Mar 28, 2010

New Book --When We Were Angels

by Sarah Hinze

This has been a very long process but I am finally finishing my new book When We Were Angels--Remembering Who We Really Are. I framework the collection of stories with an ancient poem, The Legend of the Pearl. This poem describes every man's journey from premortality to earth, finding our treasure(our mission and purpose of life), our pearl, and then bringing it back to the kingdom on our return

Thanks to ANWA I met my dear friend Kathy Fowkes. She has been a rock, a consultant extrodinarre, and a FABulous editor to me. On many occasions when we work together, we feel the spirit guiding us as we have put this thing together.

I would like to share with you an exert from this book, one of my personal stories. This story is actually in the last chapter titled, Returning to the Kingdom--Going Home.

In the summer of 1995, my husband and I filled a speaking engagement in Connecticut. On our return to Arizona, we detoured to the home of my parents in eastern Tennessee for a week. It was not an easy visit. My father was gaunt with lung cancer. Only twice during that time was he able to muster enough strength to walk around his beloved and normally immaculate yard. Now—his time was spent confined to his recliner, the front porch swing, or his bed.

Conversation was tempered by his shortness of breath, yet in Dad’s self-effacing way, it was he who tried to comfort us.

Time raced by, and too soon we had to leave for the airport. Dad, with Mom at his side, bravely made it to the front porch for tearful goodbye hugs. As the car eased north through the shade tunnel of poplars and elms, Dad waved and smiled stoically from that porch of memories, a haven of refreshing evening breezes and cherished visits with relatives and neighbors.

It was the last time I saw my father alive.

In October the hospital became his home, and he asked that I not return until the funeral…our summer visit was the memory he treasured, and he did not want me to see him as an invalid. I honored his request.

Dad grew up in rural Smokey Mountain country. His mother, Naomi, died when he was six years old. He was very close to her and missed her throughout his life. I prayed often that she would come for him when it was his time, knowing how much it would mean to him.

One day I felt his mother Naomi draw near. Her message was, “Your prayers have been heard and granted. Your father has only a few days left on the earth. When he passes over, I promise I’ll be there to greet him.”

Later, Mom called, upset and crying. Dad was losing it, she said. “He’s going crazy, talking to people no one else can see. He looks at the ceiling and talks to his brother, who’s been dead for years. He points to the wall and describes a beautiful place where he’s going and is frustrated I can’t see it. He insists I take him home to pack his luggage. I can’t take it anymore!.”

When she stopped talking, I said, “Mom, Dad’s not going crazy. His loved ones are coming to greet him. The veil is getting thin, and he sees parts of heaven where he is going. He’s trying to share his experiences with you. Please accept his gift.”

What was more amazing was that until now, Dad had never believed in anything spiritual. Mom had always been a spiritual person, though, and was comforted by my words.

The following morning, Dad was gone.

Mom managed okay for about five years, assuaging her loneliness through caring for relatives and neighbors in need. But daily her prayers included the same request: “I’m ready. Please take me home to my Lawrence.”

She told me many times a sacred experience—one night she awoke to see Dad standing in the bedroom doorway. He expressed his love to her and described the home he was building for them in heaven where they would be together again.

When Mom was about eighty, she suffered a stroke. We arranged to bring this lifelong Tennessee girl to live with us in the Arizona desert. What a contrast!

For several months Mom got closer to her grandchildren and great-grand children than ever before. She swam with them in the pool and took short walks with them up and down the cul-de-sac.

But soon Alzheimer’s set in with all its complications. In a few months more, she refused to eat, became weak and eventually comatose and had to be moved to a hospice center.

The day before she died, I was sitting by her bed when I sensed my father’s presence. He stood by the sliding glass door that opened onto the patio.

We communicated mind to mind. He thanked our family for taking such good care of Mom, and was excited about their future in the home he had prepared for her in the spirit world. Just before he left, I asked if he would come for Mom when it was time. He promised me, “You’ll know I came for her, because she will die with a smile on her face.”

I sat with Mom through the night. Early in the morning I left to get my younger children off to school. After they left, as I was about to go back to the hospice, the phone rang—Mom had just passed away.

Strangely, I felt no bereavement, only happiness that my parents were again together. I arrived, parked the van, and rushed to Mom’s room in anticipation. Sure enough, her frail face, expressionless in her coma, was bathed with a contented smile.

At once I sensed Mom and Dad’s presence by the patio doors. They had waited for me to share in their joy! Mom whispered to my mind, “Your dad is so handsome! And I am young and beautiful again, wearing his favorite, a full skirt with a slender waist. I am so happy.”

Then from Dad I heard, “There is a conduit of light by the patio door through which I will take your mother to our home. Loved ones and friends are waiting there in celebration. We want you to speak at the funeral to honor your mother.”

We arrived in Tennessee amid a flurry of funeral preparations, which included the funeral program. But later, at my aunt’s house, I had an impression about the program–Mom could not be honored properly without Dad. She was too much a part of him to have it any other way. I called the funeral home, hoping there was still time to make changes. “Instead of just Mom’s picture on the program,” I asked, “please use the picture of both Mom and Dad, and underneath write the words, ‘Together Forever.’”

They had not yet gone to press and agreed to the change.

The morning after the funeral, we drove through the verdant countryside of the Smokey Mountains to the cemetery, where we laid Dad to rest eight years earlier. Sunshine sparkled through air washed clean by rain. We followed pallbearers and casket across damp grass as we approached the gravesite, and I paused with reverence before the weathered headstone.

Beneath their names were engraved the words, “Together Forever.”

They had prepared the stone with those words long before either of them died. I had forgotten, but they had not.

It was the legacy of The Pearl. Both Mom and Dad overcame the adversity and trials of this life and returned home with honor.


  1. Such a touching story! I loved it and it brought tears to my eyes. Before my dad died, and before he slipped into a comma, he told us his mother, father, and brother (who had recently passed away) had stood by his bedside.

    Knowing there is life after death and that our loved ones are only a step away, brings hope.

  2. Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the fact that you are blogging now for the ANWA blog. Your insight and testimony help strengthen my own. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for sharing that beautiful and tender experience, Sarah. I look forward to reading your entire book! hugs~

  5. Thanks for sharing such a tender story.

  6. Sarah..

    I'm so happy you were able to have this experience with your parents. It's Sacred and very Spiritual.

    While working private duty Hospice over several years, I've been with many as they've gone through the dying process. Each one had loved ones from beyond the veil come to be with them, both "before and as they crossed over" to that higher realm. I've come to understand that no one ever dies alone.

    Each day we live is Gods gift to us.. and what we do with our lives is our gift back to God.

    Thank you for sharing.


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