Although I was aware of God’s presence from the time I was young I didn’t realize He continuously shows us our own personal signs. I saw God in nature when I was growing up on a farm. I heard him in the whisper of tree leaves, the moonlight sparkle on snow-banks and the wondrous sight of a new-born animal.
Then one day I received an obvious personal sign that I now think may have been His way of preparing me for the pain that was to come.
I have been married to my husband, George for many years. We had shared many trials and tribulations over those years. When our two boys were grown, we decided to purchase a small business in hopes of ‘semi-retiring’. We bought a run-down campground in British Columbia. It was a mistake that I looked upon as a learning-lesson. To me, learning-lessons are everywhere, even in mistakes. Instead of a more leisurely, easy life – our workload increased drastically.
My husband had to continue his long-haul driving just to pay the bills. I had to run the campground single-handedly mainly – cleaning bathrooms, laundry rooms and fixing the copious amounts of break-downs in plumbing and hydro that occurred daily. We didn’t have the money to hire professionals. I cut grass, cleaned flower-beds and tried to think of ways to increase income. I had help from a friend – who worked on plumbing and construction even though he led his own very busy life – and for that I will be forever grateful. A special thanks to Al Bentley for all your help. You are truly a perfect example of a good person. I even started a café. That too was a mistake. I couldn’t efficiently run a café and cook – with the ‘dirty’ yard work involved.
There are angels among us…….
Then one day a young man came to the campground. We became friends and he lightened the pressures, making me laugh and he had uncanny business sense. Marc shared his knowledge free of charge. The campground slowly started taking shape and prospering. It wasn’t enough for George to quit working yet, but it started paying for itself. George, for reasons I don’t know and probably never will, chose Marc to be the centre of his frustration and showed a jealousy that was extremely scary to me. When he was home he ranted and raved over a young guy nearly twenty years my junior.
I was again becoming confused with the fights and battles. I had no tools to defend myself, never having experienced this treatment before. I felt nauseated and hurt. I didn’t like being called a liar, I didn’t like the way George was turning something good into something ‘dirty’. I felt close to Marc – somewhat like one of my grown children. I contemplated divorce. I went for counseling. Marc stayed on the campground and talked to me – between counseling and him I learned what respect really meant. I learned not to justify myself and argue or fight to convince another I was telling the truth. I also learned how to respect myself which boosted my self-esteem.
Then my youngest son, Paul, needed another operation. Paul was epileptic and had a brain operation when he was eight. His epileptic attacks stopped for ten wonderful years. Now, at twenty-two, they were back. Paul was living in Calgary with his girlfriend, Brooke. Paul was an amazing boy and learned how to walk and talk three times in his life. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was the most respectful person to his mother. His absolute and unconditional loyalty and love lives in my heart forever.
I had to go to Calgary for his operation. Not trusting most the people around me I asked Marc to look after the campground while I was gone.
George was furious… and so was my daughter who was having some very difficult mental problems as well as drug problems. But she felt I should let her look after the campground. She decided to stay on the campground instead of coming with me to Calgary.
Sent down to us…. from somewhere up above.
I stayed with Paul and Brooke. Paul told me he was afraid. We talked about God. Paul was always religious, even as a child. I asked him if he still had his faith and when he said yes I told him to pray and I would too. God would help him.
George was in Calgary too and staying in his semi-truck which has a bunk. Paul had his operation and it was successful although he couldn’t walk or talk at first. I stayed with him in the hospital as much as I could. Remembering his operation when he was eight – I spent hours coaching him to talk. Within a few days he was repeating the alphabet and then talking slowly. He still wasn’t walking. I continued to stay at Paul and Brooke’s place which was awkward. Neither were concerned about cleanliness and I slept on a mattress in the living-room. However, the worst part was having their two cats climbing all over me throughout the night. I am somewhat allergic to cats and didn’t get much sleep when my eyes watered and I sneezed. I told George and he offered to let me sleep in his semi for the night before I left for home. I was talking to my daughter and Marc on a daily basis to see what was happening on the campground.
They come to you and me…
That night George’s phone woke us up in the early morning hours. I was closest so picked it up. To my surprise it was my daughter who was as shocked to hear my voice as I was hers. She was hysterical and demanded to speak to George. I passed the phone to him but I still heard her screams as she ranted and raved to him about Marc. George only questioned me a little – and I explained that maybe my daughter was high and not overly accurate or coherent. We went back to sleep and I thanked God for having me stay with George that night. If enticed, I fear George might do something drastic. George is a strong man physically and if he ever turned on me physically, I feared for my life.
In our darkest hour…
The following morning as I drove through the mountains – back to the campground – I heard the song “I believe there are angels among us”. This was my first experience in recognizing the signs He sends us every day if we look. It was a fluke I was in George’s truck and had the chance to explain before he allowed anger to build into fury. Since that time I search and distinguish signs from God many times.
I heard a priest once say: If it’s a common belief that all children are born innocent and pure – and also that there is evilness within people – at what point does evil enter and what is it – if not the devil/demon – that enters these people? I found this to be a complex question.