Blog Post #1
When I was a chid living west of City Park in Pueblo, Colorado our family lived on the very edge of habitation. Our neighborhood was known as West Park because the area was due west of Puebloâ€™s largest park, aptly named â€śCity Parkâ€ť.
Pueblo was a city of about 65,000 people when I was small, but at the time, it was the second largest city in Colorado, surpassed only by Denver. The Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) corporation was at the single largest employer in the state, making steel. At the time, it was the largest steel mill west of the Mississippi River.Â
Pueblo has a very arid climate, and most definitely was a blue collar town. My dad was a teeming crane operator (those big overhead cranes that carry ladels of molten steel). My mom was a psychiatric nurse at the Colorado State Hospital. I had 2 older siblings, and two younger siblings. We all lived in a garage that my dad converted, but it was cramped for 2 adults and 5 children.
We didnâ€™t have a lawn, or even a reliable water supply. Our water had to be trucked in and put in a cistern my dad built. Nor was there sewage service, so until my dad put in a septic tank and leeching field, we had to use the old wooden outhouse on our one acre plot of parched land. Because water was not to be wasted, people in West Park did not have lawns. Some, including our next door neighbor did have horses.
Because both parents worked full time jobs and were gone most of the time, baby sitting was left to my oldest brother. He was ill qualified to care for himself, let alone the rest of us kids. To make matters worse, he also has some mental issues: slow learner, pyromania, anger, and a very troubling fascination with all things dead. He used to drag home dead animals he found and have â€śfuneralsâ€ť for them which we little kids were forced to attend or get beat up.
Because I was the middle child, my parents focus when they were home was either in punishing my oldest brother for setting fires, or coddling my younger siblings. It was up to me to entertain myself.Â
I was a pretty smart kid, I had learned to read before kindergarten, and while I was well behaved, I had little tolerance of my misbehaved siblings, and little tolerance of misbehaved adults. As a result, I deliberately would go into the farthest corner of the back yard and sit in the shade of a neighbors barn. My younger siblings wanted to go with me, but I told them the snakes would probably get them. We really did have our fair share of rattlesnakes. I just wanted to be away from all the ruckus of my siblings so I could be alone with my imagination.
My dads aunt whom I had never met and lived in LaJunta, Colorado 75 miles to the east. She died of old age, and my parents went to her funeral with us kids in tow. However, my parents didnâ€™t want their 5 kids making noise and disrupting the funeral, so we were told to sit in the car outside the church. It was sweltering hot, but we did as we were told.
After the funeral church service there was of course the procession to the cemetery to his Aunts final resting place. I was 4, and had never been to a cemetery, and had no clue what that was. All I knew was that it had tall trees, lovely green grass, and to my eyes, was a park.
As the mourners stood by the graveside my mom was holding my hand. My siblings were 30 yards away laying in the grass and getting cooled off, but luckily, they werenâ€™t being noisy. I didâ€™t know why I had to be the one who couldnâ€™t go lay on the cool grass, which didnâ€™t make me happy, but I kept quiet. I had no idea why all those people were crying at a park.
As I stood there, a rather large lady in a dark blue dress with huge white polka dots kept waving at me, and making funny faces, which made me giggle. My mom yanked my arm and said hush! But the lady kept smiling and waving at me, and I waved back and made a few goofy faces back at her.
Then everyone left, and I never got to lay in the cool grass at that park (cemetery). As we were driving back to Pueblo I asked my mom who the lady was that kept making funny faces at me. I described the lady, and her dress,Â and my mom seemed quite flustered, and told me no such lady was there, so donâ€™t keep asking and blaming the lady for my misbehavior at the cemetery. I still didnâ€™t know what a cemetery was, but I shut up as I was told to do.
Fast forward 20 years, while having a family meal, exchanging family stories, I remembered that day at the funny park with all the big square rocks. I asked my mom if she remembered, and she did. She said that I had described the deceased Aunt whose funeral we were at. She said that she knew I couldnâ€™t have known what the Aunt looked like since I had never met her, and that I described the exact dress the Aunt was wearing in her coffin. My mom knew we were in the car the whole time, and that they made us wait in the car because they didnâ€™t want noise, but also because none of us kids had ever seen a dead person before.
By the time of this family meal and discussion I had been a Christian for about 4 years. I told my mom that I know that was the first time I had seen someone who was dead, but that Christ had risen. I told my mom that the lady (Aunt) seemed extremely happy and joyful, that it wasnâ€™t creepy at all, but ratherÂ my first glimpse of someone going to eternal glory: I just didnâ€™t know that when I was 4 years old.
How I was able to see the Aunt in the same dress she was buried in did puzzle me for a long time. Shouldnâ€™t she have had like pure white, and wings or something? I donâ€™t have that answer. She looked as human and solid as the people she was standing by at her own funeral.Â
I know that the Bible says we will be given a new body and a new name. Maybe God lets us attend our own funeral. I did not see anything that looked like an Angel with her, but I canâ€™t say an Angel wasnâ€™t there.
There are a few reasons for my faith in Jesus Christ and our resurrection, and one of those reasons is my own personal experience with resurrection which I was lucky enough as a child to see with my own eyes.
If you are having doubts about being resurrected I understand. I hope that this true story gives you some comfort, and that you will try to see Jesus Christ through the eyes of an innocent child, and not through the eyes of a jaded adult. If youâ€™ve lost someone, your parents, or a sibling, or someone close to you, take comfort in the knowledge that they are indeed in paradise with Jesus, preparing for the day we are all rejoined in paradise.
May God bless you and comfort you,
Your sibling in Christ our Lord and King
Danny Reynolds (OldGeezer)