The Lady in Lace

With a faltering marriage and intermittent health problems, I was feeling emotionally drained and spiritually abandoned. My quest for healing and wholeness in body, mind, and spirit seemed, ironically, to be tearing my life apart.

Becoming weaker and weaker over a period of months, I had to pry myself out of bed to take care of my family and home. As one diagnostic test after another showed that everything was normal, I certainly began to question the meaning of that word!

One Sunday afternoon as I lay on the bed, exhausted and sick, hot tears filled my eyes. Feeling totally alone, it seemed that I was completely unable to change anything in my life. As I drifted into a half-dream state, I prayed for courage, for the strength to endure with my sanity intact until some answers came. Some of the emotional pain subsided, and I found myself drifting, floating on a cloud over a beautiful field of wildflowers. It was lovely, and in that moment, I felt safe and peaceful.

I suddenly realized I was on the ground, sitting among the flowers, watching a woman in white approaching from a great distance. I was filled with anticipation and curiosity as the woman moved toward me quickly and effortlessly and then stopped about five or six feet from where I sat. She wore the most beautiful long, white, high-collared lace dress, and her long hair was pulled back softly from her face.

I looked deeply into her eyes. Somehow I knew her, but from where? She smiled with such depth of love and tenderness that my heart swelled within me, and I wept, feeling the tears soak my face.

“Who are you?” I asked. Her answer unfolded in my awareness without a single word being spoken. She was my grandmother!

The beautiful woman before me was my mother’s mother, who had died in an influenza epidemic when Mother was barely six months old. She smiled again when I asked her why she had come to me. Speaking directly to my heart and soul, my grandmother explained to me that I was going through a uniquely feminine experience, something that is part of the emotional and spiritual lives of all women, the phase of a woman’s life that often brings great pain and suffering.

She said that my own healing of this passage would bring healing to the other women of my earthly family. I knew then that, as I endured the process and eventually healed myself, my daughter and future granddaughters would be able to move through this time with much greater ease.

Grandmother wanted me to know that I was not alone and that, just as she had watched over my mother, she had always been with me and would always be watching over me. I learned that day that I came from a lineage of women of spiritual strength and presence. Understanding that I had within myself the strength and ability to endure and bring healing to myself, I knew that I would grow from it and be able to help the women who would come after me. This passage, successfully navigated, would greatly enhance my own spiritual and emotional journey toward wholeness, as well as that of succeeding generations.

Returning to full consciousness a minute later, I felt as though I had slept in Grandmother’s healing embrace. Tears of gratitude and awe flowed through me.

The following year, when visiting my parents, I asked about my grandmother. My mother got out the one surviving photograph of her mother. It shows my grandmother at her wedding, radiant in her long, white, high-collared, lace dress, her long hair pulled back softly from her smiling face.

(Published in a collection of stories compiled by Lee Lawson (copyright 2000) in a work titled: VISITATIONS from the afterlife, True Stories of Love and Healing – published by HarperCollins books. Chapter 13, pages 197-198)

Follow-up:

I was diagnosed several months later with overlapping conditions. The diagnosis came just in time to prevent me from becoming comatose and was treatable with short-term heart medication and a diet specific to my biological needs at the time.

This experience led me into a more balanced and healthy lifestyle, which I live to this day. The doctor and nutritionist who led me back to health taught me to recognize and prevent further such episodes. Today I live without prescription medications and am healthier and stronger than ever. My gratitude for them is without limit.

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