Sunday, June 14, 2009

Holes in the Clouds.

I am often amazed at things I hear from my hospice patients. This past week was no exception. One particularly striking discussion I had was with a young man dying of pancreatic cancer. He has two children, one is away in college, but the other just graduated from High School. This was his youngest, his daughter, his "baby girl" he liked to call her. She is getting ready to begin a new chapter in her life in so very many ways, not the least of which is learning to prepare for life without her daddy. Her party was scheduled for a Saturday, and as the day approached, the weather was not looking promising. There were over 100 guests expected, and the plans included many of them being outside under a tent. When the day finally arrived, it was pouring rain all morning. Providentially, one hour prior to the party, the rain stopped. The party was well attended, and though the man was exhausted by the end of it, he was very happy for how it turned out. About a half an hour after the party, the rain resumed, and continued the rest of the night.

As the man was describing this, he told me he had looked online at the weather radar, and that morning, had seen a "hole in the clouds". There was an area of the storm system that was clear, and it appeared as though this hole in the clouds might pass over the area just at the time of the party. He said he knew that is how it would work out, and shared a story of another time he witnessed a hole in the clouds. Apparently, as a young man, he had doubts about his direction in life, and spent some time on retreat at a monastery, high in the mountains out west.  While there, he was walking a trail, and was able to see the monastery from high up, and saw shadows of clouds approaching the grounds. As the shadow reached the main building, the cloud split in two, and the shadow passed the retreat center on either side, without darkening the monastery at all. The cloud hole closed after it passed by, and he believed that he had witnessed a miracle meant specifically for him.

For him, it was no surprise that his daughter's party would have the same miracle. In fact, he told the hospice team that he "knew" that his time would come soon, and that he would pass through a hole in the clouds to heaven.

He died on a day that was cloudy all day, except for one hour. Guess what time that occurred? 

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