In an earlier blog, I gave a tease about what happened today around the movie Heaven Is Real. I will describe now why I think this was so weird. It’s been five weeks since Shayna passed and we have been looking for signs that she is still here. Yesterday I listened to a podcast by a woman who heads a group who actually prays for signs from our deceased loved ones. I joined the Facebook group and made a post asking for prayers of peace and comfort for Kayla, for Ty and for me. I don’t know what my expectations are about signs. I think they are given to people who need them and while I want them I can’t say I need them. My expectations are low- or have been.
I have made a commitment to live more by intuition and in the moment. During a podcast a few days earlier I heard about the movie Heaven Is For Real. It sounded interesting and I found it was available on Redbox. Something was telling me to watch the movie. This wasn’t just “Put it in your queue”. This was almost urgent. I had to see it this week. Well, now I know if you put off till tomorrow what you can do today, tomorrow will not come for some of us. So, I told Ty we were going to watch the movie Friday night. Friday came and we watched Selma instead (it was only a buck to rent on iTunes). On Saturday (today) I am determined we are going to watch the movie today. We are meeting friends for music and dinner at 7, so it will have to be during the day. I get up, get my stuff done and set out to get the movie. I drive to the nearest Redbox and they are out of the movie. No problem. There is a CVS a mile down the road. No one ever uses that Redbox. I hit up my Redbox app. Not only is the CVS out of the movie, every Redbox I normally go to is out of it. The closest place is a Kroger store that is over 20 minutes away and I don’t even know exactly where it is. I’m on a mission now though. I plug the address into Waze and off I go.
As I am coming around I-275 going towards I-75 (always a traffic mess), I notice there is a traffic problem on I-75 South that has traffic backed up onto I-275. Screw it. I guess it wasn’t meant for me to see the movie today. I’m going to get off an exit before I hit the traffic jam and just go home. As I’m trying to get over to the right hand lane to get off I’m blocked. I end up going past the exit I wanted to get off on. Now, I might as well get the movie. So, what are you trying to tell me intuition/universe/God? Is the message I should get the movie because I’m feeling that or should I give up since you seem to be blocking me?
Anyway, I get the movie. It’s getting late. We barely have time to watch it before we have to get dressed to go out. I tell Ty I’m watching it now. She and Kayla (surprisingly) join me. It’s a good thing Kayla did, as you’ll see in a minute.
We watch the movie and one of the big parts of the movie is the kid sees Jesus in heaven, but he keeps saying Jesus doesn’t look like any of the paintings he has seen of Him. Then one day, his father is looking at a painting by Akiane Kramarik (a prodigy who did this particular painting at the age of 12) and says “That’s him. That’s what Jesus looks like.” After the movie is over, I share with Ty and Kayla that I knew the work of Akiane. I had seen her on TV several years ago and looked up her paintings, which are amazing. Now, I cannot recall whether I shared that with Kayla and Shayna at the time or not. I don’t know how long ago it was. Kayla Googles her and starts looking at some of her work. Suddenly, I notice Kayla’s face went (how do I describe this?), well she looked startled. Kayla is very expressive and I’ve known her all her life, so I know how to read her. I could tell she was trying not to show what she was feeling, but it was coming through anyway. She was trying to stay calm, but she was almost frantically trying to make the image bigger on the iPad. I said “Are you all right sweetie?” She nodded yes, but she didn’t speak. I asked her what was wrong. She turned the iPad to me and it was a picture of a white church surrounded by beautiful flowers. Akiane had painted it as an image of heaven. Kayla barely got out the words “I’ve been here.”
We asked her what she meant. She told us that when she had one of her visits with Shayna, after Shayna’s passing, they had gone to a white church. Kayla told us about this visit before so she was not making this up on the spot. Kayla said the church was not surrounded by flowers as it is in the painting. She did not think it was heaven. She thought it was in Italy- presumably from the architecture. Kayla and Shayna had a conversation in that church. Kayla is visibly shaken. Her hands are trembling. I start to cry (I do that a lot now). There is something going on with Kayla and Shayna. I tell her don’t be afraid. This not a bad thing.
Now rational engineer Brian kicks in. I knew about Akiane and I have looked at her works. That painting that Kayla says was in her vision was not familiar to me though. I cannot swear I haven’t seen it, but I only remember works of people, not of landscapes. I’m pretty sure I have not seen it. I remember the Jesus painting vividly. And I do share a lot with the girls. So, it’s possible I showed that painting to Kayla and Shayna, but it would have been many years ago. Kayla has a memory like an elephant, often recalling events that none of us can remember from years ago. She says she has never heard of Akiane though or seen any of her work. So, it’s possible that I showed that painting to Kayla years ago and neither of us remembers, but it’s not likely given that Kayla remembers almost everything, especially art work. Also, why did that particular painting come back to her in that vision with Shayna just a couple of weeks ago? And, I know she was in some white church in her dream/vision because she told us before we watched the movie, days so. So, seeing the image yesterday didn’t retroactively plant that in her mind.
That is just too much be all coincidence.