A friend of mine told me a story the other day that she warned me was going to be sad, but uplifting at the same time. She had been working on a craft project, and had that on her mind as she was going up and down the stairs retrieving supplies from different areas of the house. Because she was concentrating on that, she almost didn’t hear the quiet voice that whispered something inside her head. It was her mother’s voice – her mother who was in her 90s, in hospice, and who lived 4,500 miles away in Hawaii.

My friend called her brother and told him she had heard her mother’s voice. “Well, what did she say?” he asked her. She had to think about it a moment, as the voice itself was more memorable than the exact words she spoke.

“I think she was saying ‘Goodbye.’”

I’m sure you’re guessing where this is going, and you’re correct. My friend’s mother died less than 24 hours later.

“I’m glad I called my brother and told him about it,” she said. “Otherwise, I’m sure no one would believe me.”

I would. I know several people who’ve had situations somewhat similar to this. I also have the memory of my father passing away within a few hours of my sister and me arriving for a visit – a seven-hour drive for us. Dad was in the hospital and barely conscious at the time, but there is no question in my mind that at some level of understanding, he was waiting for us to get there. Not only to give us a chance to say goodbye, but so that our other sister – his main caretaker – would not be alone when he passed away.

As my friend was telling me about her mother, I could tell that one of the things that tugged at her heart was how quietly the message came, and how easy it would have been for her to miss it or dismiss it. That got me thinking about people who say they pray to God, but He never answers them. I believe that God always gives us answers to our prayers, but we’re usually too busy and distracted to hear them. And we rarely bother to calm and quiet ourselves enough to even listen.

We certainly don’t need to go to the top of a mountain to meditate in order to hear whispers from God, or messages from loved ones, or our own inner wisdom.  But we would definitely benefit from taking some time every so often to quiet our minds, turn off our noisemakers, and sit in silence. There’s a powerful voice inside each of us, and it’s a gift to ourselves to pause long enough and gently enough to hear it.

My friend was right in saying her story was both sad and uplifting. I know she is saddened by the loss of her mother, but I hope she’s also feeling peace and comfort from that quiet connection she had with her, even from thousands of miles away.

And I hope this will be a reminder to all of us about how important it is for us to listen. Not just with our ears, but with our heart.

March 22, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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