Today is Valentine’s Day—the day in which millions of people around the world celebrate love in all its glorious forms. My story today is about a romantic love that flourished through almost 60 years of marriage and the raising of a large family. It was a love so powerful that it conquered death; a love so true that it proved to a strident disbeliever that love does go on. This, my friends, is the story of the love between my mother Elva, and her husband—my father—Dennis.
It was the fall of 2007, a few months after my mother had passed into Spirit, when she apparently decided it was high time to visit my father—then bedridden and severely depressed, suffering a slow death of his own from emphysema. It was a difficult time for all of us, learning to come to terms with the passing of the woman who was our sun—the center of our familial universe. But for my father, it was particularly trying, for when his beloved Elva died, his love of life passed with her.
Dad’s greatest fear was that his Elva was lost to him forever. Unlike my mother, whose faith in God and belief in the afterlife was unshakable, Dad openly questioned whether there was such a thing as life after death. And for years, he wasn’t just disbelieving of Spirit communication, he was adamantly opposed to the idea of it. During the years I was developing as a Medium, I would regularly call home and share with him and my mother my amazing journey, and what I was learning about life on The Other Side. Dad’s reaction was often to hang up the phone on me, leaving my mother and I to recover from the obvious “click” of his receiver, and to continue our conversation. There was a time when my father stopped speaking to me altogether in protest of my continued exploration of Spirit communication. I felt sad that this amazing new experience was going unshared with him—especially since his own mother (my paternal grandmother), Irene, was very actively communicating through other mediums to me and my family. And
of course, his two children, Susan and Merle, who’d been in Spirit for decades, came through regularly with highly evidential messages filled with love, healing, and support for him. Why wouldn’t he want to hear these messages, I wondered. Maybe one day, I told myself, he would come to accept, and to believe, and in doing so, to release his fears of death.
When my mother was alive, I’d call my parents in Minnesota several times a week on my way home from work in Boston. We’d chat for the 45 minutes it took me to get home, covering every topic you can imagine; it was our time to be together. After Mom passed, I continued the tradition with Dad, and found that in my conversations with him, he had softened his position on Spirit communication. He allowed me to share with him messages from Elva received via other Mediums. He didn’t say too much about the messages, but he listened. He seemed more open to the possibility, and I sensed that he wanted to believe. What was still required for him to really believe, however, is what most people need to believe—a personal experience.
And Mom knew that, too.
I’m going to let my sister, Connie, tell the rest of the story, because she was there, and I love how she tells it.
Connie: It was about 10:00am and I was in the kitchen when I heard Dad call out from the bedroom, “Connie! Connie, come here! Connie!”
I ran down the hallway to see what was wrong, because Dad couldn’t move around very easily on his own. He was in bed, leaning up against the headboard, his eyes large and wild.
“Dad! What? What’s wrong? Are you ok?” I said, standing in the doorway to his bedroom.
“Mom!” he sputtered. “Mom was here!”
“What? Mom? Dad, Mom’s not here. She died, remember?” I thought he was dreaming.
“No!” he insisted and pointed in my direction. “She was right there—just like you are!” His voice shook with emotion. “She…she came in the door and smiled at me and said, ‘Hi Honey!’ and then she came over to the bed and leaned down and kissed me, and I yelled because she scared me, and then she was gone!” he said, still looking about the room, as if he might find her back again.
I smiled. So, Mom made an appearance. Great. I went over and sat on the
bed with Dad. “I wish she’d appear to me like that, Dad,” I said. He just looked at me, still deeply shaken. “So, what did she look like?” I asked. I could tell Dad wanted to talk about it.
“Well, she was wearing a blue and white striped blouse, and white pants,” he began. “Her hair was all fixed up and she had lipstick on. She looked beautiful,” he smiled wistfully and his eyes became moist.
“That’s how I see her in my dreams, Dad,” I said. “She’s glowing from the inside out, hair and makeup just perfect.”
“Yes, she looked perfect,” he nodded. ”And I could feel her kiss. It scared the heck out of me!” he laughed, now that the shock was wearing off.
“You see, Dad? Spirits can visit us, and communicate with us—like Renee has been saying. Mom’s telling you that she’s alive and will be there for you when it’s your time. There’s nothing to be afraid of, Dad,” I said, hoping my words would comfort. Dad shook his head slowly, trying to let it sink in.
“Well, maybe it was all a dream, but it sure felt real,” he concluded, and lay slowly back against the pillows.
Over the last year of my father’s life, he would smile when we talked about “Mom’s visit.” He wasn’t ready to tell the story himself, but he wanted it told. He wanted to share the joy he felt in knowing his beautiful wife, Elva, wasn’t really gone. He liked to hear us say that she was around him, and would be waiting for him on The Other Side.
Dad became a kinder, gentler man in his final year with us, and I believe it had a lot to do with him relaxing into the inevitable. He’d been ill with emphysema for so many years and by that point had a poor quality of life on most days, struggling to breathe and needing help with the most basic of routines. Dad had lived for so long in fear of leaving Earth for the unknown, in fear of being apart from his Elva, but Mom’s surprising visit on that sunny October morning changed all that.
The following September, his health continuing to fail, Dad made up his mind. He called his family together and said, “That’s it. I’m done here. I’m leaving.”
“Uh…what do you mean, Dad? Where are you going?” asked my brother, Jim.
“It’s time to set up hospice,” Dad said. “I want to be with my Elva.” He pointed to their 40th wedding anniversary photo on the wall of his bedroom.
Hospice was set up that day, and my father was reunited with our mother the next. It was that simple. Dad left us, secure in, and comforted by his own certainty that Mom would be there to take his hand at the moment of his passing, guiding him toward their continued life on The Other Side.
These days, on my way home from work, I still miss my phone calls with Mom and Dad, but I sense their presence, and see their smiling faces in my mind’s eye, side by side in Spirit. We choose each other in love before our lives on Earth, and we can choose to pass back into Spirit through the comfort of that same vital energy. Yes, true love does go on.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone! As always, if you have a story of enduring love across the veil, please share in the comments below.
~In Love and Light, Renee