Our Christmas Miracle ~ Christmas 2000
(a true story)
Let me tell you about the snowy Christmas Day that we were blessed by a healing visit from a true Christmas Angel and the miracle that she blessed us with. We now know that miracles do happen and that if you are open to receiving, they can come at any time! I give you a little background, so you can understand the blessing we received that day! Dave was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung and bone cancer. Radiation 5 days a week and once a week Chemotherapy treatments had been leaving him quite drained.
The Doctors have not been able to tell Dave how much time he had left, so we are looking at an optimistic ten year plan, yet at the same time taking care of his affairs. Many people have been offering us their healing advice. We have gotten suggestions ranging from jumping up and down on a trampoline to this very healing Essiac Tea! Because the cancer in the spinal column has deteriorated Dave’s top three discs, we have decided not to go the trampoline route! Due to a near-death experience a number of years ago, Dave has a good connection to Spirit and has been able to sift through all the well meaning suggestions and take what works best for his healing.
Now back to the story. Because both radiation and chemotherapy treatments deplete the white blood cells that help fight infection, if Dave gets sick, he wouldn’t have the ability to fight off the infection. It would be silly to die of pneumonia while healing his cancer! We all know that not only is Christmas a time of sharing love, it is also known as a time of sharing germs (especially from the wonderfully loving children in the family). Now don’t get me wrong, I love the little ones, yet we decided that Christmas with the family was not in our best interest this year. I knew that I probably could of gone myself, but I really didn’t want to leave Dave alone for Christmas Day. As the 6 hour round trip and few hour visit would take most the day, I made plans to go down the day after Christmas. Most of the family would still be there, but all the extra visitors would not. This was the first Christmas in my 39 years that I had missed!
Now family guilt, self inflicted or not, is one of the worst types. I called a number of times through the day and with all the "We miss you!" and "We are running behind schedule, you always keep us on track!", the guilt kept piling on! About 5pm, Christmas night, the phone rang. Now, I get a lot of clients calling for appointments, so on days I am not working, I usually screen my calls. For some unknown reason, this time I just automatically picked up the phone.
"Hi Cindy" said the unidentified voice. As she kept talking I recognized the English accent as this very sweet massage therapist that specializes in Tai Massage. "Have you ever heard of Padre Pio?" I told her that I had visited Padre Pio’s when I made a trip to Italy. I knew that Padre Pio was born in the late 1800's and was the only 20th century person that had received the stigmata, the wounds that Christ had experience on the cross. He lived until the 1960's. Padre Pio was known for his compassion and healing works. He also was known to bi-locate (be in two places at once). It is documented where during the second world war, the air force was going to accidentally bomb an area that was occupied by allies. The fighter pilots reported a monk appearing in the air, in front of the plane, motioning for them to go back. They were so scared that they did go back and the disaster was averted! She then asked me if I had heard about the healing miracles that happened around a glove of Padre Pio’s. This I was unaware of. She offered to put another woman on the phone to tell me about it.
The woman had a very sweet and calming voice. It turns out that she is a local television personality, known for her beauty inside and out. She started to tell me about Padre Pio’s glove. It seems when the priest that used to be a custodian of Padre Pio in Italy returned to his parish in Brooklyn, New York, he was given two of the gloves that Padre Pio had worn to keep the blood from the Stigmata wounds from dripping on the floor. These gloves were considered a sacred object and known to have healing properties. There were multiple stories of how the glove had healed the parishioners of this Brooklyn church. One thing that helps support this claim is the uncanny and beautiful rose scent that emanates from the glove. It grows stronger and weaker, yet is always present.
She continued to tell me that the Priest kept one glove for himself and gave one to his sister. The sister felt that it really should be available for all to benefit from. She figured that the parking lot attendant knew everyone from the parish, so he would be the best guardian for the glove. The glove shares a box with a sheet that came from Padre Pio’s bed, a book that people write to Padre Pio in and one of those famous double image pictures of Padre Pio that changes as you tilt the picture from side to side! The Parking attendant’s little booth used to be a shrine to Frank Sinatra, but now Frank shares his glory with Padre Pio! The Attendant gives the Box full of healing goodies to who ever needs it. There is a waiting list which the woman on the other end of the phone had some how gotten on and so now, on Christmas eve, she had received the glove for two whole days! Our English friend had told her about Dave’s cancer and she had called to see if Dave would like to touch the miraculous glove.
Well, Dave was tired from a visit earlier in the day and when I mentioned that, the woman kindly offered to come to us. Now, for those of you that don’t know where we live, it is known as Windy Hill! Our place used to be a cross country ski resort on top of a high hill that is often buffeted with lake effect snow. We were currently getting hit with a snow storm. The land lord was out of town so the drive hadn’t been plowed. She still was willing to make the trip! We gave her directions and, an hour and a half later, via cell phone, we guided her into our hard to find driveway!
The stranger arrived, covered with snow and bearing a canvas tote. We sat in our living room and she pulled out a wooden box with a little picture of Padre Pio on the top. She gently opened it and took out the picture, a little book and then gently brought out the glove. At first I was surprised. It was a little tiny brown glove with no fingers in it. It looked like a glove you would see on a homeless person. The funny thing to me was that it was so simple. You would think it would be ornate or at least a little bigger! Padre Pio was a large man. I remembered seeing his slippers when saw I his monk cell in Italy. They were so big!
The little brown glove had a simple metal cross gently sown onto the top side. Later, when I turned it over, I saw that someone had sown a tiny piece of cloth with a little" x" in the place that must of been where the hand wound from the stigmata was. The amazing thing to us was the aroma that came from it. Anyone that smelled this rose scent could tell you that it’s like no other rose smell you had ever smelled. You couldn’t recreate it even with the best of oils or perfume. The sheet from his bed also had that scent. The sheet was in a little plastic bag, but the glove was naked except for the cross sown to it.
Dave put the glove in his hand and you could just feel the calm that came over him. This is how he explained it to me. "At first, I just sensed a type of love similar to what I feel when I touch my near death. When I touched the glove I was feeling with my heart and not my mind. I could feel my heart opening up and feeling that light and love. I could feel both Spirit and human emotion because it was vast amounts of unconditional love. It is like going back into the light a little bit, not all the way. In order to experience the near death you have to accept that light back. And I have been having trouble keeping my heart open and working with my light and love because of the physical fatigue and drug induced emotions. But as I stroked the glove it felt like the some of the barriers were just melting away and the light in my heart was just able to open and shine as bright as ever. Well, I could just say that my spirit was singing. Spirit gets in this joyous frame of (not mind but) Spirit. When Spirit is joyous, it feels like a song in your heart, and it interacts with your human emotions. It just brings tears to the corners of the eyes. It gets you a little choked up. You can feel it emanate through out your whole body. It isn’t just your heart that expands, it expands through out your entire body physically."
As our new friend told Dave the glove’s story and how she ended up with it, he sat and stroked the sacred glove as it lay in his right hand. Later he told me he could actually feel the glove, which is it’s own little miracle as he has permanent nerve damage in that hand and hasn’t felt any sensation with it for over six months! She had told of how Padre Pio was able to bring his compassion and insight into the confessional and would help people to know what it is that they really want to release. Later Dave told me, "A funny thing was that it was almost like I was giving a little confession, when I was talking to her, about my near death, cancer and what it all was like. She had told us about when he would give confessionals from his heart. I felt compelled to talk about the near death, to give confession of it. I didn’t realize it till later."
He handed me the glove and I could immediately feel the energy coming from the center of it. I felt calm and at peace. I knew this was real. I handed it back to Dave and then took the piece of sheet in the little bag. Again, I was taken back by the undescribably intense rose scent growing in the room as she and Dave talked about everything from how his near death experience is helping him deal with a terminal disease to the wonderful experiences she has had while the glove has been with her. She said she felt like a Christmas Angel. We told her that she is definitely our Christmas Angel! The rose scent kept growing stronger and stronger and was starting to fill the room. It was accompanied by a pervading sense of peace and love.
At one point our Christmas Angel stopped the conversation and said, "I have had this glove for two days and the rose scent has grown stronger and weaker depending on who was holding it, but I have never smelled it this strong!" She was amazed. The smell had filled the whole room by now and so had the sense of peace and love!
Together we shared stories, feelings, hot tea and ginger bread cookies as if we were old friends. An hour and half later, our Christmas Angel was calling the next person she was going to share the glove with to let them know she was on her way! We wondered if she had been able to spend any holiday time with her family, and with the number of people she had visited, we doubted she had.
The miracle continues. After she was well on her way to share the healing glove with the next blessed person, we could still smell the rose and feel the peace and love
Dave told me that when we went to bed that he could still smell the roses. I told him that I couldn’t smell them, yet when I reached over to touch his hand, the minute I made contact, I could smell the roses too! I slept through the rest of the miracle, here is how Dave explained it to me the next day. "I could smell the roses as we went to bed. It just made me go into a really nice calm peaceful sleep. It helped my body to relax and drift off to sleep which is a lot closer to normal than in a long time. I don’t just drop off to sleep that easily lately. I used to be able to just go to sleep right away, now I have to sit. That night I went right to sleep and it reminded me of when we used to do a nice pipe ceremony. (A Native American tradition of giving thanks and offering prayer) It was very comforting. The smell of the roses and the glove just comforted me. I was able to get a restful sleep."
He continued, "At two o’clock I awoke and the smell of roses was just like it was every where. I just started to cry. I could feel my heart fully open and I could feel my light and my spirit shining as bright as in my near death. So, I got up and meditated and just enjoyed taking that energy in. It has helped me since to keep my heart more open when I am feeling the physical and drug related difficulties that are associated with the therapies that I am on. That is how it is helping me now."
As we talked about our Christmas miracle, we realized that part of the miracle was that I was even home to get the call! If I had followed my guilt (Dave was feeling a little guilty too) and went to my family’s on Christmas Day after all, we would of missed the phone call and our Christmas miracle all together! As it was, I went down the day after Christmas and had a wonderful visit with my family and two friends! The kids were downstairs for most of the visit (thank you Kay and Gigi) and Dave got to have some quiet time alone to take in all the love, peace and light offered from the previous day!
We also talked about our Christmas miracle acting as a sign to let us know we are right where we need to be. We feel that Dave’s cancer has brought about a situation that is allowing us to come back to our spiritual center. We are allowing ourselves to enjoy every day, communicate our love more frequently and sincerely and to accept all the gifts from not only God but also all of our friends and family. We are adjusting our priorities and are hopeful that Dave will receive the gift of full remission. We recognize our Christmas miracle as a sign that miracles do happen and that people like our Christmas Angel are around to bring miracles to us and everyone else on a daily basis. We are reminded that Angels don’t always have wings, sometimes they appear in a snow covered coat and scarf!
Epilogue:The next day I was telling one of my clients about our Christmas miracle. She was instantly reminded that someone had given her a medallion of Padre Pio’s about three months ago for her daughter who has neurological impairments. She said that she had been carrying this medallion around in her purse and never thought to have her daughter hold it like Dave held the glove. She asked me to hold on while she went and got the medallion. She hadn’t taken it out of the box. I felt like I was getting to experience the blessing of last night over again! She came back to the phone and sounded like she was in shock. She had opened the case and what she smelt ran shivers up and down both our spine. Roses, she smelt roses. Her daughter was being fussy in the background and my client decided to put the medallion in her daughter’s hand. Instantly the girl calmed down and started her version of talking. My client and I sat, in two different states, in silence. I felt like the Christmas miracle was being passed on. My client said to me that she had realized, as she was getting the medallion out of her purse, that it must go back to the woman who originally gave the medallion to her. It turns out that the woman had been diagnosed with cancer. My client realized that the medallion didn’t need to be hoarded, it needed to be shared. She was going to return the medallion in the next few days. The miracle was being passed on. My client was truly demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas.A second part two:
As of April of last year, 2001 ( Dave was diagnosed November 27,2000) Dave is in remission. What the nurse had told us seemed to be a shrinkage of the Tumor was really full remission!! The Doctors didn’t believe it, so they waited until July to make it official! As of January 2003, he is still in remission! We feel very blessed by God and Padre Pio and were excited to hear that in June 2002, Padre Pio was canonized by the Catholic Church as a Saint! It is now Christmas Season 2013 and Dave is still in remission! He has written about this and more about his spiritual journey in Voyage of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom from Near Death Back to Life.
PLEASE NOTE: We have lost touch with the glove and do not know where to find it. It might be the glove that is now at the Padre Pio Shrine in NYC. They have a glove and a sock.
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Copyright © 1999 [Cindy Griffith]. All rights reserved.
Revised: June 12, 2008 .