She waited for the priest to arrive. Her children were crying. They were telling her how much she was loved. They told her how much they would miss her. Her husband wept silently as he held her hand. "I love you! I love you! I'm sorry!" He had been drinking heavily that day. The passengers in the other car were only slightly injured, but her injuries were massive after their car hit the tree. The doctor said she was bleeding internally. She had lost so much blood, they didn't think they could save her.
The police were waiting outside the room to arrest him. As soon as she died, he would be charged with driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide. He'd spend the rest of his life in jail.
He was still drunk when the priest arrived. Father Jake was a good friend. The two of them had grown up together. There were tears in Father Jake's eyes. Pat looked at his wife. She was trying to speak. She whispered something. She wanted to confess. Father Jake sent everyone outside. Pat wanted to stay, but he was not allowed to stay. The police waited in the hallway. Pat's lawyer, another buddy from another day, waited with the police. The officer in charge of the scene approached and read the Miranda Rights to Pat. His eldest son, a man with four young sons, told his father, "I'll never forgive you for this. You deserve what you get."
Pat was handcuffed. He was sobbing. His children turned their backs on him. Stan, Pat's lawyer tried to delay the arrest. The police refused and escorted Pat to another room in the ER to have blood drawn.
Father Jake came out of the room and called the children back in. He told the kids, "it won't be long now, but she's at peace."
Rachel felt no pain. She heard Father Jake tell the children she was at peace. She was very much at peace. All she wanted to do was sleep. She could hear such beautiful music. She drifted deeper into sleep until she found herself floating up from the bed. She saw her body on the bed. It was dark down there. She saw her children crying. She reached out and touched each one of them, and she kissed them. They didn't know she was there. For a moment, she was confused, then she saw the angel! It was her guardian angel! He smiled at her and took her hand. "Your time has come," Rachel. Together they flew into the most beautiful light she had ever seen. There were colors she could not describe. There were more Angels and saints. St Francis smiled at her as she flew through the skies. Earth was no more, but she could hear her children crying. Didn't they know she was all right?
There were gates and roads all around them. The tallest gate was so far away, and she wondered if they'd ever get there. Her angel, Valor, who was named by God Himself took her to a large door. "Don't be afraid," he said. She looked up and saw her life begin. There was much joy in her, and there were many painful places where she had hurt so many people in her younger years. She has committed many sins and she realized how much they had hurt other people and herself: her lack of mercy and forgiveness to others, her impatience, her own drinking had hurt her children. She had much for which she needed to atone. She suddenly understood God's love, mercy and justice. She knew Valor would escort her to Purgatory where her sins would be expiated in the cold, burning fires there. She lead the way for she was anxious to atone for the wrongs she had committed on earth.
She praised the God for whom she longed. This longing was more painful than anything she had felt while she lived. In her earthly body, she could not have endured this pain. She bore it with great courage. She prayed for those whom she had hurt. She begged God's forgiveness. The mist was so dark. At times she saw flashes of light. She knew the Angels were near praying for those they had guarded on earth.
She began to hear Father Jake's voice. She realized that she could see her funeral Mass. Pat was there in shackles and handcuffs. The children wanted nothing to do with him. She prayed for all of them. Why hadn't she prayed while she was still alive? Things would be different. Her own pain increased, but the Mass was sweet balm for her soul. The mist surrounded her again, but it was less than before. She could feel other people near her. She prayed for them.
She felt no passage of time. The only relief she felt from her pain were when Masses were said for her or prayers were whispered for the souls in Purgatory. How she longed for God!
She could finally see an end to the mist. She was in the mist, but it was thinner. She saw Valor past the mist, waiting and smiling.
A beautiful woman came into the mist. She smiled at Rachel and whispered, "Soon you will meet my Son." The longing for God grew more painful. She knew she must wait. A small young boy came forward to the edge of the mist. "Gramma," he said. It was the baby she never got to meet before she died. Her daughter had lost a child. He had died when he had been stung by a bee. They didn't know he was allergic. Her daughter blamed herself and turned from God. Rachel knelt down on hot coals to pray for her family.
When the mist finally cleared, and Rachel, although closer to heaven, was still in Purgatory. She could see into the mist, she saw her husband and all of her children! They still had a ways to go, but soon they'd all be with God. Rachel was granted a vision of earth. There were many changes on earth! She could see the scars of the sins she had committed fading away, and she could see the good she had done growing and helping those on earth.
Rachel longed for God! Valor could now reach out and touch her. He spoke with her. He reminded her that all her sins must be expiated. She found comfort in having Valor so close. She could see the Gates of Heaven. Father Jake was there. He looked beautiful! He had tried so hard to help her family!
The pain was great! She bowed her head and prayed. She looked up. Her grandson, Hunter, was there smiling. "Gramma, Jesus is calling your name!" She saw the Lamb of God and she bowed. His Mother took her hand. "Jesus, my Son, Rachel is home!" There were great shouts of joy as she entered Heaven. "Praise the Father. Praise the Son. Praise the Holy Spirit!" the throngs were shouting. Her parents came to greet her. There was so much to say! God was so good! Everyone was so full of love. She bowed down before the throne of God and began to pray for the souls in Purgatory.
She wondered how long she had been in Purgatory. Valor said, "There is no time, but the children of your great great grandchildren are preparing for heaven. "
Then she heard a child's voice lisp, "I'm going to ask Gramma Rachel to help me get well." The child's mother said, "Who is Gramma Rachel?" The little girl replied, "Mama, do you 'member that lady we saw at the museum? 'Member her picture? That lady was Gramma Rachel. I talked to Jesus so she could go heaven. She'll help me get well."
Rachel turned to the Lamb. "Lord, little Rachel has asked me to intercede. Will You make her well?"
Jesus smiled. He raised His Hand and smiled. "Yes." Soon little Rachel was playing and running. She and her family were praising God. Rachel had been healed. The world was different. The world was new. Praise God they sang! Praise God!