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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

HEAVENLY HOT AIR BALLOONS by Sarah Raplee


SARAH RAPLEE
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Hi, I'm paranormal romance author Sarah Raplee. I've written stories published in two anthologies by Windtree Press. My first full-length novel, BLINDSIGHT, is coming out this fall.

The amazing, magical, loving, and slightly freaky way my father comforted me from the Other Side (of death, for those of you without access to tv, radio, print media, or the internet) while my mother hovered on the brink of death was a life-changing experience for me. He had died six years before, but he proved he's still around, keeping an eye on his loved ones.

* Keep in mind what some tv character on some show I once watched said: "One connection to an event is a coincidence, two is a pattern, three is a plan."

When my husband and I arrived the day after Mom was admitted to the hospital with a life-threatening infection, we introduced ourselves to her nurse, Diana. Not Diane, Diana. 

My only sister is named Diana. I smiled at the coincidence.

Later, Mom's condition worsened. She was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Her new nurse was named Sally. That's my childhood nickname. Dad always called me Sally.


I remember thinking, O-kay, Dad, is this your doing?

The next day I received a resounding, "Yes."

The new nurse on duty was named Catherine. Guess what Mom's name is? Yup! She never goes by Cathy, always Catherine. With a 'C'. Just like her nurse!

I found it comforting that Dad was watching over Mom and would be there if she lost the battle with the killer bacteria.

Another nurse was named Lisa, like Dad's eldest granddaughter. The hunky male nurse was Dave, like my daughter's first husband, who was a professional pilot like my father. Another of Mom's nurses was Amy, which was an inside joke that I'm not going to explain. Apparently people keep a sense of humor in the Afterlife.


Dad loved to fly almost as much as he loved his family. When he was dying of cancer, he hoped to regain enough strength to soar above Oregon’s high desert one more time—in a hot air balloon. Unfortunately, he was too sick to accomplish his goal.

Fast forward to six months after and two thousand miles away from his death to my youngest son’s house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The kids had climbed in bed with their parents because it was a Sunday morning. No one had to get up early.

Then the danged Siamese cat jumped onto the bed. Instead of pouncing on someone to wake them up, he ignored them all as he walked across them to the headboard and stood on his hind legs to peer through the window into the back yard. Whipping his tail back and forth, he yowled like a banshee. Three-year-old Lily stood up to see what had scared him. “Mommy, Daddy, look! Look!” 

Her parents sat up and checked out the back yard. A rainbow-striped hot air balloon was landing - in their back yard! How often does that happen???

Back to my mother’s hospital room. Dr. Boddie (pronounced body - ain't that a hoot?) explains that my mom’s condition is deteriorating. Her infection may have spread into her spinal fluid, causing meningitis. He needs to do a spinal tap to be sure so he will know how to proceed with her treatment.

I held Mom’s hand as they rolled her to a procedure room where they would draw fluid from her spinal canal. My throat ached with fear. I closed my eyes and mentally reached out into the ether. Tell me she’s going to be all right, Dad. We stopped. I opened my eyes and looked inside the procedure room.

A poster of five hot air balloons soaring high above the ground greeted me. 


I knew Mom would make it. After a stay in the Intensive Care Unit, she did.

I've learned that messages from the Next Life don’t usually come in the form of email, snail mail, or phone calls (but I’ve learned to never say never). 

No doubt the Afterlife  has immutable Laws that govern one’s actions, just as in this life gravity happens, fire burns and in a vacuum, no one can hear you scream. That doesn’t mean the people who have moved on from this earthly plane don’t try to offer comfort, assistance, and the occasional laugh to their loved ones.

It means they have to get creative - and we have to pay attention.


6 comments:

Courtney Pierce said...

A few years ago I was in conversation with a work colleague when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I whipped around, startled. No one was there, not a soul in sight. I instantly knew it was my grandfather, who'd been gone from my life for over forty years. Before my father passed away, he had given me my grandfather's wallet because he knew how much Gramp meant to me. I went home that night and smoothed my hand over the worn leather and pulled out the license, social security card, and the picture of me he kept in it. My heart burst open. He did reach out to me to get my attention.

Beautiful thoughts, Sarah. Thank you.

Diana McCollum said...

That's our Dad!!! Thanks for sharing Sarah/Sally. I remember two specific times that Dad was letting us know he was around. One was the day he passed here at home. At that time our Mom and Dad lived on an acre of land. Our brother and his wife, Mom and me were there. Dad was in Hospice by this time, and losing ground fast. I was on the computer with brother when Linda burst in to say there was no breathing on the baby monitor in the living room. We all went in to check on Dad, and he was gone. We were all emotional and crying, when the doorbell rings, (and this is 11 am in the morning) Linda and I go to answer it, and no one is there! and no one is anywhere on the street or yard! The Hospice nurse came and we told her about the incident with the doorbell. She said strange things happen when a person dies. and it was probably Dad saying good-bye. I believe that. Nice post Sarah, we know Dad is still around watching over all of us!

Judith Ashley said...

I've 'heard' the voices of my mom, brother, grandmother, a couple of aunts and one friend from time to time. I was terrified the first time it happened but never since. I find it comforting to know they still pay attention to my life. What's interesting is who I never hear from---my grandfather and my dad, both of whom I was very close to on this plane. Messages from the Next Life are there and can be comforting, encouraging and supportive if we pay attention. Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah.

Sarah Raplee said...

I love the stories others share when they here mine!

Thank you for sharing, Judith. You are so in tune spiritually, I'm not surprised you hear actual voices.

Thank you for sharing about the doorbell, Sis. When I read your comment I remembered.

Courtney, how lovely to have a visit from your grandfather so many years after his passing!

Maggie Lynch said...

I definitely believe those were signs. I'm not personally sure how those signs come about--if they are from someone in the afterlife or that we ourselves have ways of tuning in to those signs that were there all the time.

My mother has always been and is still psychic. I have never questioned it because her predictions come true 90% of the time. So, I know there are powers beyond my understanding.

I'm glad that you found those signs and they offered you what you needed to get through. That is all that matters. Thanks for sharing your stories.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for stopping by, Maggie!