Billy's Visit - March 1997

My brother Billy and I (28yrs), Mom and baby brother (now 18 yrs old ) are all survivors of an extremely abusive home situation for nearly 10 years.
My father was an abusive and destructive alcoholic who beat us on a daily basis, I won't go into details, but the only thing that has helped me survive this life is the power of Jesus in my life.

There's no other possible explanation.

I will tell you the story of the first of Billy's visits. Let me tell you that this kid was oppressed and hated from the day he was born. I have never met anyone, race, or religion, or anything, more tortured than my brother Billy. He was a sweet kid with a big smile and a bigger heart, and my best friend.

Until about 1977, we had a happy family life. Then Dad turned to drinking, a Vietnam Vet, he couldn't live with himself after the war, and he started to turn on his family. This coupled with the fact that he sold our house and moved us into a one-bedroom filthy cabin with rats. The neighbors hated us and beat Billy up every day, he started wetting the bed. Then about 3 years after that, Dad would throw him against the wall, tell him in as many ways as he could that Billy was worthless. After years and years of abuse, it came to a halt one night when Dad put a gun in Billy's mouth and pulled the trigger.

Thank GOD there weren't any bullets in the gun. We never went back home. For years Mom was a zombie. We all were. Billy sunk into a deep depression / suicidal personality and started hitting me to get his frustrations out. I moved out when I was 17. Billy and I really only connected a few times after that. There was so much anger there that even the strongest love couldn't seem to penetrate the anger.

Then, he died. In the middle of the night, from an epileptic seizure. Just like that? I couldn't believe it. Sometimes I still cannot believe it, and it happened in March of 1997.

About 3 weeks after Billy died, I was driving to meet my husband for lunch, as we were also dealing with the fact he had a tumor on his kidney, and told me he couldn't talk to me over the phone about the tests he was due to receive results from, so we agreed that we'd meet for lunch.

On my way there, I thought that death would be better than this hot-searing pain in my chest, and I imagined my heart was truly breaking apart at that moment. I had never in my life felt so alone and in such despair, and I started to cry, but the tears just couldn't come anymore. I started thinking that if I drove fast enough down the on-ramp to the freeway, I could roll the car, and if I didn't wear my seatbelt I could just end it all. The pain was so stifling I felt I couldn't breathe. As I turned onto the ramp, I could smell a slight aroma of roses. Then, like turning the volume up on the radio, the aroma got stronger. Soon it was much much stronger, and it was the smell of roses, pure and not a bit synthetic. Obviously I thought this was really odd, and remembered that I did not put any perfume on that day. I realized that my windows were closed ( It's cold in Minnesota in March)

I made my way onto the highway, and I soon forgot my urge to 'punch it' and hurl myself off the ramp. There were no other cars around me. I felt my car being ' glided' over the bumpy highway, and it felt very smooth. Like I was driving on glass. My thoughts got very cloudy for a moment, and...I can't explain it very well in words, but a small breeze brushed past my face, blew my bangs over to one side, and it was like someone was sitting in the car with me. I had experienced something like this before, but never this strong and this intense. It was like a was given a breath, almost like a mouth-to-mouth, and the roses, much stronger now, felt, and smelled, and 'moved' in me. The feeling was absolutely euphoric.

That deep, gutteral breath I felt to the tips of my toes. It was the MOST cleansing breath I have EVER had. And nothing like it since. I could see Billy's face, and he said nothing but" I love you, see you soon". And then it started fading away. My whole body went kind of limp, and I turned off the exit, just a block from where I was meeting Dave ( my husband). I kind of wobbled into the restaurant, and I saw him there with his head in his hands, and my heart sank, but he looked up and smiled. It was just a cyst on his kidney, and he was going to be ok.

I know from being as spiritual as I am that time has a different meaning to those who are not with us here on Earth, so it didn't scare me, and I wasn't afraid. I also know that my mind at that time had no way of creating such an event at that moment. To me there is no doubt it was divine intervention, and I will always remember that as the most loving, awesome, God-kissed, peaceful, and emotionally euphoric sensational moment in my life. And I haven't been the same person since.

I always want to help people understand that although Death is something not to be afraid of, it is a deeply spiritual and precious time in our lives when we are thrown into chaos, and what we choose to take from this experience makes us the people that we are. Although literally I would rather peel my fingernails off one by one than go through this torture ever again.

Dealing with Billy's death had brought me to a new high spiritually, but grief also plunges people into a dark and deep abyss that can swallow them whole. For me and my family, that darkness has always been there, and lightness is hard to see, but now I know where to look.

God Bless and Peace to you
Wendy M.

Rest In Peace: Billy M.
March 23, 1970 - March 8, 1997