Carolyn had spent most of her young adult life in the solitude of her parent’s home. She had suffered the agony of a devastating divorce many years hence, raising her handicapped daughter Maria, with the help of her mother, father, three sisters and a brother.
It happened slowly, almost unnoticed, as Carolyn began to lose touch with reality. But her loving family drew around her with support, loving concern, and helping hands. Her one-time ability to do chores and function normally came to a halt, and she succumbed to reading and watching TV. She eventually became the full time ward of her parents.
Carolyn's beautiful daughter Marie, wasn't fully aware of her mother's deteriorating condition, nor did she think of her own self as being any different than anyone else, for in her eyes, their lives, and everyday activities, were considered normal.
Carolyn was no longer able to walk the nearby Blue Ridge mountains, or watch sunsets from the summit near her home. She no longer dressed to attend the small mountain top church where she had grown up as a child. But she continued reading her Bible and could quote scripture with uncanny remembrance. When Billy Graham had a program on TV and would ask people to come down to the alter, she would get up from her chair, go to the TV, touch it, and pray in her simple way.
One sunny day in the spring of 1994, Carolyn was sitting quietly in her living room with Maria, when she asked, “who is that little girl standing at the door? What little girl mom", asked Marie. "The one standing right over there with a bell hanging around her neck!", exclaimed Carolyn, pointing to the door. Marie answered, “there's no one over there!" She's right over there!", Carolyn persisted, adding again, "she's wearing a little bell around her neck." Maria ran to the kitchen to get her grandmother to come and find the little girl. Grandmother noticed that Carolyn looked a little strange, glassy eyed, and distant, so she took Maria by the hand and walked her to the door to assure her that no one was there. But Carolyn kept crying over and over, "She's there, she's there!"
A few days later, Carolyn began to experience dizziness, violent headaches, and fainting spells. Her doctor was unable to diagnose her problem, so they rushed her to a hospital in Charlottesville for further testing. While there, she took a turn for the worse, and laid in a coma for seven days. The dreaded diagnosis was an inoperative brain tumor. Her grieving family stayed by her side, holding her hand, praying that she would regain consciousness and would once again hear their voices as they whispered words of love to her.
On the seventh day, Carolyn slipped away in her sleep. The family was grateful that she went peacefully and no longer suffered the ravages of pain. Yet pain
lingered in their hearts over the loss of this special loving girl.
That evening, in the quietness of their living room, the family discussed Carolyn's "vision". They concluded and all agreed, that it had been an angel, a divine manifestation, and accepting this seemed to ease the pain they all felt.
On the day of the funeral, I walked up the isle of the church to view Carolyn for the last time. She laid peacefully in a flower-laden casket, appearing only to be asleep. Her face was not pasty gray, but glowed like sunlight, and I want to believe there was a hint of a smile on her face that resembled her daughter Maria. She wore a beautiful pink dress with lace...... and around her neck, hung a tiny bell!
Did God call this Saint home by an angel bell? I choose to believe He did.
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