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  • Writer's pictureCarole J. Sluski

The Vision. The Awakening

Early Morning of My Daughter's Funeral Day.

I'd begun this morning like every other: showering, washing my hair, and wrapping it in a turban using a towel. Only, this morning was nothing like any other or any other. Today, I was preparing myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for my daughter's funeral. God, through the comforting presence and loving support of my immediate family and His mother, Mary, had gotten me through her wake. Still, I was dreading this next ceremony that promised to usher in such finality, wondering how I might survive it. I had no idea what would happen because everything in my life, as I had known it just a few days ago, was forever changed.

The evening before, I had thought of nothing except what a tremendous, glorious feeling had come into my body and mind because of Mary's love for one of her children ... me. She had given me such a beautiful gift yesterday, the knowledge that Paula was in Heaven. Once again, I sensed something significant was going to happen. I prepared myself, kneeling on the floor with my hands in prayer, thanking her for the spiritual insight she had given me.

Now, not even twenty-four hours later, I was staring at my reflection in the mirror, asking myself why I was overwhelmed by emptiness when a high-speed motion pic- ture-like vision of my future appeared, and Paula was undeniably absent. "What is happening? How am I seeing this? Why?" I asked, but I knew right away. This vision showed me something of paramount importance. The images conveyed that I was destined to live a long life, causing me feelings of hopeless fear and profound loneliness during some moments.

I saw in this vision days turning into weeks, weeks turning into months, months turning into years, and year after year going by like flashing lights before my eyes. I was scared and became frightened of the time factor; living all those years could be tragic, especially if I could not handle Paula's death.

I knew this vision came to me for a good reason and showed me something essential for my survival. I prayed to Mary because I had faith that I could trust and rely on her. I asked her to help me persevere and live a worthwhile life for the next however many years to come. Most significantly, to me, Paula was no longer alive; she was going to remain absent from my mortal world.

My answer flashed before me, clearly driven by a force of assistance; I am sure it was the Blessed Virgin Mary conversing with my soul. I was told to share my skills, talents, and abilities with the world; and to fill my time doing good things — being involved with people, places, and things worthwhile to me and others in my life. In doing so, my soul will grow in goodness as the years pass by, allowing me the support I need to enter Heaven when I die. For the next thirty years, I had the drive and desire to do just that, no longer wanting to know, "Why?" What I did not see that day were the personal medical problems I would incur as time moved forward. At that time, I was in excellent physical condition and worked out regularly. I had a successful full-time career in industrial sales selling lubricants and chemicals. I was engaged in my position and was the only woman on the sales team. I was in the top quarter in annual sales for many years during my twenty years with the company. That day, I vividly remember thanking the Lord for the abilities and skills I had learned and developed while working. They were going to come in handy, helping keep me busy and mentally healthy following my daughter's death.

From then on, I intended to establish good, god-like solid values and engage myself in worthwhile activities. This meant I needed to be busy at work, and home, using my gifts and creativity, especially with my hobbies. Before this morning, I feared I would start feeling sorry for myself. With Mary's intervention, I began to gain some control over my feelings and emotions and realized I needed to focus on my healing and grow stronger — this was all part of it, and it was a perfect plan for me. I felt better knowing I would follow her guidance and become stronger; I increased my self-confidence and self-worth; all these actions helped me feel so good about myself. I said with all my heart, "thank you, Mother Mary, and thank you, Jesus."

Reflecting on that remarkable morning, I know I acted according to God's will. I prayed for strength to share all the goodness and love in my soul and the gifts the Lord had generously provided me. Because of that vision on the day of Paula's funeral mass and burial, I felt calm and composed; I strongly believed in God. I knew what I had to do if I wanted to live and survive. I had to learn how to fill my time with productive and good things to do. I went to God, and He sent me to His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Right at that moment, my awakening began. I recognized this awakening as the beginning of my true dedication to my faith. I believed what I had experienced at the wake and then the morning of the funeral was two gifts given to me through my request to Mother Mary, who spoke to her Son, Jesus, on my behalf. I asked, "Mary, please help me — help me to find a way to survive. Help me to live."

Simply put, my inner self or intuition may have been guided by the Holy Spirit, showing me the way. I knew I had to help myself and live my life experiences with good values. I had to help myself heal from losing my child. My intervention was to put real positive love into my little spot in the world. I knew that putting good values and deeds out there in the world would benefit me and others; it also benefited my self-esteem and helped me grow in wisdom. If I implement this way of life, my soul will grow in wisdom, and my reward is receiving feelings of joy and happiness.

I saw life differently; I believe the more I give of myself to others, the more love I will add to the world.

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