ll wake up. I’m just telling you this so you can steel yourselves for what your going to see.” I thanked him and the doctor left. That’s when I noticed that the whole family was there.

I let mom and my oldest sister go in to see him first. That didn’t last too long because they couldn’t take seeing at him like that. Me and my youngest sister went in next. I don’t care what the doctor said, there was no way to prepare myself for what I saw.

My youngest sister took one look and ran out of the room, crying. He looked like some grotesque thanksgiving day balloon. He was hardly recognizable. It was all I could do to choke back the tears myself. I kept telling myself that I had to be strong for my mom and sisters. Being the only boy in the family, dad tried to prepare me for a situation like this…..but still… I had to go outside and have a few smokes and try to wrap my head around this.

I sat in the butt hut chain smoking, trying to think but my mind wouldn’t work. What seemed like a few hours ago everything seemed like it was going to be fine, now this. Somewhere in the middle of my pack of cigarettes dad’s “Training” started to kick in. I knew what was expected of me.

It all seemed so surreal, it was like my body started working on autopilot and I was watching it work from somewhere else. I went back into dad’s room, pulled a chair over beside his bed and sat down. I grabbed his hand and sat there holding it and starring at the monitor beside his bed, praying like I never prayed before.

The only time I left was when the doctors came in to do some tests and they asked me to leave. As soon as they left I rushed back to my vigil. I sat there throughout the night, watching that monitor like it was a riveting movie that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.

Occasionally I would look at the bag attached to the catheter that went to his kidneys but there was no activity there. Some time during the evening I looked at the date on my watch and realized that it was my daughters birthday. I remember thinking, ‘Lord, please not now, please, please not now!’

I was aware of my family coming in and out all night long but I didn’t acknowledge them, unable to take my eyes off of the monitor. I tried with all my might to will the numbers on the display to rise, but they slowly, painfully, dropped throughout the night.

At some point during the night a buzzer went off and a nurse came in and looked at the monitor, she pushed a button and it shut off. So did part of the display. That process repeated itself throughout the night, each time making more numbers disappear form the display, each time I gripped dads hand a little tighter, until a loud bell went off and the nurse came in and turned off the monitor.

I looked at myself sitting there holding my dads hand, it seemed like I was watching the nuclear warning clock count down to zero. A few moments later a team of doctors came in and asked if I could step out of the room for a few minutes. I really needed a smoke then.

I noticed that it was getting light outside an I thanked the Lord for that much, at least it wasn’t my daughters birthday any more. I don’t know how many cigarettes I smoked before my wife came out and told me that the doctors wanted to talk to me.

I watched myself reluctantly take one last drag on my smoke before I flicked out into the street and the re-enter the hospital. My wife guided me to a door that led to a room where the doctors, my mom and two sisters waited.

We all knew what was about to happen, mom and my sisters were gently sobbing. I watched myself sit down next to mom and put my arm around her. She began to sob a little harder and I held her a little tighter.

The doctor cleared his throat and began, “I don’t know any easier way to put this but Bill isn’t going to make it. It is our consensus that Bill is brain dead.” Mom started wailing uncontrollably, ripping herself from my arm and left the room, followed closely by my sisters. I just sat there and listened to the rest.

When they finished, I got up and left the room, unable to speak. I went looking for mom. When I found her, all she could do is wave me away and point at me. I knew what that meant. Then I went looking for my sisters and when I found them the same thing happened. They couldn’t do it, it was up to me, it was my decision. I never needed a cigarette more in my life.

After a few more butts I saw myself go back in the hospital. I ran into the doctor in the hallway and managed to ask him if I could have a few minutes alone with dad. He told me to take all the time I needed. I walked into dads room, picked up his hand again and looked into his face. Somewhere in there was my mentor, my business partner, my best friend, and my father. I never in a million years thought that I’d be in this position. He must have told me dozens of time what he wanted if this happened to him.

Hearing it is one thing, actually going through with it is totally different. I noticed that the doctor had quietly come into the room and was standing on the opposite side of the bed. Mom and my sisters entered the room and stood beside the doctor. For a fleeting second I thought that they didn’t want to be beside me because they knew what I was going to do. With a final gulp I looked at the doctor, unable to speak. He looked at me and all I could manage was one nod of the head. The doctor nodded back and began to shut down the machines that were keeping my dad alive. We all stood there, lost in our own thoughts, while dad gently slipped away.

A lot happened over the next year. I had to handle dads estate - which I just transferred everything over to mom. I had to apply for Social Security Disability - which was denied. In the interest of brevity I’ll just say that it took me thirteen years of fighting to get it.

By that time I had used up or lost every asset I had. Mom was never the same after dad passed away. You can’t expect a person that looses someone they spent fifty four years with to be the same. Dad was such an integral part of our family that none of us were the same, we all seemed to loose our focus, our sense of direction. I felt like a lost puppy.

Then one morning the phone rang.

It was my dads old boss and best friend. My dad had worked for him over twenty years. When my dads health no longer allowed him to do carpentry, he took a lob leasing property for this guy. My dad was entitled to a commission on each property, but because of their friendship, he wouldn’t take his commission, instead opting for a basic salary. By not taking his commission dad passed up a ton of money and in the process made this guy a multi-millionaire. I said, “Hello.”

“Bill?” he said. “

Yes sir.” I immediately recognized his voice.

“Bill, the reason I called is to tell you that I decided that I’m going to sell the property where you live.” he replied flatly.

“What?” I was thunderstruck. “

Are you deaf?” he asked. “

No.” This had to be some kind of joke. This didn’t sound like the guy I’d known for most of my adult life. Something was wrong. “

I had it appraised at eighty five thousand dollars. I’ll give you the first chance to buy it. I’ll give you one week to give me your answer.” he said. “

What…No….Wait a minute,” I said, this was insane. “Dad paid you for this place a long time ago!” I exclaimed. I was feeling a mixture of confusion and anger. I had this sick feeling deep inside me that I knew where this was going. “

Do you have any proof of that?” Do you have anything in writing? No, I didn’t think so, because we never put anything in writing and the deed is in my name.” he went on, “If your not going to buy it you’ll have one more week to get out or I’ll have the Sherriff throw you out.” “

You no good, lying, son of a bitch.” Rage is what I now felt. I heard a click on the phone and that was the end of it. I felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks. The place where we lived was an old twenty five acre farm. It hadn’t been farmed in a long time. All the buildings were torn down except for the house when we moved there fifteen years before. The reason the guy bought it was because he thought there was coal on it. After they explored the property they found that there wasn’t enough coal to mine so the place became useless to him.

A few years later my dad put together a group of properties that the guy wanted. Dad said that he would swap his commission for those properties for the old farm, which he gladly accepted because the farm was of no use to him.

As was typical for dad, he closed the deal with a handshake and a promise and didn’t put anything in writing. Dad liked to do business on a handshake. That one tendency caused more strife between us than any else. Everything would go well on a job we were doing until it was time to get paid.

Time after time I argued with him about putting things in writing, but if he decided that he liked a person that we were going to work for, he just took them at their word. After one particularly heated argument he told me, “Look, I grew up in a world where everything was based on a handshake and your word was your bond. If that world doesn’t exist anymore, I don’t want to live in it.”

How do you argue with that kind of logic? This particular deal took the cake. Now what? I figure that we put around fifty thousand dollars into that old abandoned shack and turned it into a beautifully restored farm house. I went from having our home bought and paid for to having nothing. After I hung up the phone, and without telling anybody about the call, I went straight down to see my lawyer.

I told my lawyer the whole story and he said that without something in writing we were pretty much screwed. There are no words to express the range of emotions I felt as I drove home. The fact of the matter was that I had no one to blame but myself. I should have known better. But how can you not take your dad’s word? In his mind, he did it the way he thought was right. He thought he could trust his best friend and boss, but it turns out he couldn’t. Playing the blame game wasn’t going to do any good, we had to figure out where to go from here.

When I got home, I told everybody what had happened. I’ll leave it to your imagination to paint a picture of their reaction. I gave them a couple of days to calm down so we could discuss it reasonably.

We all gathered at the kitchen table the next evening to talk about what we were going to do. I said that I thought that it would be better if we just cut our losses and bought a different house. I went on to explain that if we stayed there we would be paying a mortgage on a place that we thought we owned, and It would be a constant reminder of the whole situation.

If we stayed there we would never be able to forget what happened and that would keep us angry at dad, and hate the man who did it to us. I didn’t want dad remembered for his short comings and it isn’t good to hate someone. Sometimes you just have to walk away and this was one of them. That’s what we ended up doing. We bought an acre of land in the woods and put a big double wide on it and that’s where we live today.

Mom never accepted it here though. She said it was “My house” not “Her house.” I tried reason with her telling her that where ever we lived was “Her house” but I couldn’t convince her. She became depressed and didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything but read and watch TV.

Occasionally she would go down to my sisters for a week or two and then come home but that was about it. My sister lives about one hundred and forty miles from me and when she wanted to go see her, I had to drive her.

On one particular ride there we got to talking about dad. I made the remark that dad was in heaven, and she turned to look at me and she said, “Do you really believe there is a God?” Kind of stunned I looked mom and said, “Yes.”

It kind of dawned on me that I never really talked to mom about religion before. “And you think that there is a heaven, and that your dad is there?” She said. “Yes” I said.

I never really thought about mom’s view on religion before, I just took it for granted that she thought about it the same way as the rest of the family. Puzzled I said, “Why do you ask?” “No reason,” she said as she turned back around in her seat.

I couldn’t get more than two words out of her the rest of the trip. She just sat there in deep thought the rest of the time. That was the beginning of the end.

About a week later mom called and said that she wanted to come home, that she thought that she had a cyst on her tailbone and she want to go see her doctor.

When she went to see him he put her in the hospital to have it looked at. The following morning another doctor tried to lance the thing, only it turned out that it wasn’t cyst. He said that it was a ball of hard, black stuff, and that he had no idea what it was. He said that he was going to have to run some tests to find out what it was.

I started to hear those alarm bells in my head again. The following morning the doctor told us that mom had cirrhosis of the liver. I asked him how she could have cirrhosis when she never drank in her life. He to me that it wasn’t just drinkers that get cirrhosis, that it’s a disease that anyone can get.

I asked him about the other thing and he said that he still had no clue what it was. He said that he thought that it would be best if we sent her down to the big city hospital. The bells were getting louder and a sense of deja-vue was creeping in.

They sent mom to the same hospital where dad was. I ended up sleeping on a couch in the waiting room for two months because mom didn’t want me to leave her there by herself. I didn’t want to leave her there alone either.

It was a very slow, torturous two months. Each day I could see mom getting a little worse. She kept asking me if she was going to die, and of course I’d tell her she was going to be fine until it became too hard to say any more.

I didn’t sleep much at night. Every time I closed my eyes My mind kept thinking about everything that has happened over the past four years. Like most people, I thought that my mom and dad would be around forever. It is like you think that they’re supreme beings. Then when you have to face the fact that they die like everyone else, it really rocks your world. It changes your perspective on everything. It makes you realize that you will die one day too.

I thought about dad and the slow, agonizing way he died. I thought about the way dads best friend screwed us. I thought about my friends. What friends? When I had something that people wanted, I had all kinds of friends. But as soon as it was all gone, so were my ‘Friends.’

I thought about the way my government let me down. Like most people, I thought that I had a safety net in social security if something happened to me. I’ve always been a good citizen, I love my country, I pay my taxes and abide by it’s laws. I’ve never been arrested, I haven’t even gotten a traffic ticket. Why can’t I get what I paid into for so many years, thinking that it would be there if I ever needed it?

I thought about mom. What did she do to deserve this? Mom was the warmest, kindest, most loving person in the world. She never hurt anyone and she’d go way out of her way to avoid it. And she was always the first one there if someone needed a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Why God? Why?!!

Eventually mom deteriorated to where she had to be kept alive by life support and she lapsed into a coma. The doctors told me to call in the family, but I had already done it. At first mom could still communicate with us by squeezing our fingers, but not for very long. Early one morning a nurse woke me up and said that the doctors wanted to talk privately with me. She didn’t say anymore than that but she didn’t have to, I knew what they wanted.

I went into the room with the doctors, poured myself a cup of coffee, and sat down. They began to tell me all the things wrong with mom. After about a minute of listening to them I interrupted them and asked, “Is she brain dead?” A short pause followed and one of them said, “Yes.”

“Thank you, that’s all I need to know.” I replied.

They all silently left the room. I finished my coffee and went to wake my sisters up. When I got back to the waiting room that my family had taken over, my sisters were already awake. There must have been something about the look on my face because as soon as they saw me they began to cry. I softly walked over and knelt down in front of them and said, “The doctors say it’s time. What should we do?”

They both started weeping uncontrollably, waking everybody in the room up. I continued to look at them and they both stood up, shaking their heads ‘no’ and pointing at me. I knew what they meant.

Having to make that decision once in your life is a terrible thing that no one should have to do, but having to do it twice, for both of your parents, is….I can’t think of a word horrible enough to describe it. You are condemned to the 'maybes’ and ’what ifs’ for the rest of your life.

I got up and left the room, heading for moms room. In the hallway I felt an arm wrap around my waist. I looked down and saw my wife, tears streaming down her cheeks, and I put my arm her shoulders and squeezed her tight against me.

I don’t know how long I stood in mom’s room, just looking at her and holding her hand. I just remember looking up and seeing everyone in the room with us, including one of the doctors.

I took one last look around the room and then looked at the doctor and just kind of nodded my head. He began turning off switches and took the breathing tube out of moms mouth. I squeezed her hand tighter, as if I was helping her step into the next life. Mom took one final breath, and as she did, one final tear came from her eye. I wiped it off with my handkerchief and put it in my pocket. I still have that handkerchief, carefully folded and in a little jewelry box on a shelf in my den. I never open it for fear of it evaporating. I was the last one to leave her room, having not shed one tear. I was way too angry for that.

My wife could sense that anger and she knew I needed to be alone, so she went back to be with our kids. I don’t think anger is a good enough word to describe how I felt, I think rage is a closer fit. I headed for the butt hut.

Oddly, when I got there it was empty. It was usually packed with people and so was the area around it because it was the only place you could go to have a smoke.

It was a strange place that butt hut, even if it was packed you could be alone.

You could tell by the look on someones face whether they wanted to be left alone of if they needed to talk to somebody, and everyone respected each others wishes. This time though, there wasn’t a soul around and that suited me just fine.

I sat down and lit a cigarette and tried to sort out my mind. God hated me - and I hated God. That thought alone made me hate myself. I was raised not to hate anyone and I haven’t - until then.

I was raised to be a God loving Christian, not a God fearing Christian. If God loved me, if there really is a God, why would he do this to me? Why would he torture my parents like that? Why would he torture any one like that? All the time I spent growing up and learning the ways of God was a waste of time. How could he put me through the things that I went through and love me? Ridiculous.

The door to the butt hut slid open and this guy dressed in scrubs stepped in and closed the door behind him. I just glanced at him, preferring to look at my cigarette. He sat down beside me, I didn’t even notice it until he pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

The irony of it didn’t escape me so I looked at him a little closer. It said Dr….something on his scrubs and on his hospital ID hanging around his neck. “You’re a Dr and you smoke, I thought I’d seen it all.” I said. “

It’s a habit I picked a long time ago in my country.” he replied, looking at the floor and almost blushing. He had a pleasant Spanish accent and voice. He seemed nice enough, so I asked him, “What do you do here?” “

"I am the chief resident of thoracic surgery for this hospital.” This time he did blush. Oh this was rich! I was sitting here smoking with a thoracic surgeon!

He said, “You look very sad my friend, what happened?” What the hell, couldn’t he tell that I wanted to be alone and the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a stranger. None the less, I replied, “ My mom just died.”

“I am so sorry.” he said. Then he went back to starring at the ground and his cigarette. After a long pause he said, “Do you believe in God?”

"I used to.” I said flatly.

He began to speak, “I grew up in a small village in the mountains back in the country where I am from. There are no roads to it and we only had a Dr visit our village once a month. We tried to take care of each other as best we could between his visits. I grew up wanting to help my people so I asked the Dr many questions, trying to learn as much as I could. My village appreciated what I did and when I became old enough they used about all the money they had to send me here to study so that one day I may become a Doctor."

"I am just about finished and when I am, I will return to my village. When I was growing up and trying to take care of my people I saw many amazing things that can only happen by God’s hand. I also saw many things that seemed so cruel that I began to doubt that there was a God. But……”

His voice just seemed to drone on and on but I could no longer tell what he was saying. At some point I noticed that there were water droplets falling on the ground beneath me. It was my tears.

I grew fascinated watching those drops hit the ground, until the ground could hold no more and start to turn to mud. All of a sudden the droning voice stopped. He stood up and ground out his last cigarette in the ashtray.

He looked down at me, smiled and said, “Just know this, your mother is back with your father and they are very happy. They both await the day when you will join them.” With that he opened the door, stepped out and closed it behind him.

Wait a minute, I didn’t say anything about dad. How did he know about that. I jumped up and went outside to ask him but there was no one around. There was no way he could’ve made it back inside because the hospital was too far away, it was all open around the hut but there was no one around.

Confused, I stepped back inside and stubbed out my cigarette. That’s when I noticed that my cigarette butt’s were the only ones in the ashtray. I flopped back down and lit another smoke. I sat there and contemplated what just happened. I felt like some one had taken out my heart and rang all the tears, anger, and frustration, all the emotions from it except - contentment? Yeah, that’s the word, contentment. Somehow I just knew that everything would be fine - don’t ask me how I knew it, I just did.

Ever since that day ten years ago, I’ve always had this feeling in the back of my mind that no matter what happens - is meant to happen, and that we’ll get through it and be fine. And it has. There have been tough times that I have no idea how we got through them, but we did. And I know that we will continue to get through them, somehow. Don’t ask me how I know - I just do.

Who was that Dr that I talked to? I asked several nurses who that nice Hispanic Dr was and they looked at me like I was crazy.

As a matter of fact, I met the chief resident of thoracic surgery and he sure wasn’t the guy I talked to. No body seemed to know anything about the guy. I think I know who it was that I talked to, do you?


Street Talk

Though quite long, I followed your story with interest and compassion. We are put here to learn and to overcome the trials of this life. I too have had moments when my faith dimminished and I too turned away from God. With the passage of time we grow wiser and understand that heartache and strife can be overcome with faith. Because you are a good man, a message of hope was sent in the form of an angel. These messengers come in many forms and you have been blessed to have had the privilege to be with one.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Wow my friend! That was a long and sad story. I was wondering if you had ever read a poem that my friend Douglas Clancy Hale published in here called "Who Is This Jesus"? I think that you will enjoy it if you do. Just copy and paste his name in the search up above and you will find it in the list of stuff he has published here. May God bless you and keep your faith strong.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate it and I will look up your friends story. I didn't intend to write a sad story, yes a lot of grief was dished up at once during my life, but what I tried to show was that, if you truely believe in God, he will give you help when you most need it. I can't describe the relief I felt after talking to that man, and I never will forget it. I honestly believe that he was sent to relieve my suffering. Again, thank you for your kindness. PS, do you have any articles that I may read?

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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