March 23 ē 12:37 PM

Signs of life

August 22, 2007
Editor's note: This is the final column in a series by staff writer Paula Parisot. Parisot shares the experience she had during her mom's last days after losing a battle to breast cancer. Parisot lives in Berlin Twp.

After I witness my mom's spiritual energy exit her body I wake my sister and husband. The light that encircled her is gone but I was still shaken from disbelief.

"Mom's got to go now," I cry to my sister. "I just saw her spirit, I saw it."

My sister, like my mother, has claimed to see spirit lights her entire life. I, on the other hand, had never seen anything remotely close to what I experienced that night.

I run to get the phone and call the hospice number. I know the end of my mother's physical life was just minutes away.

They take my number and say a nurse would be calling me right back. As we sit next to my mom not really knowing what to expect she takes one last breath.

The phone rings.

"Huuh-lllo?" I stutter as I wait to see if my mom would breathe once again.

My throat chokes up as I try to tell the hospice nurse that my mom had just died. The nurse knows that's what is happening. As I stare at my mom, completely still, I hear the nurse on the line.

"Did your mom just pass?"

I nod my head. I was in shock. What she said next I don't really remember. The next thing I know, an area hospice counselor was knocking on the door.

It is all very surreal. And it seems at the time a relief that my mom finally made it home.

She called Heaven her home.

"Have you ever felt like you don't really belong, that this Earth really isn't your home?" she had asked me just months before.

"No, not really," I replied. I didn't know exactly what she meant. My mother was a bit eccentric when it came to spirituality. I didn't know what to believe at times. Some of what she told me was so bizarre.

She knew she was going to be called home soon, she said. About three months prior to discovering the cancer in her liver she had a dream and although she couldn't remember the details she said she heard someone say "cancer" to her. I began to worry.

When my mother had a dream, it usually meant something—either good, bad or indifferent, it could be tied to something about to happen. I suppose you could say she was a bit of a psychic.

Another odd event took place a few days before she passed. She was still quite lucid and asked that the chaplain from hospice come to visit.

During his visit, she asked him if he knew what the top three industries in the world were. Now, this question is an odd one, coming from a woman who knows she is dying, don't you think?

But she smiled and slyly asked him this trivia question. He thought a moment and answered, first computers, then oil and the third, well, he would have to think on that one.

What made this question even stranger was the fact that he and his wife were discussing that very subject just that morning. Was my mom reading his mind?

My mother had made comments to my sister that she was given the "numbers" like a combination that would enable her to get back and forth from here to

"there." That "there" was a beautiful church on the corner and that everything was brilliantly colored and peaceful.

The very last words my mother speaks are words of validation that she is a being of spirit—no doubt about it.

She has a seizure and goes unconscious, the nurse comes and sadly tells us that she no longer has a blood pressure and it is just a matter of hours, maybe minutes before she would pass. After the nurse leaves, my sister whispers to me, "I saw a spirit light by that nurse."

The room was dark and quiet. Until my mom pipes up, "Oh, that was just me."

With eyes almost popping out of my head, my jaw drops and a chill runs down my spine. My mother clearly spoke after being unconscious for two days, as well as not having any detectible blood pressure.

"That was you, mom?" my sister says hesitantly. We can't believe what we were hearing.

"Well, not really me," she replies clear as a bell.

I am in total disbelief. She didn't open her eyes or sit up but she spoke as if she had never even been sick.

"That was your spirit?" my sister asks.

"Yes," my mom says. Those were her last words. My mother, however, lives another 26 hours. It is unbelievable. We think she may have wanted to see her youngest sister, because she finally passes about three hours after her sister visits.

Although her body is gone, her presence lives on. Many, many other signs have been given to us indicating that she is happy and at peace. I believe anyone can see the signs if they just open up their mind enough and really take a look.

And even though I cannot hug her or call her on the phone to share good news with her, all I have to do is talk out loud and I know, for a fact that she hears me.

Email Paula at To read Paula's entire series, check the Tri-City Times Web site archives for Aug. 1 and Aug. 15. Log onto to

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