It was two Sundays before Christmas: I was sitting in a back row pew at the church, singing a Christmas song. I don’t remember which one. I was alone, as my husband was in the sound booth, and my son was in children’s church. There was one other family on the other side of the pew, at least fifteen feet away. As one song ended, and the next began, I smiled: Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel. Not a favorite, but I liked it. I remember my spirits were in good form that day, with no major crisis distracting me from the holiday season.
Suddenly, I felt this presence next to me. I didn’t see anything, but I “felt” this light and this warmth next to me. I remember thinking that Grandpa was next to me. He told me everything would be fine. I was filled with a sense of peace and warmth. It lasted just a moment. I surreptitiously looked around, to see if anyone else had noticed this. Everyone was singing along, oblivious to whatever had just happened. My eyes filled with tears, and I silently offered up a prayer to whoever was listening.
I would like to say I have never had anything like that happen before, but I can’t. There was something very familiar about the entire experience, but I cannot list a time and date that something like that has happened before. It was very surreal. Was it my Grandfather? He had passed away on December 29th of the previous year. We were headed home in a few days to see Grandma, who was in failing health (and who would pass away on December 27th, 2 days short of the first anniversary of Grandpa’s death). I believe my Grandfather is in Heaven, but I do not believe he is allowed to come down and visit. Was it an angel, letting me know Grandpa was OK? Or that Grandma would be with him soon? Maybe it didn’t have anything to do with my grandfather, but for some reason I felt his presence. To the best of my knowledge, this was not a favorite song. I don’t know what happened that day in church or why, but I’m OK with that. It was something good, and while I’m not entirely sure of the message, the peace it gave me was indescribable.