Please don't skim this one. This is very heavy and your feedback would mean a lot.
I think it's important to share this story since it can potentially touch people in the most profound of ways. I want to help people feel comfort, if they choose to open their minds and welcome the unknown.
Meeting many of you at SteemFest also motivated me to lean a little bit on the community here. I have nothing to lose.
This is a very personal true account about how I learned that guardian angels are real.
I have visual proof.
If you've lost a loved one, they very well may be watching over you to help when you need it most.
My family knows, and it's particularly overwhelming for me to think about since my one of them didn't treat me very well.
Grab some tissues, think of lost love ones as you read on, and believe...
This is my 70+ year old Mom's SUV this May when a 2-foot wide tree dropped like a bomb on her windshield during a flash tornado, while she was driving full speed. As you can see, it hit her directly in the face and chest. Yes, a tornado threw a massive tree into her moving vehicle in arguably the worst spot possible.
People simply don't survive a nightmare like this.
Back up a few months to mid-February, when my Mom's husband of 35+ years died after a 2.5 year war with stage 4 brain cancer, the worst of the worst.
While losing a family member is one of the most painful events one can experience, my Dad's death was long anticipated. There was no cure. After initially being told he had 60 days to live, he was in the 1% of miracle cases to survive for as long as he did. He defied all odds and baffled all doctors as one of their best patients in their careers. Despite the relative success, it was simply his time to go, and he did so peacefully with his family around him.
His death was more than enough to handle, so losing my Mom instantly just after would've been far too unfair to be true.
She'd been through so much. It was her time to recover and enjoy life beyond constant doctor, hospital and treatment center appointments.
As for me on the eve of her accident, with all trains to/from my city shut down, and no car of my own, my baseball teammate raced me up empty highways towards the storm and green skies. It wasn't smart, but we had no choice. I had to improvise as the closest family member with no time to waste. Any mistake on my part could lead to a lifetime of regret.
I didn't have much info for the drive. I was naively playing the drums for @openmic when the accident happened. My brother called several times and finally got through to relay bits of what the EMT told him; "she was still alive, but it was bad". The EMT also called my pregnant sister in Europe to blindside her in the middle of the night.
On my way to the hospital, I had to keep as cool as possible. I honestly didn't know if she'd be alive when I got to her. I'm very strong, but I had no choice but to put extra armor on to be able to handle what was next.
As much as I didn't want to pray to my Dad who had just disowned me before dying, I had to bite my tongue and ask for his help. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
Some friends made it to the hospital before me and let me know bits and pieces. While they didn't know much, they said that she was still alive. I got there, ran to her room, and saw for myself that she was breathing. She was completely dazed, but conscious. She saw me and apologized. Heavy stuff. She looked horrible, but I could breath for a minute and update my siblings. The wave of relief cannot be put into words.
It turns out that the hospital had lost power and her ICU unit was running on backup generators. For hours, she couldn't get critical scans to assess her injuries because the elevators were down. Talk about adding insult to injury. After my brother arrived about 5 hours after me, we tried not to think about the helplessness of being unable to diagnose and treat potentially life-threatening injuries quickly.
After two days, we had her airlifted to another hospital that had the full power and resources we needed, her first helicopter ride.
Her injuries were obviously severe, but the rescue workers we eventually spoke with couldn't believe she was alive when they got to her. As a matter of physics and logic, she shouldn't have been. These people had a vested interest in following her progress because it defied all odds. We'll probably want to have her meet them in due time to thank them. That'll be a real tear jerker.
Practically speaking, the rescuers attributed her initial survival to one tangible reason: her driver's seat physically snapped in half at the joint and reclined into the back of her vehicle. This isn't supposed to happen.
We're talking about a 2-foot wide tree being launched directly into her the face and chest (with some shattered glass and a crunched frame in the middle), with her foot on the gas.
Think about that...
With my sister on another continent, it was up to my brother and me to dig trenches at hospitals and rehab centers for 4+ months. We were soldiers. The only solace for me was playing baseball on the weekends, which my Mom made me do to recharge. I led my team in almost every offensive category and pitched my heart out into the playoffs and all-star game. It hurts to think about now, but we did the best we could.
Not to take away from her injuries, but she had her surgery, and was stable and braced up enough to be released in early July to continue healing at home in a special bed.
We thought we'd won the lottery, but she felt that something was very wrong. It turns out that the pain she complained about for weeks prior was far more than what the doctors wrote off as muscle and nerve issues.
If my Mom didn't ignore the doctors and admit herself to the ER, the spine specialist said that her back would've gruesomely snapped in half within one or two days, to be paralyzed at best. She could have easily died with her fragile cervical spine fractures, etc..
Lesson: Listen to your gut when doctors throw pills your way to treat their misdiagnosis.
While something special saved her life during the storm, the septic blood infection she developed in the hospital later was blatantly mistreated, which allowed it to hide and fester inside damaged vertebrae in her spine. The infection completely ate one-and-a-half discs of bone to leave her spine balancing on a tight wire. The docs f'd up big time to miss this.
She needed major emergency stabilization surgery once they tamed the infection, which was also based near her vital organs for a huge scare. She was on eggshells for about 10 days to not snap her spine in half as the blitz of antibiotics started going to work. Sepsis is extremely deadly if it settles into organs. As I write this now, she's still on heavy antibiotics since the infection has still not cleared. It's serious stuff.
I won't go into the entire story of her treatment and recovery, but you can tell that it was extreme and very emotionally challenging for all of us. I had to see some brutal sights and support her hourly struggles first hand for months. It wore me down and I'm still recharging. It's just too draining and unnecessary to detail.
This leads me to the deeper part of this story, which still rattles me to my soul when I think about it. This is the good stuff.
EMTs and local reporters took pictures of the accident scene after the storm had safely passed. They took shots of the SUV from a few angles, some with rescue crew, and some without.
There's one particularly clear picture of the driver's side with both doors cut off. It shows my Mom's seat fully reclined into the bottom of the rear seat.
For the first month, we were so focused on her urgent care in the ICU, that we didn't pay much attention to the pictures. We simply texted them around to family and friends so they could grasp what happened.
During one break when I got to go home to my apartment (probably to take care of suddenly having to putting my cat of 13 years down because of surprise cancer and a clot), I thought of something that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Bear with me. It's amazing...
...We grew up in the same house our entire lives. It was an old victorian home from the 1870's, based on an old farm and apple orchard.
The house had ghosts. We each had our individual experiences with them. I've never slept with my closet door open since I was young. Mainly during our early-mid childhood, doorways would be blocked, coal shovels heard working and moved, the smell of flowers where they held funerals, apparitions seen from time to time, presences felt, and more...
When my Dad first bought the house, he took a picture of the outside facing a series of original bay windows. This picture is legendary amongst our extended family because several ghosts can be seen standing and sitting in the windows. What made this more impactful was the only original living member who grew up in the house decades before us recognized her Grandmother sitting where she'd have her coffee overlooking the mountains.
My Dad was always into stuff like this and prided himself in that picture.
That's when it hit me.
My Mom shouldn't have survived...
My Dad just died...
We have pictures...
Was he involved?
Did he leave a clue encoded for us to find like in his coveted picture, something only we would know to look for??
He always made us solve cryptographic word puzzles for 2 hours to tell us where to find our final Christmas gifts hidden in the house, so there was a chance.
I immediately opened up the picture of the side of the SUV and looked for a sign.
It took me about 10 seconds to see one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, and gasp on an entirely new level.
I found it, and much more...
On the side of the black leather car seat that snapped in half to save her, there were several impressions of faces.
My Mom's Mother... very clear.
My Dad's Father... even clearer.
My Dad's brother who died a year before...
...and then, my Dad... his face displayed in spirit form.
It's unbelievable, but it's true. I told my family to look and they saw the same. Friends saw the same. How amazing is that?
Their eyes were peacefully closed. Their distinct features impossible to question, encoded just like the picture of the old bay windows.
I solved a puzzle of the most profound levels and we got our gift...
My deceased family members left their mark burned in that image, letting us know that they swooped in at the milli-second necessary to absorb most of the devastating impact by breaking her seat. The mystery was solved. No one can ever tell me that spirits and angels aren't real again.
Real Guardian Angels. I can see them here right now. It might be hard to imagine the weight of that, especially when it's your blood, but that's what I have to deal with these days.
My Mom was meant to live, and while she initially thought she shouldn't have during all of her suffering, she believes it now.
I can't help but cry whenever I think about this. I imagine how my Mom must feel to see her husband in the afterlife whenever she wants, her hero. The same goes for seeing her Mom. What a gift.
This raises so many questions about life, life after death, our souls, everything...
It's too much to think about, so I'll bury it again. My perspective of life and beyond has changed, and it's too intense at times. I just wanted to share this though so people can look up and feel better.
As for me, I work hard at my home business and don't give up because I know my Dad is watching. He hated what I did (and that I quit my safe corporate job to pursue happiness), subtly shaming me for years, telling me that I wasted his college tuition, amongst a terrible laundry list of other things dating back to childhood he yelled at me about hating before his death. He never apologized. His brain couldn't comprehend or remember what he said, or at least that's what I tell myself. His Father was abusive to him and his siblings, and he projected it onto me. Fortunately, that tradition died with him because that's impossible for me to do, fully aware.
To make matters worse on that topic, after years of attending his doctor appointments, pushing super-foods, alternative medicine, and helping research around the clock, his radiation damage took his filter off of his tongue to tell me repeatedly that he didn't want me as a son anymore. This was all because I respectfully stood up to his ongoing emotional and verbal abuse, because I was sick of it from my abusive schizophrenic ex girlfriend who threw the kitchen sink at me a month before. I wrote about standing up to him in more depth here.
Regardless, I still helped change his diapers, and on his deathbed, kissed him on the forehead, forgave him, and told him that I'd figure out how to handle the damage he did on my own. It was more important to give him an afterlife of peace at the expense of mine. I told you I was strong. Only a lifetime more to figure out how I'm going to cope with it though.
I need to let that go over time, but pride of the deepest magnitude is on the line when it comes to succeeding on my path. This is also why I grind it out on Steemit and stick to my guns.
I know he's watching.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.
My Mom called me today thrilled to tell me that she just booked a first-class ticket to see her new grandson in Europe.
Please help me spread this message. It could help a lot of people get some closure or have hope that their loved ones are not that far away after all.
Respectful comments welcome.
Maybe I'll sleep a little more soundly tonight with this off my chest.
*The picture is obviously far too personal to share. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Thanks so much for reading,