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A Grandmother's Influence

    When Cassandra Lockhart was a child, her grandmother Ruth probably had the most influence on her. �She taught me to pray, and was always there to support and guide me,� Cassandra recalls. But when she was sixteen, her beloved grandmother died. Cassandra was angry with God. Why had he taken her grandmother away, especially now as Cassandra was growing into adulthood? There were so many things they could have shared.

    Eventually, Cassandra�s anger subsided, and she began to pray again, especially for Ruth. Was she in heaven? Did she know what was happening to Cassandra here on earth? In answer, something wonderful happened. Cassandra began to dream about her grandmother. �I would have conversations with her in the dreams, just like our real ones,� she recalls. �It was consoling, but of course I knew none of it was real. I assumed I was bringing about the dreams, because I missed her so much.�

    Cassandra married, and became pregnant. �The ultrasound revealed it was a boy, but Ruth appeared in a dream and assured me I would have a daughter,� Cassandra says. Of course it was just her imagination. But Cassandra and her husband chose the name Samantha, just in case.

    It WAS Samantha! And she was in perfect health. But when she came home, trouble started. Samantha wouldn�t sleep, nor did she keep her feedings down. �We went to the doctor several times, but he indicated that the baby was just fussy, and that I was overtired and stressed,� says Cassandra. �I hired someone to help care for her so I could get some sleep, but things grew worse. Samantha continued to choke, vomit and scream, and nothing I did helped.� Ruth occasionally appeared in her dreams, and seemed to be trying to tell her something. But Cassandra could grasp only a fleeting impression, before the baby awakened her again. Oh, how she longed for her grandmother�s nearness, even if it was all in her imagination. Ruth would have known what to do.

    Then one morning Cassandra was working at the sink when she felt a presence in the kitchen, behind her. �I felt such warmth and serenity that I knew my grandmother was there.�

    Ever so softly, she heard Ruth�s voice in her ear. �Cassandra, your child is very sick, with a condition called pyloric stenosis. You must take her to another doctor.� Ruth named the doctor. �I will be with you as long as you need me�� The sense of Ruth was fading now, and slowly Cassandra turned around. The kitchen was empty�and she had never heard of pyloric stenosis---but she knew what to do.

    The doctor Ruth named examined Samantha the very next day, and arranged for immediate surgery. �Pyloric stenosis is relatively simple to fix, but sometimes hard to diagnosis,� he told Cassandra and her husband after the successful operation. �It�s lucky that you came in when you did.�

    Cassandra smiled. It hadn�t been luck at all. Nor had the dreams been simply her imagination. God had shown her that Grandma Ruth was alive, and they would always be vitally connected, through love, memory and prayers.

    � 2001 by Joan Wester Anderson

    For more stories of God's love, visit the website at:www.joanwanderson.com