August 31, 2020
By Mr. Yasso
Since I could remember Little Eddie had come to our convenience store to shop for his mother. He had downs syndrome but was very functional. However, his mental capacity was limited. Still, he was an icon in the neighborhood. He truly had a beautiful soul. One day he wanted to work so we allowed him to do so on Sundays. He would work mostly with me, but also did work with my brothers. Eventually Eddie became like family. Like any family there would be disagreements and arguments. He would get mad at me and me at him. We would always work thru it and become even closer. I would always make sure to play music for him because he loved it, especially Elvis. There was nothing like seeing Eddie come down that last aisle with a broom stick playing it like a guitar singing and pretending to be Elvis. He would do the body shiver and swing back his slicked hair, he did the whole bit. It truly was an incredible show. After about twenty years I stopped working at the store, except for rare occasions. So, I eventually lost touch with all the customers who would shop there, including little Eddie.
Oddly enough it was one of those rare Sundays I was working because my two brothers were out of town together with their wives. Throughout the day I saw Eddie’s family coming in one after another. Several times I saw his niece, nephew, his brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, but not Eddie. So finally, I asked his sister Judy about Eddie? She shared that he had fallen ill and probably would not be making it through the night. He was at his mother’s house where he had been taken off any life support and medications. She explained they were all at the house waiting for the inevitable to happen. Then she asked if I would stop by to see Eddie and spend time with him and the family. She assured me it would mean a lot to the family if I came. I said I would do my best to make it after closing the store.
As it got closer to closing time, I was trying to think of reasons for not going to Eddie’s house. I told myself it would be awkward being there with the family. Yet, there was a voice inside my head saying, “You need to go. You should be there.” That voice gave me of a sense of responsibility and compassion which ultimately compelled me to go. I can’t explain it any other way. When I pulled up at the house, I realized I had nothing to take in with me, no food, flowers, not even a card. I thought to myself, “What is wrong with you!” So, I quickly rummaged through my car hoping to find something, anything that I could take in with me. Eventually I found a very small cross tie clip that had been in the glove box for a quite some time. Would that be enough? I debated for several minutes about taking it in. Then I heard that voice again. “You have no choice. You have nothing else. Trust it is all you need.” So, I listened and followed the guidance of that voice once more.
When I entered the house, everyone seemed happy to see me. We shared the usual pleasantries and then I was led into the room where Eddie had been laying in a bed, unresponsive with shallow breathing. I started to share stories about Eddie. The more I shared the more I could see their appreciation for Eddie. After the many stories there was a lull in conversation. Then Judy asked if I would like to hold Eddie’s hand and massage it to keep it warm. I heard the voice say, “It’s time to do what you came for.” So, I obliged. Then in her calm voice she said and repeated to Eddie, “Yas is here and he’s rubbing your hand.” About a minute later his eyes opened. Everyone was so surprised. No one was sure what caused his eyes to open, but it was clear Eddie was looking around the room and trying to assess what was happening. Did he understand what was going on? We weren’t sure. Yet, we were all still filled with joy. I continued to wipe the drool seeping from the side of his mouth and rubbing his hand. Shortly after I stopped massaging his hand Eddie’s eyes closed. Again, that voice spoke to me “It’s time to bring out the cross and pin it on Eddie above his heart.” So, I did as the voice suggested. After completing the task, I said a quiet prayer that God would lift Eddie’s spirit. Within a few minutes Eddie passed. The entire family witnessed what had just occurred. It was clear that we all felt the presence of Holy Father’s involvement. It was as if an angel had come down and lifted Eddie’s soul up to heaven. There was an amazing feeling of peace and calmness. We couldn’t see it, but we could feel it. In that moment, I think we all felt the Spirit move through us. After everything that had taken place the entire family kept sharing their gratitude for my being there and the difference that made. I know it wasn’t me, but it was that voice, the Holy Spirit, directing me every step of the way. It was beautiful to see God’s glory revealed as this family came to trust and believe that their precious Eddie would be with our heavenly Father in eternity.
That night my eyes were opened. I understood the Holy Spirit is ever-present and always using every one of us to help others see God working in their life. To help them experience the Glory of God. Feeling little Eddie’s soul being lifted also helped me solidify my trust in Jesus’ word. The belief that there really is life after death and that I, just like little Eddie, would be in heaven with my Father some day.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, NIV)