20: Everett’s Play Date

20: Everett’s Play Date

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven

Everett’s Play Date

Grandfathers are just antique little boys.

~Author Unknown

One of my father-in-law’s greatest joys was spending time with his infant great-grandson Everett whenever we could make a trip to California or have them visit us in Virginia. In his eighties, Dad spent countless hours singing to the little guy pressed gently against his chest or reading him great adventure stories.

Sadly, Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer with only a few months to live. He spent his final days at home with his wife Flora where we kept him as comfortable as possible. Still, he missed his buddy Everett more than anything, looking forward to the nightly calls from California with updates on Everett’s growth and development.

“He’s smiling a lot more now, Grandpa. You’d get a kick out of the fact that he actually seems to recognize the songs you introduced him to,” our daughter shared over the phone one evening.

Too weak to even hold the cell phone now, Dad nodded in reply as I held the phone to his ear.

My husband and I took turns spending the night at our in-laws’ apartment. I slept between the two bedrooms where I could hear either adult in case they needed anything.

Around three o’clock on a cold February morning, the angels arrived, taking Dad home to heaven at last.

We telephoned family members the following morning, including our oldest daughter Autumn and family in California.

“Grandpa passed away,” I heard a choked voice from somewhere inside say.

“I know,” our daughter Autumn replied. “It was around three in the morning, right?”

“But I don’t understand! How could you possibly know that?” I asked.

“At 3 a.m. I was awakened by your grandson giggling in his crib. I crept into his room, finding him smiling across the room at the chair in the corner where he and Grandpa used to share their play dates together. Prisms danced across the ceiling and around the room before disappearing. Everett was having a final play date with Grandpa, there’s no doubt in my mind.”

None in mine either…

Thanks for the memories, Dad. Everett won’t ever forget you… and neither will we.

~Mary Z. Whitney

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