Given the choice, how would you spend the last day of your life? On November 2nd, 2012, we were told that our Christmas-loving, enthusiastically gift-giving mother had very little time left. Dealing with end-stage ovarian cancer, we had hoped she would make it to enjoy her favorite holiday. She had already online-shopped for all of us, and my Dad had wrapped the presents as they came in. Since a traditional Christmas was no longer a possibility, her oncologist encouraged us to schedule Christmas a bit early. There were quick decorations, a tree went up, and our cousins brought the dinner as the whole family gathered two days later, on November 4th, 2012. It was an amazing day, and our Mom went Home to Heaven the next evening. How it all came together is an incredible story, but the conversation which may have taken place between my Mom and her Father in Heaven is my favorite part. I can only guess at it now, but if you look at her face, you know. She knew it was her Last Day.
November 3rd, 2012
God came to Anne and said, “You lived a really, really good life. You loved a lot of people, you served the poor, you held onto your faith in Me, you endured a lot of trials, and you learned so much. It’s time to come Home, but before that, I want to give you a special gift. You get to choose your perfect Last Day. So, Anne, what’ll it be?”
Anne was shaking her head in wonder. “You know, I never thought I would be ready for this day, but in a strange way, I am. So, thank You, and here’s what I’d like: All of my family under my roof, I want there to be giving and loving and kindness and really good food and laughter, and I want everyone to get along. I want a front row seat to see them all enjoying each other.”
God said, “You got it. Anything else?”
Anne thought for a moment and said, “Well, it’s a hard thing to ask. I mean, You’ve given me so much already. I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for You…”
“Go ahead, ask!” laughed God.
“Well, it would be great if my Last Day were on Christmas. Can I have Christmas on my Last Day?” asked Anne.
God smiled and said, “Well, it is November and early November at that, but if you want Christmas on your Last Day, it’s Christmas you shall have!”
Now, Anne was someone who loved giving, so she recognized that look in the eyes of God. It was the joy that came from giving someone you love the Perfect Gift…there is just nothing like it, and she saw that particular joy reflected in the face of the Father. Anne smiled, but then realized something. She quietly whispered:
“If they all know that it’s my Last Day, even the joy of Christmas won’t stop it from being terribly sad for them. The last thing I want is for them to be upset.”
“Now, Anne, you know you can trust Me. Don’t worry so much. You and I will know it’s the Last Day, but none of them will,” declared God.
Anne wondered how she would possibly be able to keep that secret. And God, who always knew what Anne was thinking, said, “Don’t worry, kid. I’ve got it all under control. Later, they will look at pictures and remember the Day and they will say, ‘She knew and she was ready. She had her bags packed’, but none of them will realize it as they’re going through it. All of you will laugh, cry, eat, hug, give and receive presents and love each other, and it will be perfect. Trust Me.”
“I do,” said Anne. “I really do.”
“I know that, kid. And when your Last Day is done, I will bring you Home to live with Me, and you will have Christmas all over again with people you haven’t seen in a long time. It will be great! I have already decorated the room! I have shrimp cocktail, and onion dip, and you know, you can’t have Christmas without those two things!”
And Anne, who always loved giving more than receiving, was overwhelmed with the goodness of God, and quietly whispered, “Thank You” as He bent and kissed her forehead.
© my little epiphanies Kerry Campbell 2014 all rights reserved
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