Her Name Was Ann
A gift to remember and cherish
Her Name Was Ann
Ann lived a short distance from our house. She and her husband moved to the neighborhood from the southern part of the state where she had worked in a factory and he as a heavy equipment operator. Now retired, they spent their time caring for their home. They had no children and were deeply devoted to each other.
Plain looking and soft spoken, Ann had the proverbial heart of gold. Her graying hair was not stylishly fixed, as was the fashion of the day.
Each year she raised a beautiful circular flower garden with a birdbath in the center surrounded by colorful petunias. The garden prospered from Ann’s tender care.
The two were always nearby to lend a helping hand where one was needed. Appearing on a summer’s evening to visit for a time, there was always a willingness to help us plan our lives with an offer to help in any way they could.
Ann unwittingly helped me to acquire a taste for sauerkraut. I could never abide the bitter taste no matter how I tried. One day, I stopped by her house and the wonderful aroma in her kitchen caused me to inquire as to what she was cooking. Her answer was sauerkraut. I shared with her my utter dislike for that food. Ann suggested I should add brown sugar and a couple of quartered apples to the sauerkraut as it cooked. What a difference that combination made.
Perhaps there’s a lesson here. It may be the lack of something that causes bitterness while the addition of something changes bitterness to sweetness and gives us a new appetite for life.
One day I was told Ann was in the hospital for stomach surgery. The results were not good. She had cancer and nothing could be done.
She came home to spend her remaining days in her own bed in her own home, surrounded by things and people she loved. By this time, Ann was in her late sixties.
Life for me, at that time, had been completely turned around by the joy and knowledge of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible was exciting and scripture was leaping off the pages of the Bible, as it had never done before. I prayed incessantly for Ann’s healing. I had faith and prayed for more faith and more understanding and always for the complete healing of Ann’s body.
Time passed and the healing was not evident, I searched scripture for more information. There were many passages for guidance. 1Thess.5: 27 “pray without ceasing”.
The disciples asked Jesus why they had not had a healing for someone by praying for them. Jesus responded; Matthew 17.21 “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Further in Mark 9:29, He said to them “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting”.
For the first and only time in my life, I fasted and prayed without ceasing for 24 hours. The fasting directed complete attention to the prayer, to Ann, and to the Spirit of God.
I was confident that she would be healed. She was not. A few weeks later, Ann died. I questioned God, my faith, and myself.
Ann was a devout Catholic. Her funeral was held in the local Catholic Church and our family sat in the back of the church quietly observing the unfamiliar funeral rituals.
I was sad for the loss of my friend, Ann, and the words of the service fell on closed ears and a heavy heart.
Suddenly I was amazed as I felt a great feeling of joy welling up within me. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge being given to me that Ann was healed. She was in heaven. The promises of God were fulfilled. “I go to prepare a place for you. Where I am you will be also.”
Ann was healed and she was in heaven!
The Holy Spirit was giving to me the knowledge of her healing and the confirmation of her new life as a gift.
It is a gift I will remember and cherish all the days of my life.
A Gift To Be Shared
One treasures the people in life that made a difference in how we lived then and now.
I would not have identified Ann as such an important person, until my experience at the time of her death.
I now believe that God called me to Ann’s friendship so that He could show me
It’s hard to explain the feelings I experienced the day of Ann’s funeral.
It was instant and intense and oh so joyful.
I’ve tried to share my feelings with friends and family, but there is no way to convey the intensity of the joy I felt as I sat quietly in the back row of an unfamiliar church during an equally unfamiliar funeral service. Maybe that was part of God’s plan too.
Belief in Ann’s healing and belief in life after life in a perfect state of being will never change.
It truly is a gift to be shared.