The Sign


Southern Pacific telephone directory

Southern Pacific telephone directory (Photo credit: trainman74)

Last night Al and I met our friends at a local buffet type restaurant for supper. Al insisted that we take the wheel chair. He said that his legs are just too tired to walk. It went pretty well. Nice conversation. Al didn’t speak near as much as he usually does. Usually when we are in the presence of others, he turns into a Chatty Cathy doll. He seemed to get more enjoyment out of people watching. We all said our goodbyes, and were on our way home. Once home, he didn’t sit down and read the newspaper, which I figured he would. This is a daily routine for him  Supper, paper. He went straight to his room. I got on the computer, as this has become one of my favorite friends, and he continued to stay in his room, with me checking on him off and on. I went in to his room the last time to check and he was reading his Bible. I could tell by the familiar red in his eyes, that he had been crying. I sat on the edge of his bed, thinking of what I could say to help him feel better, I was running out of nice calming things  to say. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I just didn’t know what to say anymore to the repeat situation. What I didn’t know was that there was a wrench thrown in this twist. He wanted a minister. Yes, a minister. He said he didn’t have much time. I sat there more calm on the outside than I was on the inside. I asked him why he thought he was not going to have much time. He then threw that wrench at me. He said two nights a go he was reading his Bible, and  this light came on his Bible, and  that he was pretty sure it was God. I gulped back, both in the throat and my eyes. I sat speechless, my mind racing faster than any horse on a track. I was thinking back to how many times my best friend and I had discussed the issue of what we would do if we ever saw God. Would we be ready, we talked about the bright light. I had heard about the bright light so many times from my years of taking care of elderly and hospice patients. This was my brother though. Mentally challenged. Could this be true? Should I try to talk him out of this theory? Could he be right? I was all of a sudden fearful to argue, or try to change his mind, as a part of me could be arguing with God, and this was just not in my best interest. I continued to gently question him, trying to get more of the story, and I think I was just as curious. The weird thing was, that he was holding his Bible, and his tremors were not active. It was almost strange to see this. He was telling me that he didn’t have much time, and he wanted a minister again. Back to the subject. Minister. 10:45 pm, minister would be in for the evening,maybe in bed. What to do, what to do. I stood up, and walked to the edge of his bedroom door way,  trying to fix this problem without having to wake the minister up. He scared me. He didn’t scare me because he wanted a minister. He scared me because he was barely having any tremors. The tears were barely falling now. He was more calm than I was. He looked at me saying nothing. I inhaled a deep breath and walked to the internet to look up the phone number. Since we have moved to this location, I have not used the phone directory. I just use the internet. I found the church, and called it. I got a recording. It was a general recording, letting me know when services would be held. No emergency number. I went on through search going by his name through the white  pages. Nothing. You can not get anything for free anymore. To get a local number over the net, you have to pay. If I called information through the phone, it was $4.95. I thought of a dear school friend that I stay in touch with, and felt comfortable enough to call her this hour of the night. She came up as private, just her city. I went back in and checked on Al to see if he was doing alright, and he was. He was sitting still, soft tears falling, and still very little tremors. There was something to this tremor thing. This is not normal. Normal was watching tremors affect his whole body movement. Maybe God had been here. I felt ashamed  of myself. If this was anyone else, a friend or family member, I would not be questioning or wondering. Does the mental handicap always have to be a part of everything? I didn’t think so , until tonight. This was what was making me question him and myself. I immediately said under my breath, I am sorry Lord. I went back out to the living room, glancing at the clock, noticing it was now after 11pm, and I had achieved nothing so far. I ignored the time, maybe proving to myself, Al, and God that I was not going to be a doubter, no matter what. I rummaged through drawers and shelves, looking for that phone book. What color was it this year? If I just had a clue. Within one minute, after not having seen it for seven months, I found it. No real looking. It was laying right on top of my middle desk drawer, waiting for me to pick  it up. I looked through the people until I found the last name of the minister. Nothing. Well, I am not stopping now, I will look up my friends number. Nothing. What is it with people anymore. You can share your personal information on social media websites, including your phone number and street address, if you choose, but you can’t make public your phone number in the local telephone directory. I sat down at the computer desk mentally tapping my brain, trying to think of other ideas. I just didn’t have any. Al came out of his room with a nice big smile on his face. This was a relief. No tears. Maybe this was all dementia related. He would take his bedtime medications. I would put the telephone book back in its familiar spot. We would carry on the evening as usual. I, for a brief second let out a sigh of relief, when he said Satan isn’t sitting on my shoulder anymore. I said, this is wonderful news brother! His last words to me this night were God just told me when I was reading my Bible that he would give me one sign.  He continued talking in a calm matter. He said God told me I would know what the sign was and understand. I said nothing. Finally I found my tongue. I asked him if God said anything else, and he said with his smile, nope! He just said I would recognize it and then it would be time to go!

42 thoughts on “The Sign

  1. Great story! My brother also told me recently that he didn’t know how long he had left. My first reaction was to be upset and cry then I realized none of us know how much time we have left. Yesterday my vision got all weird and my left arm felt funny so I thought I was having a stroke or something. Probably just the stress. I love getting signs. That is a truly amazing one your brother received. Keep the posts coming…it makes my day!

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  2. Marvelous experience for you both!! I loved it, Terry. As one who has seen the Light before, it doesn’t surprise me that Al was having no tremors 🙂 God is so very good!!!!! love and hugs, Terri

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    • Absolutely!! We tend to think in the natural way too much Terry and miss out on a lot, sometimes all, of what’s going on around us spiritually. The handicapped are gifted with the ability to move past all that and accept with childlike faith. I had tears of joy for him when I read this.

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  3. My prayers continue for you and Al…

    My mother had brian damage resulting from surgery to remove a brain tumor. It was very difficult for the entire family because, at times, she would be very lucid, while at others, she had no idea what she was saying or doing. As time progressed, the Lord by His grace, allowed us to turn our mother’s physical and spiritual condition over to Him and recognize that He was a gracious, loving Lord who ALWAYS did what was right and good. Although Mom’s condition would change from day to day (or hour to hour) we knew that our Lord did not change, He was forever faithful..

    I say all this to simply relate to you that I understand a small bit of what you are going through with Al. My prayers are with you both. It is so wonderful to know we have an always faithful Lord who is with us during times like these.

    Lord bless dear one.

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    • thank you Rob. I am sorry for your loss. I am coming to accept that although I will suffer my selfish thoughts, only God knows what is best, he is perfect in all ways. I am trusting in this , which is helping me to get through each day

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  4. I believe the innocent…in this case …your brother Al…are more open to hearing, feeling and seeing God than us…We are so absorbed with all that’s happening and doing…that we can’t…Maybe a little more quiet time with our Lord would let us see His wonderous Power! ~mkg

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  5. Father, I know you are present in this conversation with Al and I know you are placing Your hands of calm on the entire family. Help us all understand it is Your will, not ours that will be done. Show us Your grace as we go through this and help us be calm and full of Your spirit. Father, we know Terry is upset and anxious over this, please give her the calming hands and spirit needed to see this through. I ask this in Jesus name, amen.

    Terry, we are all praying for you and Al. I know what you are experiencing and ready to be your shoulder to turn to if you need. I wish you peace and comfort.

    Ed Christian

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    • there was a miracle i am not able to grip, although i love my god, there is much i do not understand. this miracle that was personal and for my brother to understand only, has brought peace into this house, and a much calmer tremor. something has definitely changed. my prayer is that it last for him. i believe god answers prayers, so i have to have faith for how ever much time this lasts, he has peace in every minute.

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  6. Wonderful post …. wonderful story – Al had found peace … in all that drama. Sure that the minister would had been there for you if you had call. So glad for the happy ending.

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  7. Thank you for sharing Terri, I was hanging on every word! So glad that your brother was able to have peace and get some rest, along with the comfort that comes with a word from the Lord.

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  8. Your writing is powerful because of the simplicity in which you express the clarity of your thought. “The familiar redness from crying” and the thoughts that run through your mind in response to your brother make us realize how short life is, and how unimportant our worries are at times. Thank you for reminding me to be with those who support life, and not to be crippled by those who wish to harm it. You are an amazing lifesaver, even if you find it difficult to keep yourself afloat at times.

    You story, and the many chapters after it, reminds me how to write my life. Which turns will we take in our minds. Towards the light. Or away from it.

    May you have peace gained in all that you give to us. Ameen.

    Pink.

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      • Awww… hugs to you! I couldn’t have kicked butt without you shouldering me up too! It is so uplifting to know we are cared for, and we definitely engage, and are here to support your highs and lows. Hugs, hugs!

        Pink.

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  9. I just now read this! I hadn’t read it when we were talking about my post….I absolutely believe that God communicates to each of us in a special way…..He knows just HOW, WHAT and WHEN we need to hear. So I definitely believe that God was talking to Al! I have a few more stories to write about but have been hesitant……Again, thanks for your inspiration…

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  10. Oh, my stomach. OHHH! And I am behind. Terry, wow. God is there, always is. This is so beautiful and sad and intriguing, all at once! For the tremors, that is a gift, to not have them, but I don’t know what it means. Satan not there anymore. So many questions. I have no doubt this must be so hard for you, enlightening and hard. Your faith makes my soul feel so good. Give your brother a big kiss. I am so glad you have each other.

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