Article initially printed in the Spring 2005 AA-EVP NewsJournal
Martha Copeland – All Rights Reserved
Continuation of Signs from Cathy
Yesterday at my Buford Presbyterian Church, in Buford, Georgia, I met a couple whose son had been killed two weeks earlier in an automobile accident. They told me that he was already sending them “signs” from beyond to comfort them.
It is so important to pay attention to “signs” that our loved ones send to us from spirit. Just today, while searching through photo albums for pictures to insert in this book, I found a “sign” from Cathy. It was an album she had made for my fiftieth birthday party entitled, “The Way it was.” It contained all the important facts and events from the 1950s, along with photos of me when I was a baby up to my present life. One thing that really struck me in this album was her dedication page. It read: “My dedication goes to my mom, Martha Pierce Copeland.”
Hope is the destination that we seek,
Love is the road that leads to hope
Courage is the motor that drives us
We travel out of darkness into faith
-The Book of Counted Sorrow
How very strange to be reading these words now. Although going through the old photo albums made me sad, perhaps this is Cathy’s “sign” for me to continue on and have faith in what the future holds.
“Tears in Heaven”
Today I was riding in the car, listening to the CD of music we had played at Cathy’s funeral. Each song was chosen for a specific story in her life, and each one usually brought tears to my eyes. When Eric Clapton came on singing, “Tears in Heaven,” I remembered the first time I heard it.
Cathy was about ten years old, and we were living in Okinawa Japan, on the military base. Two of the children she often played with were twins, a girl and a boy, Shane and Shannon. One day while Cathy was playing with them, Shane was hanging upside down by his knees from a tree limb, hitting at the girls as they rode by on their bicycles. Something caused him to lose his grip, and he fell to the ground. His head hit the curb. Cathy came running home and said, “Mom, I think Shane is dead.” He was taken to the hospital where he died shortly from his injuries.
The day of Shane’s memorial service, Cathy had picked up her room, making it spotlessly clean. This was unusual for our girl, whose bedroom floor was rarely seen. We went to the service and joined the grieving family and friends of this young boy. The song, “Tears in Heaven,” was too poignant and left everyone weeping as we said goodbye to Shane.
We had been home from the service a few hours when cars started pulling up in front of our house, and parents let out their children. At least thirty children had shown up, and Cathy was at the door greeting her friends. Even Shane’s twin sister Shannon was there. When I asked what was going on, she informed me, “Mom, I told them that you were going to have a séance and bring Shane back to talk to us.” I was stunned and told her that I was absolutely not going to do that.
Cathy glared at me, grabbed her Ouija board and stormed off to her room, closing the door behind her after the many kids piled inside. While my “little psychic” was in there, I glimpsed Shane in our living room. He was wearing a blue and white striped shirt with cut-off jeans.
Cathy later reported that she and her friends had asked some questions of her board, and had gotten some “yes” answers, which helped them believe that they had contacted Shane. This must have helped the grieving process for these youngsters, who needed a chance to say goodbye to their little friend. I asked Cathy what Shane had been wearing at the time of his accident. She described his outfit just as I had seen in my living room.
“Would you know my name … if I saw you in heaven?” As I listen to these plaintive phrases sung by a man who was a grieving parent, I know the answer to the question he poses. I know without a doubt that we will recognize our loved ones when we get to the Other Side. Still, this thought does not stop the tears I have here and now.