St. Petersburg, FL
This Cross came to me via a chaplin at the Suncoast Hospice Woodisde facility.
As my 51 year old little brother lay on his deathbed succumbing to the ravages of cancer I asked for a chaplin to come into the room to pray for my brother with me, my nephew and a family friend.
As my brother lay close to death, the chaplin prayed with us and then engaged us in conversation. He asked about my brother Michael, what kind of man he was and where he stood on matters of faith. He also asked us about ourselves and our relationships with Michael.
I told him of how Michael and I had moved in together two years prior to stand together through difficult times as we both weathered a long period of unemployment. During that time I had come to rely on my brother’s emotional strength. While never one who overtly paraded his faith, he did have a strong belief in God and prayed regularly for strength and help.
Having spent the better part of my adult life progressing from an athiest to an agnostic to some one who was just unsure about it all, I found myself compellingly drawn to Michael’s unfailing belief and surety of knowledge that God is real and hears our prayers.
Before Michael’s condition had progressed to a point where he could no longer interact with people he had taken me by the hand, stared hard into my eyes and reminded me that I shouldn’t worry because “I’m in tight with the Big Man upstairs. He looks out for me and HE LOOKS OUT FOR YOU TOO”.
As a result of Michael’s constant reminders of the power of prayer while we had struggled together to keep our head’s above water, I had found myself praying to a God I had never wanted to belive in before. Feeling as though I had no right to ask any boon of God I prayed simply for the “guidance to find the right path”.
I know now that God revealed that path to me while I maintained my vigil at Michael’s deathbed. The Hospice chaplin offered me this Cross to aid me in my journey toward opening my life to God’s presence.
My brother Michael passed into God’s open arms on August 1, 2011.
He is greatly missed, but I take comfort in the knowledge that he is suffering no longer and now resides in Heaven with the Lord. My prayers to have the right path revealed to me were answered in full.