35 – Searching for Answers – Answering Questions

It was almost noon when Joe had managed to get everyone out of Tom’s room. Ann and Sarah had asked Jill and Randy out to lunch and Tom had made a point to ask Joe if he could stick around for a while. The plan was moving forward. Joe and Tom had waited only a few minutes when Joe looked out the window and could see Paul and Greg drive into the parking lot. If was only a couple minutes when the door opened and they walked into Tom’s room. Tom smiled as Greg walked over to his bed and asked how he was feeling. Oh I think I am on the mend and I’m feeling much better today. They have taken a lot of the pain med’s away and I am starting to feel more like myself. However, when I looked in the mirror this morning and from what I could see, I wasn’t sure why I was feeling as good as I am. So yes I am feeling better and looking forward to getting out of here and going home. Joe motioned to Paul saying; I have something I need to give you Paul. Maybe we should go get it before I forget again, if that’s ok. You guys go ahead, replied Greg. I’ll stay with Tom and when you get back we’ll go catch that lunch Paul and you should join us if you want Joe. I’m buying. Ok, we’ll be back in a couple minutes, replied Joe.

Paul and Joe left the room and once they were outside the door, Joe told Paul thanks for the help. So what’s up anyway? Well Tom wanted to talk to Greg alone so I told him I would see if we could make that happen. And you pulled it off. Well it must be something special for Tom to want to talk to Ann’s dad by himself replied a curious Paul. You could say that, added Joe as he nodded his head in agreement. I would tell you more, but Tom made me promise to keep it to myself until he is ready to talk to everyone.

Tom looked at Greg with a smile and started out by saying; it has been so great that you have helped my mom and dad out and let them stay at your place. I know how much they appreciate it. You are a special dad and Ann loves you guy’s for everything you have done and how you have been here even for me. Well Tom, you are very special to Ann and that makes you special to us also. We feel like you are a part of our family. You have both always made me feel welcome Greg. You know, I have something I have been thinking about and I wonder if I could ask you your opinion? You know you can Tom. What’s on your mind? I will do my best to answer it. Well… I am not really sure how to ask you other than to just say it. I really love Ann. She is the greatest and we have been dating for a couple years now and I would like to ask if it would be ok with you if I asked Ann to marry me? Greg stood silent for a few seconds and then smiled at Tom and said nothing would make me happier. Tom began to glow a little like a part of him just healed up faster than the doctors would have anticipated. Greg walked over to Tom’s bed and carefully shook his hand and said welcome to the family. Let me know what her answer is, but I think I already know. Just then Paul and Joe who had been waiting outside the door walked back in to see Tom and Greg with big smiles on their face. Tom gave Joe a thumb’s up as he continued to grin his special Tom grin.

Still smiling Greg said, ok, with that out of the way, I think we need to grab some lunch and get me back to the office. Only so much excitement a man can take in one day. Paul looked at Tom and then Joe saying so now I know what the big secret was all about. Congratulations Tom. Joe looked at Greg and asked if he could get a rain check on the lunch. I would like to stay here with Tom for a while. You sure can Joe. Just let me know when you want to go. Maybe sometime after Tom is out of here added Greg. We could all go together. That sound great replied Joe.

Paul and Greg made their way towards the parking lot when Greg looked at Paul and asked; did you know anything about this? Not a chance. I only knew Tom wanted to see you for something. Joe wouldn’t tell me any more than that and I still wanted that lunch so it was easy as long as you were up to it. Well we need to have a good one my friend. You want to go to the Pub? Sounds great replied Paul.

Tom looked over at Joe and smiled saying thank you my good friend. You always come through for me. Hey, Sarah told me you had some other news for me. Care to tell me about it? I sure am if you are ready for it. I am never really ready to hear your tails Tom, but I always enjoy them, so fire away.

Well Joe, I died the day of the accident! I died twice! You what replied Joe with a look on his face that told a story of its own. What are you talking about? Well while I was in the ambulance on my way to the hospital, I was watching as the paramedic was working on me to restart my heart. I could see how hard he was working and heard him when he told the driver to speed it up he was losing me. Then he got those paddles out and before I know it I was laying there on the gurney looking at him as he was hooking up another IV and giving updates to the emergency room nurse that was on the speaker phone with him. After we arrived, they rushed me into the emergence room and they were working on me to stop all the bleeding and checking me over to see what else was broken when I it happened again. I was standing off to the side while everyone was scrambling around and the doctors were hollering out orders. They worked frantically to restart my heart while others continued to work to stop the bleeding. I watch for a little and then left the room and walked down the hallway to find Ann. I could see how much she was hurting but at that point I had no pain at all and just wished she could be with me. I waved at her from the doorway trying to get her attention but she couldn’t see me. Then things changed and I was gone.

A bright light sucked me up and everything was moving at warp speed as the images blurred by me and before I knew it I was standing in one of the most peaceful places I have ever seen. I remember just standing there looking around not knowing where I was. It was beautiful and I wanting to explore everything. Then I heard someone call out my name. I turned and looked in the direction it came from and could see someone I thought I recognized. Then he said my name again and that is when I recognized him. It was my Grandfather. He looked different than I remembered but it was really him.  He was much younger looking. Like a picture I had seen in my mother’s scrap book. I walked over to him and he gave me the biggest hug. I asked him where we were and he said this is heaven but there is so much more. He told me he was told I was coming and he was waiting for me. Joe, everything was so peaceful. We talked for a while about things and the other’s around us were doing small task and enjoying the beauty. I can’t totally explain it. I keep searching for words that would do justice but I think it is something beyond our human words. Tom, I am confused. I didn’t know you had… I know Joe. Grandpa told me he knew it when I did it at the church. I just closed my eyes while we were all sitting there and asked Jesus into my life, told Him I needed a lot of help and told him I was sorry for all the bad things I had done. I wanted what you had. I could see the difference it had made for you. Wow, Tom! You know I felt a little different after that Tom added. Something changed. I could feel it.  I wanted to tell Ann but didn’t know how or when. Then we decided to head to the Pub and I knew you and Sarah would be there, so I figured I would tell all of you at the same time and then that car hit us and you know the rest of that story better than I do. Well what else did you see Tom? Did your grandfather tell you anything else, Joe energetically asked wanting to know more about Tom’s visit to heaven? And your back here, what happened? Well Grandpa and I talked about a lot of things. He told me how happy he was and how great he felt. He kept tell me, you won’t believe what all is here. You are going to love it. I told him I was sorry for giving him such a hard time about God. He just told me he was happy that I figured it out and that no one worries about things from the past up there. He looked at me and said; Tom, I’m as fit as a fiddle. That’s when he introduced me to another one of his friends that had walked up. He told me he was there to let me know it wasn’t my time yet. That I had things I needed to take care of back on earth. I told him I didn’t want to leave but he told me that Ann needed me and that our baby boy needed me also. He told you what? Tom, are you telling me he told you that Ann was going to have a baby – a baby boy? Yes Joe. It was incredible. Grandpa told me he would see me again someday and to tell mom and dad he said hi and that he was doing great. Then the next thing I knew I was back in the operating room looking at myself lying on the table and that’s when I heard someone say – he’s back and I was no longer standing off to the side. I could again feel the pain as they continued to check me over and that is when my lights went out. I don’t remember anything until the singing in my room started. Ann told me what you did and … Tom, this is incredible interrupted Joe. Does Ann know all of this? I told her most of it but not a lot about the rest of my conversation with Grandpa and not too much about the beautiful life we have waiting for us when we leave this crazy world. I am not sure how to explain it. I am still searching for the words to use. Joe, I keep remembering a little more but we need to tell …

Sarah and Ann walked back into Tom’s room and could see the expressions on the faces of Tom and Joe. Ok, I take it you told Joe about what happened to you questioned Ann. Sarah walked towards Joe and smiled as Joe quickly commented; is this what you couldn’t tell me? Yes it is and it took all of me not to spill it before Tom had a chance to talk to you!

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