[ Divine Signs ]

From Inside the Pearly Gates

On June 14th, 2001, my mother had a craniotomy (brain surgery) to remove a malignant tumor from the left frontal lobe of her brain. After being told by her surgeon that she would be "Better and brighter" and "Have a better quality of life" after the surgery, we were very hopeful that our Mother would be brought back to us and live a normal life before the cancer returned. We were told that the cancer would definitely return, but we were hoping for some quality time with her before that dreadful day.

That was not the case. She couldn't continue the rehabilitation at the hospital, because she wasn't progressing as she should have. We were told to put her in a nursing home and that there she could receive rehab for a longer period of time. Instead of progressing, she continued a downhill slide. She couldn't understand why our father hadn't been to see her (he died in 1972). She was worried about who was cooking for daddy. "Surely he was concerned because she wasn't there." She couldn't walk without a walker. She was not the Mother we had known. We tried to make her feel better about daddy by telling her we were cooking for him and that he had been to see her, but she had been asleep. (We were told by the Psychologist that she had had enough trauma and that she shouldn't be told about daddy yet.)

We watched her decline for two and a half years. At the end, she couldn't talk and she couldn't move anything except her hands and her eyes. She hadn't known us for months. At this point I don't think she had any thought processes at all. She was incontinent of both stool and urine. She was as close to a vegetable as you could be without being one. This was definitely not "Better and Brighter" nor did she have a "Better Quality of Life."

When we were visiting with her at the nursing home, we filled the time by telling her all about our day. We knew she didn't know we were there, but hoped that somehow she heard us and in some faraway place knew we loved her.

One day while I was talking to her and telling her all about my family goings-on and that of all of her other three daughters and their families, I decided to ask her a favor. I told her she was going to die soon and would be going to heaven to see my daddy and her mom and dad and all of her sisters and brothers. I told her that there would be a wonderful party for her and that she would no longer be tied to this earthly body that didn't function anymore. And that I knew she would be happy once again.

I then asked her to send me a red rose when she got to heaven so that I would know that she was there and happy again.

She died on December 20, 2003. At her funeral, I could barely listen to the preacher, looking for a red rose. To no avail. Not one was there. After a few days I thought, "Maybe there is one outside on one of my own rose bushes.” Of the two red bushes in my yard, the first one was brown and looked as it should, winter worn. Then I went to the back – and there one red rose bud was peeking its head up to say hello.

I quickly called my sister Peggy and told her my story. She said, "I have one better than that! I bought a red rose two years ago. It hasn't had a single bloom on it since I bought it until now, and it is in full bloom!!! Red roses everywhere!"

Mother let us know that she was in heaven and was indeed happy! God's generosity to us is endless!

Pat B.

Mobile, AL