Last week my son, who has terminal cancer, was admitted to a Hospice House in a community near his home. (1500 miles away from my home). Obviously, this is a step that brings every parent to their knees. No one wants to see their loved one, whether it be a child, adult, spouse, sibling, anyone come to that point in life where it has become necessary to admit they are nearing the threshold of heaven.
John 1:5 tells us that "And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
The reflection shown above appeared on my wall last week, a couple of days after Matthew was admitted to Hospice House. I walked into my kitchen and noticed the light reflecting behind the blue vase, and then my eyes were directed to the wall just to the right of the vase, and the reflection I discovered there was shimmering and vibrating with dazzling brilliant light. I was so amazed by this phenomenon that I immediately ran to find my camera, hoping that it would remain until I could capture it. I later posted these pictures on my Facebook page, and I said "I wish I had taken time to dust this vase before I photographed it, but then the reflection would have been gone." I meant that by the time I dusted it the moment would have passed and we would have missed it. One of my friends commented, "Without the dust the reflection would have been gone...interesting..." And that got me to thinking a little more deeply about this whole reflection of light event.
Strangely enough, this reflection continued to dance before our eyes for several minutes, during which time I received a phone call from a lady at the Hospice house, who happened to be sitting with Matthew for the evening to give my daughter in law a break. She said she was calling to let me know that Matthew was sleeping peacefully and comfortably and that he was being well cared for. I was surprised by her call, and particularly at that moment in time, but it gave me great comfort. And then the light began to fade away and the vase once again sat in somewhat obscurity on my little shelf in the kitchen.
Several of my Facebook friends had interesting, deep comments about this Light Reflection. A couple thought for sure they could see an angel in the light...
Certainly some food for thought...
A few days later my husband and I boarded a plane to head north to be with our son, most likely for the very last time here on earth. As we walked down the crowded aisle of the airplane to claim our seats, I noticed right away that the seat next to mine was already filled with a young woman holding a very young baby in her arms. My first thought was, "Oh great! We get to listen to a crying baby all the way to Maine." Not a very pleasant thought in my current state of mind. After all, we were heading into very turbulent seas, and we needed all the calming we could get. So I settled down in my seat and made pleasant small talk with the young woman, asking about her baby's age, name, you know, all the usual questions one would ask about a new baby. And she was very sweet and I could see that she truly loved her little baby boy and she was excited to be taking this trip to visit her parents and extended family who would be meeting her child for the first time. Little by little I warmed up to this precious infant as he looked in my direction and began to smile and coo and respond to my funny faces and goo goo-ing at him. Every time he would start to fuss, all I had to do was look at him and smile, and he would stop fussing and smile back at me.
As the plane began its descent, the flight attendant came by and asked the young woman next to me if she had fastened her seatbelt. Obviously, with her hands full of a very young baby she could not easily hold him and fasten her seatbelt at the same time. So I asked her if she would like for me to hold her baby so she could take care of the belt, and by this time she felt she could trust me to hold her precious cargo, and so she placed that sweet bundle in my arms and I just melted.
Kindly, the young mother allowed me the privilege of holding her warm cuddly baby all the way until we were firmly landed and stopped on the ground. I cannot begin to express to you how therapeutic and marvelous those moments were to my sad, sore heart. It was a joy deep within my soul that I could not contain.
A little while later we arrived at the hospice house to visit our son. As I walked into his room, he immediately looked at us and said, "Daddy, Mommy!" Our son is 41 years old, married and has a son of his own, but these childhood terms of endearment reached into our hearts and overwhelmed us with love and relief. Relief that he was still alive...and that he still knew who we were. He has been in a very agitated stated of confusion, due to strong pain medications and the progression of the disease that is ravaging his body, so we really didn't know what to expect.
Then my husband directed my attention to look out of the window. and this is what we saw:
Finally I come to the last part of this trilogy of words...Fear and Courage...
Yesterday afternoon the Chaplain stopped by to visit, and as she was preparing to go she asked Matthew if there were any words that he would like her to pray for him. The words that came clearly and strongly from Matthew's lips were, "Fear and Courage." I thought this was pretty amazing, as the only words he had spoken over the past several days were nonsensical...phrases that made no sense to any of us...distorted thoughts and collections of words that we could not identify as having any particular meaning.