Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Believe it.....or not

Thank you all so much for your kind words. The family is doing much better, and we know that each day will be a little easier to bear. For our faithful family, the funeral mass will be a welcome comfort. We know that Uncle T did not suffer, and we believe that he is in a better place now. The hardest part is fighting the selfishness of wanting him here with us.

I decided to come to work today..I was wearing myself out trying to do too much and needed some time to refocus. My brother and I tagged teamed so that K had one of us there each day. There is plenty of family around, but each of us has someone specific we like to look after. I was on “food duty” yesterday, which was to make sure that K and my aunt ate during the day. Boy what a task that was, but I outsmarted them. After realizing that neither begging nor demanding would work, I got them to agree to just hold a chunk of Italian bread in their hands. My theory worked – no self respecting Italian can hold a piece of bread and not absently eat it while talking. I sat my aunt down and got her to tell me some church stories, and got her to eat two whole pieces for dinner and she didn’t even realize she had! I’ll leave work early today and be there for the evening session. Damned old school Italians and their long wakes. I think it’s going to rain tomorrow. I hope so. All cemetery services should be held in the rain if you ask me.

Anyway, I thought I would share two stories from my day yesterday.

Uncle T and Aunt C are very active in their church. They are great friends with Father, and Indian priest who always told everyone Uncle T was his brother, which of course resulted in strange looks from people who didn’t really know them. As soon as Father heard the bad news, he came to the house to comfort Aunt C. Father says he had a vision while talking to Aunt C, and tells my cousin the story later in the day. He says that he could see my uncle walking in a parking lot and fumbling with his keys. He is in obvious discomfort and is trying to get to his car. Two angels arrive and begin helping him to the car. “Don’t worry!” they keep saying…”We will not let him fall!!” They are adamant that Father knows this. They will not let him fall. When they reach the car, the angels say, “Okay, it’s your time. Your place is ready and you can come with us”. Uncle T says he does not want to go. The angels convince him. He finally agrees. The angels place him in the car. He dies. He doesn’t know why he knows this, or why it’s relevant, but the whole scene took exactly 20 minutes.

Father cried when he found out that Uncle T died in a car, because he did not know. The security guard in the parking lot says he saw Uncle T walking to the car, and the next thing he knew he “turned around” and Uncle T was sitting in the car slumped over the wheel. It happened that quickly. Now, I am sure there are many people who can explain it all away, but I will always choose to believe that two angels came to take my Uncle to heaven.


I should start off this story by saying that Uncle T was married to my father’s sister. The big family I refer to is all my Dad’s side..he was one of 7 kids. I have 15 first cousins that I see all the time. So one of these cousins, L, and I were in charge of creating photo montages to be displayed at the funeral home. We asked all the kids for pictures and she and I went through boxes of family photos (that’s where I found the gems from last week’s post) at my Aunt’s house. We sat in a room at the funeral home to put them together. We had way more pictures than would fit on the two boards we were given, so we were trying to pick the best ones. Among others, L vetoed a picture of Uncle T with his “other goddaughter” from his side of the family. In her usual hilarious style, she lobbied that she was also Uncle T’s goddaughter, and if there are no picture of her, than this one sure ain’t making it! Each time a new person came into the room to see what we were doing, they went through the unused pictures and pulled out that picture and gave it to L for inclusion. We cracked up as each time she had to veto it yet again, and yet again explain why that picture wasn’t making it to the boards. By the end she was flinging that picture across the room. Eventually we finish the boards and put them up in the room. A little while later, Uncle T’s aunt (from his side of the family, an 80+ year old woman I never even met until that day) sees the boards and remembers she brought a few pictures, and would we mind adding them to the boards? One of them…a picture of Uncle T and cousin L. Uncle T’s aunt doesn’t even know her. Now you go ahead and tell me that wasn’t orchestrated by Uncle T. I just know he was saying Shut Up already here is your damn picture!! Needless to say, both pictures of both goddaughters were added to the boards.

So, what are some of your “believe it…..or not” stories like these?


Leggy said...

Wow- those are great family stories. I'm glad you are able to take comfort in each other this week. Its so hard to go through this- I'm sorry for your loss.

del said...

Oh, Steph, that story that Father told had me welling up because I do believe in angels, very much. How touching.

I don't have a story (because I'm a total scaredy cat) but my grandfather has seen spirits several times in his life.

MMrussianadoption said...

Wow, that vision blows me away. I am sure he was taken by angels.

Denise :o) said...

My father had a sister who passed away when she was a toddler before my father was even born. Apparently she reached for a pan on the stove that was filled with boiling water. It fell on her and she later died from infections from the burns. Fast forward to 40 some odd years later. My Dad was in the hospital after having his second heart attach. He was literally waiting for a new heart. One night he had a dream that his sister came to him and told him to tell their Mom that her death was not her fault and to stop feeling guilty. I don't remember what all she told my father but they were very specific instructions dealing with very specific events in my grandmother's life that my father knew nothing about. When my father told his Mom about his dream the next day, she broke down in tears because all of what his sister had told him was true. He also had several other dreams during that time. One of which was on the helicopter ride to the hospital right after his heart attack. Jesus asking him if he wanted to stay on Earth or go home with him. My father choose to stay on Earth and he woke up. He later found out that he had died on the ride to the hospital, but they were able to revive him. The stories really made me believe in spirits.

Jenni said...

I love your family stories Stephanie. Coming from an Italian family myself, I can relate!

I don't have any "believe it" stories quite as good as yours, but there was one time when a person I admired very much (not family) died tragically. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw his face staring at me right next to my bed. I totally jumped in fright and then took a swing at him (I thought he was an intruder in my room). The face disappeared, and I realized that it was Steve, not some random stranger, and figured I must have just been dreaming. The next morning, I found out that he had died during the night. It was kind of creepy.

My grandma passed away years ago, and for a long time I would have dreams where she would come to visit me and tell me she was doing OK. I miss those dreams...

Anyway, glad to see your family is getting through this difficult time with love and humor.

wavybrains said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I really enjoyed your family stories though--it sounds like Uncle T will be well remembered which is a pretty good legacy to leave behind. I am sorry however that your family has to go through this.

Chelsi said...

Those stories were amazing! I really like the one about the angels, I'm sure that is comforting. And aren't you the smarty pants with getting your Aunt and cousing to hold the bread - very clever!! I'm sure it a comfort to be surrounded by family at such a difficult time.

Sharon G. said...

Great stories. Thanks for sharing. So sorry about your loss, but it's beautiful reading about how your family is coming together to support one another.

My husband's grandma passed away three weeks before our little Monkey was born. She had been pretty sick, but we did not expect her to leave us so soon. Once, as I was walking by DD's room, I hear her cracking up. Mind you, this was well past her bed time. I stopped by her door and hear her say, very clearly, "Gran-mama", which is what everyone called his grandma. We never taught her that word. I didn't really know what to make of it - I guess Granmama has met her great-grandaughter, afterall.

Amy Lane said...

I've got no 'strange' stories--although I've always sort of wished I did...(if you read my books you know that this is true...) but my step-grandfather, Harold, used to be the grandpa who told us kids all the bad jokes--pull my finger, did an elephant run over your chair, that's food for the invisible dog--don't move it, all boys have three knees (a left, a right, and a wee...)--that sort of thing. At grandpa's funeral, the moment came when we were sharing stories about grandpa, and I raised my hand and told about the first time I met grandpa--he looked at me and said, "watsa matter, kid--you don't smile at me and I'm gonna chop your damned head off and feed it to George, the invisible dog!" There was laughter (you had to know grandpa...it was all in the delivery, trust me...) and then my uncle chimed in, "That damned dog never stopped eating."

Laughter through tears is the only way to get through a funeral.

Take care...I firmly believe that if angels didn't sing some of us to our rest, Shakespeare wouldn't have written the line.

jeneflower said...

That is pretty amazing!

Your uncle T must have wanted all the pics up!

Cuatro said...

hello Stephanie,

no we have not met but we read your blog every now and then...we are currently waiting and waiting and it has only been a little while since our dossier was complete...thanks for the comment appreciate it...

steph said...

My boyfriend died when I was 18. He was skateboarding without a helmet and his board hit a rock. He flew forward and landed on his head. The night he died, I dreamt I was with him and he was telling me all kinds of important things. I was upset and he was trying to calm me down. He told me I wouldn't remember anything when I woke up, anyway, then said he had to go because my mom was coming and she was pissed. I woke with my mother shaking me, very upset. She was looking in my closet, under the bed, out my window. My whole room smelled like a man. She thought I had someone there and they snuck out the window.
Strange things were happening all the time after that. I found a poem he wrote for me that I had never seen - 3 months after. I found his ring in the pocket of some jeans I had worn and washed a billion times - 8 months after. My parent's home burned down and we were cleaning it out. Found the old answering machine, mostly melted. Tape inside was perfect. Only three messages were all him - 2 years after.
My friend's sister is a psychic. I had never met her. One day, we took her lunch and she started laughing at something behind me. There was nothing there. I asked her what was funny and she told me there was a guy behind me that thought I was a "goober" for seeing a psychic. She went on to describe him in detail. Said that he was hanging on to me, didn't want me to ever forget him. We broke-up because he was so selfish; and he said 'goober' all the time.

There's more that happened, but I realize this comment is getting lloooooooongggggg (0:

So there's that. Things calmed down. Every once and again I dream about him and can smell him when I wake-up. I have the ring and the poem and the tape in a box with all the other momentos. I figure when I die I am going to find him and sock him one for continuing to be selfish in the afterlife!!