My grandfather on my mother’s side of my family and my aunt on my mother’s side of the family were both hospitalized when I was four years old. My grandfather had a diabetes complication and my aunt was giving birth to her first born child. From an early age, my mom encouraged me to draw. My mom, being a single parent already at this point, found it helpful to occupy me while she dealt with adult matters like her sister and father being in the hospital. Luckily my mom kept many of these drawings.
In this first drawing, I drew, my mom, and my grandma, and I in a hospital room and my aunt lying in a hospital bed. Everyone looks very happy because of the birth of my cousin, Shannon, which is what my mom is holding. I even drew the wallpaper or the painting in the hospital room behind my aunt. This picture is important because it sets a baseline of how I drew people as a child.
My grandfather past away shortly after my cousin’s birth and it had a tremendous impact on my mother. She was in her mid to late twenties when this was all happening. On top of being a single mother, she now had to deal with the tragic passing of her father.
My mother told me that she had intense dreams about her father after his death that she couldn’t fully comprehend. She also said that I was having issues sleeping too. I would end up having to sleep in the same bed with her at night to go to sleep. When she asked me why I was sleeping in her bed with her, I either said it was because I was afraid of something outside of my window or that I was having bad dreams. I don’t remember those dreams but I do remember there being lights outside my window and thinking I was hearing sounds of a person outside of my window. I understand that I wouldn’t be able to connect that the lights were cars passing by at the age of four. My bedtime around then was around nine o’clock at night. The sounds and the fear that someone was going to come into my room was peculiar though. My mom asked my dad if I was having issues sleeping when I was at his house and he said that I stayed in my bed every night and appeared to sleep fine.
I continued to draw and some of my drawings became very strange to my mom. One drawing in particular is of an angel. The form of the angel differs from the form of the other people I drew. This figure has wings and lines about it that, as a child, I described as light around the angel. Shortly after that, I had a dream or a vision of this angel. In this dream, the angel and I had a conversation about my deceased grandfather where he told me that was doing great and that he was in a good place. My mother was stunned at this. I couldn’t describe the physical features of the angel well because it was just a being of light but I did get his name. His name was David. It may be a coincidence but I don’t believe that a four year old who wasn’t in a particularly religious environment at the time knew of the biblical King David and his relationship with the Angel of Death.
Upon hearing this, my mother was mesmerized. She was still having difficulties accepting her father’s passing but she used these events as motivation to seek healing from Christianity. To this day, she is a practicing Christian.