He kissed me awake.
I don’t know how to explain how I know this occurred. But when my eyes fluttered open Saturday morning a big smile spread across my face and I knew.
Ryan kissed me.
It’s all part of a string of events too miraculous not to chronicle. The night before I was knelling by my bed praying for peace and for strength to get through the next day. M would be graduating High School and his father wouldn’t be there to hug him, and to celebrate this huge milestone he worked so hard for.
“Please. I pray that we will feel Ryan near us. That we will KNOW that he is there, sharing the day. I pray that there will be no doubt of his presence. I just need to know he’s there. Tomorrow…I can’t…I don’t want to…do it without him.”
It was 11:30 pm, so I got up to check the boys’ blood sugars and then slid into my cool sheets ready for a good nights sleep.
But as I did, my eyes caught sight of a book that was lying open on Ryan’s nightstand. The words came clearly to my mind. “Meri. That book is there for a reason. Read.”
I have learned to listen to that voice, as it has always steered me somewhere wonderful. I grabbed the book, "Proof of Heaven," and sleepily began reading where I had left off months ago. It was good. It was interesting. But I wasn’t getting any specific messages that I felt were just for me. After an hour of reading I laid it down on the bed and closed my eyes.
My shoulders slouched. Dang!
I opened it up and scanned the next couple chapters. More of the same. But I felt inclined to skip to the end, so I did.
I read the last chapter…nothing. I read the second to last chapter. Nothing. Again I set the book down and closed my eyes.
So I opened it to Chapter 35, and in an instant I found out why I needed to read that book in that very moment.
There was a poem by a man named David M. Romano. Here it is in its entirety.
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
The thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, “This is eternity,
And all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on earth is past
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way,
There’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?”
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.
The tears came fiercely, and freely. I had to read it twice because the first time I could barely see as I read. I turned the light off, held the book to my chest and fell asleep.
The next morning Ryan kissed me awake.
As with any morning, the first thing I do is check my emails and Facebook. I received an email from Costco stating my photo order was ready. A few weeks ago I turned in some old videotapes and VHS tapes to be converted to CD’s. The ones that were ready were our wedding video, and the tapes of M’s and J’s first years. My heart skipped a beat when I read the words, “View your videos online now.”
I clicked the link and there in front of me was Ryan smiling widely. These videos that I haven’t seen for over 10 years were ready for me to view instantly.
I hurried to the living room and called the boys. We spent the entire morning watching our family. Watching Ryan kiss and love his babies. Watching our babies’ first steps. Watching us all together.
Needless to say, we were late getting ready for M’s graduation. We all showered and rushed to get dressed. M had to leave early, so I walked him out to the car and gave him a big hug. As M got into his car, J came running out of the house with my laptop in his hands.
Ryan’s face flashed onto the screen, and looking directly into the camera he said, “Hi M! I love you!!”
I don’t know why Heavenly Father keeps sending me miracles. I always find a way to doubt them…to convince myself that it’s all just coincidences. But Saturday, I knew.
I KNEW that Ryan was with us.
I will not question it anymore.
He’s still around.