An Otherwise Gray Day
After her passing, did Mom send an angel to comfort her daughters?website.
Mary Olson had had a mild heart attack over the weekend, so her grown children and her sisters all arrived within hours at the local hospital, except for her daughter, Lisa. "Since Mom was expected to recover completely, I decided to wait until she was ready to leave, then drive down and help settle her at home," Lisa says. On Thursday afternoon, Lisa arrived at the hospital to find her mother sitting up in bed working a crossword puzzle, her usually perky self.
The two, with other relatives, spent the rest of the day together. "Mom seemed fine, and was due to be released on Saturday," Lisa says. "When I left right after dinner, she was asleep so I told the nurse to call me during the evening if she wanted company."
At 8:45 pm, the nurse phoned Lisa, and said that Mary was awake and wanted company. But by the time Lisa arrived at the hospital, some fifteen minutes later, her mother had died from a massive heart attack.
The family, of course, was devastated. But they made all the necessary arrangements that families do. A few days after the funeral, Lisa and one of her sisters finished closing up Mary's house, and began loading the trunk of Lisa's car. The women were terribly sad, and perhaps still in a state of shock as well. Their mother was gone! Was she with God? Was she happy?
"It was a gray day, both emotionally and weatherwise," Lisa recalls. "Suddenly as we turned around, we saw a man standing behind us." He was about forty years old, slight in build, rather nondescript, without a coat on this raw day. It seemed strange. Although the driveway was gravel, neither of the women had heard approaching footsteps. "Who are you?" Lisa asked.
"I'm your mother's yardman," the man explained. "I cut her grass and do small jobs for her. She sits at the picnic table and visits with me. Perhaps there's a job I can do?"
"Our mother has died," Lisa told him.
"Yes, I know," he said calmly.
The women looked at each other. They had never met their mother's yardman, but he seemed capable and pleasant, and the gutters did need cleaning….The yardman agreed, so the women went back into the house. As they were sitting in the living room, they heard a sound, like someone singing. It was the yardman. "Listen!" Lisa said. "He's singing 'Sweet Hour of Prayer.' The women looked at each other again. It had been their mother's favorite hymn.