True Life Stories
By: maria.whyte@bigpond.com
One true life story for me is when I was almost 17 years old, I fell very ill once more with Rheumatic Fever. One night, the pains in my stomach caused me to scream in agony. My mother rand the family doctor, who came quickly. I heard him giving his condolences to my mother, saying he knew there was a blood clot in my stomach, and if it became detached, it would certainly kill me as it would travel to my heart or brain. He came into my small bedroom, not believing that I was still alive.

All my life, I had a silver icon above my bed. It was an expensive icon, but one day, I had seen such a simple icon of Jesus, with a simple wooden frame. I purchased it, keeping it next to my bed.

My doctor and my mother then looked at the inexpensive icon, and beneath the glass which sealed the picture of Jesus, there were tears running down the face of the image.

Our family priest was called, and he asked that I allow him to take the icon and place it in our family church. I did not wish to, but agreed.

SECOND STORY:-

On my husbands and my wedding anniversary, having been married for many years, having 5 adult children, and being grandparents, we went to a restaurant. to celebrate. It was a Tuesday evening, and the restaurant was empty except for one diner. My husband said he hoped that he would not have a crowd there later, spoiling our quiet evening.

I ordered dinner, as did my husband. I ordered Moreton Bay Bugs. I took an entire bug into my mouth, but it would not pass down my restricted Osophegeous.

I started choking, standing, trying to speak, but then remember nothing. I was in such a beautiful place. The fields were green and manicured and I was just a child once again. I floated above the fields, the sky was blue with no clouds in the sky. I was singing and so happy. My arms stretched out, no more pain from frozen shoulders. My dress was like white gossamer fabric, and on my feet, I wore tiny satin white slippers.  My hair was well below my waist, as it had been when I was that age. I was so happy as I saw a beautiful garden of flowers. I was floating towards the flowers, wanting to reach them, but then, I was brought back. I heard people speaking, and paramedics who happened to be close by told my husband that the other diner had dislodged the food from my throat. He had to lay me over his knees, as I was such a frail person.

My husband told me that I had fallen to the ground, my eyes staring, my face a dark blue, dragging the tablecloth with me. I was pronounced dead by the paramedics.

I was then taken to hospital, and I felt such anger. Why was I brought back to a life of pain? My doctors said it was a miracle, as I had been with the angels, and if I had reached the beautiful flowers, I would not have returned.

To this day, I feel my fathers presence, as when I am troubled, at times the room fills with the smell of someone smoking a cigarette. My father was never seen without one in his hand. No one smokes in my home, and this smell has not only been smelt by me, but by my husband also. Then I know which choice to make, and that my father is guiding me.

I am ill, and told that I am terminal with a condition which is claiming my family. I am still alive, although always in pain, but at times like this, I take my mind to a small field of red poppies on the island of Kythera in Greece. I would pass this field daily, remembering my grandfathers words. He was a Greek Orthodox priest. He told me that God would hear me wherever I was, even standing in an open field, as long as I believed.
I do.

THIRD STORY
A special uncle, who I adored and he adored me, my mothers brother, who would visit every Sunday, and on Saturdays we would go fishing together, a large man with a heart of gold.
 
I heard of his passing years after he left this life to be with God. He had left the family home to my sister and myself in Kythera Greece. I wished to donate my share to the church but my sister refused. I had to go to Greece to claim my inheritance, as my mother and sister had declared me dead.
I searched every cemetery for this special uncle. As I sat with my son one day, drinking coffee with Greek biscuits, I told my son that I had searched everywhere, but could not find his resting place.
 
This day, the sky was blue, not a cloud in the sky, when suddenly, 12 white doves appeared from nowhere. They flew down to my grandfathers church, circling, as my son and I moved quickly to go to this place. As we approached, the 12 white doves vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. I looked however, and as I stood looking at a crumbling ruin where donkeys had been housed many years before, I found my uncles resting place. A paupers funeral. With tears streaming down my face, I collected large stones, and laid them in the form of a cross on the top of the mound. I made a promise that day, that if it was to be, I would return one day and place a cross with my special uncles name, no longer a pauper, but a much loved uncle.
 
Now, being confined to a wheelchair, I believed this would never happen, but a phone call some months ago, my father figure rang me, telling me that we must return to Kythera, as he had a vision that I sat in the front pew of my grandfathers church, and I would see my father, my uncle, and my grandfather once more, caused me to speak to my husband of this, as I felt he had no interest in coming to my island, but he was so happy, saying he would take me, and with this wonderful old but so agile father figure waiting for me, I will sit in my grandfathers church, light a candle, and say my final goodbyes.
 
With Gods help, this trip will be made, and a cross will be erected. I will ask the new owner of the family home if the old wooden couch which I slept on when a child is still in the home, as my mother and her sister had come and removed everything of value from the home. As I sat one day, during the time of my last visit, I reminisced about the times of when I would sleep on this hard sofa. I gently rubbed the ends of the two arms of this wooden couch. Suddenly, a spring caused the end to spring open, showing the silverware that my much adored Uncle had hidden. I closed the two spring pieces, and told Uncle Nick his secret was safe with me. 
 


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