Miracles News

January-March, 2020

One More Kiss Goodnight

by Rev. Mike Atkins, Ordained Ministerial Counselor

My partner, Mike, died last summer at the age of 56. He was diagnosed with end stage COPD in September of 2009 and told he probably had three to four years left. With a lot of love, and a willingness to explore all options, we were blessed to have ten more years together. It wasn’t easy, but somehow we managed to take care of it all, and I know we both did everything we could.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning up his office and found a notebook on his desk. Inside, there were several pages where he had written down some random thoughts, as if he were brainstorming the problem and trying to figure out what to do. It was all an explanation as to why everything was his fault. There was even a page that said “my fault,” with arrows drawn to every item in a list of problems.

I was very upset when I found this, and I reached out to my spiritual counselor, Rev. Barbara Siegel, who always inspires me to do my best. She suggested that I might write a letter to Mike.

Dear Mike,

Today, I found what you had written in the little yellow notepad on your desk. It breaks my heart to think that you could believe those things about yourself. It’s not true.

You didn’t deserve this, Mike. You didn’t do anything wrong. You were never a burden, and you were not a parasite. You couldn’t take anything from me that I wouldn’t give you. I gave you what I had. That’s all. That’s what it was for. That’s why it was there when we needed it.

You’ve never been anything but good to me. You saved my life, when I didn’t even know that’s what I wanted. The only thing I could ever possibly regret is if we didn’t do everything we could to save yours. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I love you. I’m so grateful for every moment we had together. I don’t regret a single second, and I don’t miss a dime. I miss you.

You are, so far and above, the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you so much. I miss you more than I ever could have imagined. Every day, I still wake up thinking of you, and every night I walk into your room and say “Goodnight, Mike” and “I love you” to an empty bed. Then I bend down to say goodnight to Cooper, because Cooper doesn’t sleep in my room anymore. He sleeps on the floor at the foot of your bed, and spends most of his day guarding the front door, waiting for his best friend to come home.

It’s still so hard for me to believe you’re not just in the other room right now, sitting in front of your computer. It’s strange you’re not there. Nothing is real. It’s like I’m sleepwalking through a bad dream. Months have passed, but I still don’t know what to do without you. The house is too quiet, and you’re not here anymore. That wasn’t supposed to happen for a long time. I don’t wish for things. But I have confessed to God in prayer, many times over these past few months, that I would give anything just to hear your voice again.

A few days ago, while I was in the middle of a run, I was suddenly aware of pressure around my forearm right above my wrist, which, after just a few seconds, slid down into my hand, and I felt your hand in mine. I stopped and grabbed my wrist and froze, staring at my hand. It wasn’t your voice, but I knew it was the comfort I had asked for. Overcome with joy and relief, and with tears in my eyes, I began thanking you and God and Holy Spirit, loudly and profusely. I’m sure it was quite the sight, but that didn’t matter. Feeling blessed and reassured on so many different levels, peace and happiness were with me, and the rest of the day was a very good day.

That same night, I lay in bed and cried and asked Spirit to please let me hear your voice again if He could.

I was so confused and disappointed. I felt broken. I didn’t understand how I got back to the tears. There was something wrong with me. How could I be feeling this pain again, mere hours after a miraculous healing experience? It was hopeless. I remember thinking, “This is not getting any better,” and then everything stopped.

Just like that, the pain was gone, and I was calm and got very quiet. I closed my eyes. I thought of your hand holding mine. This perfect gift I’d been given. An answer to my prayers. What more did I want? What was I asking for? And then it came to me; “Why the voice?”

As soon as I heard the question, I knew the answer was because I wanted to hear you say that everything was going to be okay. I knew I was just making the same old mistake again. I believed I knew, all on my own, exactly what would bring me peace, and I was insisting on having it my way. I was blind. You held my hand. What could I be unsure of anymore?

The answer came again, and it surprised me: I’m not. That’s why I’m here. I’ve agreed to salvation and that’s why I’m experiencing it. So now I see a world where “all things are lessons God would have me learn.” Sometimes it’s most helpful to repeat lessons. That’s okay. It’s all part of His Plan. It’s all practice, and everything I experience can only bring me closer to the truth. Whenever I pay attention, I can see this is true.

My path seems very difficult to me at times. I’ve got a lot of company. We all have help that cannot fail. I think back now on all the miracles I’ve received throughout my life. So many of them could be dismissed as coincidence, I suppose. But just the other day, you held my hand. I’m sure that can be explained away as well, but it would be a much harder sell.

The world says you’re gone, but you’re still lighting my way. You’ll always be there for me somehow. You’ve shown me that love can never die. That you did do. That is the truth; I am so grateful to know that you’ll remember that, and not something you wrote down at, what almost certainly was, the worst possible time. As always, you deserve nothing but all my love and appreciation, and that you will have forever. And when my time comes, I’ll think of you, and I’ll be able to close my eyes with a smile and know that everything’s going to be okay.

Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you.

Rev. Michael Atkins, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister in Georgetown, Texas. Email:mea35tx@hotmail.com

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