She Prayed for a Sign


Jeannette Wilson and I met through our sons in 1978. The boys were both six years old and blonde. That year it seemed like a thousand youngsters, ours included, wanted to play soccer. The boys were precious. It was not unusual for them to stop and pick a flower or get carried away watching butterflies. At their age, they wanted to play but they were also immensely interested in the world around them.

We moved away in 1984 and I didn’t see Jeannette again for six or seven years. By then, my son had been killed in a car accident. Jeannette and I met again in Lethbridge. She had moved there and I was in the city preparing for my father's funeral. I do not believe our meeting was a coincidence. We renewed acquaintances and exchanged new addresses. When next I heard from her, and it was only months later, she had written to tell me that Brian, her son, was dead, killed in a motorcycle accident. I knew her pain. She knew mine. I tried to picture the reunion of these two blonde soccer players!

Brian had died close to home, in an ambulance, while his mom sat and prayed for him. She told me it had been a nice day and Brian and his brother had gone for a short motorcycle ride. They were so close to home when the accident happened. Close enough for Brian’s parents to get to the scene to be there for him and to pray for him. Like so many ahead of her, Jeannette, following the death of her son, struggled with her faith in God, in her close relationships and in life itself. She fought through bouts of depression and tried to sort out who she was.

In her words, “I feel there is a great loss of dignity when you lose a child.”

It was close to two years after Brian's death that Jeannette asked God for a sign that her son was indeed with Him in Heaven.

“Sometime later at Easter service I received an answer. The choir was singing beautifully at the front of the church and, in my mind’s eye, I could see Jesus standing and listening alongside them. He was holding Brian’s hand and… I could see Brian’s face and features so clearly. He was smiling and just glowing with joy and peace. Since that time, when I picture Brian, that is what I see. Through the sadness of missing Brian, it helps me to accept his death more easily and I continue to thank God for this gift.”

Ellie Braun-Haley shaley@telusplanet.net From the book A Little Doorm, a Little Light. Available at amazon.com

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