Thursday, July 28, 2016

Darkness falls

This is one blog post I almost didn't write. It is so bizarre, so void of reasonable explanation it seems to possess an evil element.
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I had some strange thoughts as I was grappling with the raw devastation of Roma's death. Those first few days I was not tethered to reality. My mind wandered to the outer limits. Roma could not be gone. There had to be an explanation.

The morning after the accident, we headed back to shock trauma after we got a call informing us that Roma had been declared legally dead earlier that morning. The fog of overwhelming grief those first few hours played cruel jokes on my mind that was isolated from reality. I had a sudden hopeful thought when heading out to the door—the head injury. I remembered something from the Bible about a fatal head injury, but the Biblical character came back to life. Maybe God was going to bring Roma back to life. God could do anything. Navigating the haze, I later remembered the character fitting that description was the antichrist, so I had to abandon that hope quickly.  

But what came into the light over the next week was beyond weird. I have not wanted to share this information. But I have been completely transparent about everything, no matter how "weird," so I will share this too. 

Many of Roma's Facebook friends might have noticed this detail on their newsfeed last May, and thought nothing of it. It defies explanation. Others shared his post from May, 2015 after Roma died.

When my daughters and their families returned from Wisconsin and Pittsburgh for Roma's celebration of life, our house was a buzz again with activity. I was so distracted and consumed with planning, I hardly ventured out from that protective bubble I inhabited those first few days and weeks.

One evening I was aware my daughters Heather and Kellie were talking privately. Their  hushed tones didn't invite me into their conversation. I was suddenly curious because of their furrowed brows and intense expressions, and I heard Roma's name mentioned and then the words, "And the timing was exact."

I butted in, "What are y'all talking about?'

They paused, as though what they were discussing might upset me. They glanced at each other and one let me in on their secret.

Did you see Roma's Facebook post a few months ago? Back in May?" As I was wondering what Roma had to say in May could possibly be relevant now, one of my girls got her phone out and found the post in question.

It was a test on Facebook Roma had taken and posted the results. Roma often took such tests. I never take Facebook tests. I'm not curious about what Disney princess I am or what color my aura is.  This one seems equally innocuous. A zombie apocalypse test.

As I leaned in to read the results of Roma test, Heather and Kellie shot puzzled looks at each other. Here is a screen shop of his result.  

Counting six months and 25 days ahead puts us on December 7, the day the doctors pronounced Roma dead fifteen hours after his accident.
I was stunned. The exact timing. And the mention of "falls." Even a mention of "shoelaces." I flashed back to the morning of Roma's shoe lace breaking, and my near hysteria, when I had first considered the possibility of harm coming to him. I wrote about it in Succumbing to Hope.  

I don't know what it all means. Maybe it is a warning of evil. Can it be a random coincidence? A friend always tells me I have the wackiest stories.  It is true. This same friend told me in a dream to "write all this down." I shared that in a post from 2014, Angels and Demons part one, before the really interesting stories began. All my "wacky" stories have illustrated God's relentless pursuit and amazing activity in my life. But this story doesn't feel like God's activity. But, because it is true,  I felt I must share it. I don't know how God will use it, but I trust He will. Maybe it will do no more than warn people not to dabble in those dark areas of "harmless" magic and fortune telling. There are evil forces at work in the universe.  And there is power in that evil. 

I'm certainly not suggesting that the Zombie Apocalypse test had anything to do with Roma's accident. But I know that evil exists, and we should not play with it.

I continue to thank God for His comfort and pray for protection in this journey of grief. I pray our eyes are opened to see Him more! When the dark gets darker, the Light gets brighter. 

The joy of the Lord is my strength! 

Continue with Boys and Toys

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Preparing for "Deployment"

"Continued from Flesh and Blood

In January, a month after Roma died, I got an email from my daughter Kellie. She wrote, "I had a dream about Roma last night.  Honey (my mother who died in October, 2014) was there--actually we were at her house.  We were all hugging Roma, saying goodbye and crying- we knew, but he was oblivious and happy."

The image struck me with sadness. I had seen Roma's look of oblivion Kellie was describing. Like he didn't quite understand the seriousness of adults, but was like, "Okay, I don't have any idea what they are talking about. I see things a lot simpler than they do." Ending with almost an eye roll, but not quite.

Then I recognized it. And I almost laughed. Roma in Kellie's dream was not oblivious at all. Roma got it! We did not. 

I typed back quickly in reply, " Roma was the only one who wasn't oblivious! He's wondering why we are crying! He is happy! I can feel it." 

Kellie typed right back, "You're probably right about Roma being the only one who wasn't  oblivious!" 

Even before Kellie's short dream, I have been confident of Roma's happiness in Heaven. He is, after all, in HEAVEN! Even while inhabiting broken planet Earth, Roma always made the most of difficult situations, moving on quickly from painful circumstances. One of his counselors when he was in middle school, an age many students find challenging, observed that Roma had the uncanny ability to turn a negative into a positive. Now there is no need for Roma to manufacture his sunny disposition. Roma is in Heaven. I can't see Heaven or Roma, but I am getting little hints of Another World. 

A familiar verse immediately comes to mind: " For now we see through a glass darkly, through a poor mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully." Like Roma, as a new resident of Heaven, knows. But  we will not know, cannot know,  from this earthly perspective. 

As I looked up that appropriate verse just now to site it correctly, I discovered, or remembered, that it is in 1 Corinthians, the "Love Chapter," the verse that immediately precedes, "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, But the greatest of these is love."

A few weeks after Kellie sent me the email about her dream, forty-five days after Roma's personal rapture, I had my first dream, and so far the only clear dream I've had about Roma. Before I share that dream, I want to remind readers of an earlier post,  A Grace Refined. At the end of that post, I relate a story from one of our morning rides to meet Roma's boss. He was telling me with a sense of urgency, that God loves the Jews, and wasn't going to let anything happen to them. It was a bizarre statement, seeming to come out of nowhere. Later he took to Facebook, to sound the warning, sounding like an Old Testament prophet. November 13, he warned, "Oh we should be scared for what's coming to this country and what God is capable of. Look out for the signs." Those are thoughts I might have, but would never post on Facebook, But Roma was always bold. 

Now here is my dream, which was so "real" and vivid. I woke feeling as if Roma and I truly visited in person. Thank you, Lord, for that Gift.  

I was wandering around, aimlessly, at a festival of some kind, in an unfamiliar place. In a congested marketplace, I stopped occasionally to gaze at strange prepared food behind glass windows, and I thought I might be at a banquet or feast.

Suddenly, who was coming in the other direction, toward me, moving slowly in the sea of people? Roma! We tried to move toward each other through the dense barrier of people, bumping into people who were in our way. We embraced in the middle. It was immediately apparent that Roma, although he looked the same, was different. He was very manly, with an air of confidence and authority. Now I sense people who knew Roma are waiting for me to share how Roma was changed, because Roma always had an air of confidence and authority, even when I first laid terrified, yet adoring eyes on little self-assured seven-year-old Roma. 

But now he was different. He had grown into that bossiness assertiveness. He was a man of action. I couldn't help noticing other men were behind him, standing down. It was obvious Roma was their commander. Their boss. Of course he was. He had practiced on us for fourteen years. They paced, impatiently, but allowed us privacy. I don't recall my brief conversation with Roma before I sensed he was pulling away, getting back to business. 

I kept talking even when he was glancing over his shoulder, preparing to rejoin his troops. I finally said, almost in desperation, "Roma, we can go through the whole adoption process again, if you can stay." 

His eyes suddenly lit up with a solution he knew would satisfy the heartbreak of his mother. 

"Mom," he held me by the shoulders and looked me in the eyes, "I'll meet you in Israel!"

In my mind I knew that was a set date, an appointed time in the not-so-distant future. Encouraged with this renewed hope, I smiled and said, relieved, "Okay! I'll see you there." I leaned into my my son for one last tight embrace within his warm, strong arms, then Roma and his men continued on their journey. There my dream ended. 

I know Roma has a job in Heaven, one he loves, and it doesn't involve harp strumming. He has no musical talents. But Roma has always been a leader. Roma has been preparing for his God-ordained job his entire short life. Occasionally seeing past the Veil between broken earth into glorious Heaven since Roma was "deployed," I have had moments of peace and even joy.  The Spirit of God has been moving, confirming His Love. Anywhere the Spirit's moving, that's the place I need to be. For me, this confirms that I too have an important job awaiting me in Heaven. This short life, among the ruins of this world, matters. It is preparation for Eternal Life. 

Praise God for He gives comfort to the grieving and eternal meaning to life. 

Continue, cautiously, with Darkness falls.