My Father's Story - Part 3
June 21, 2020
Christmas came and went and a new year began with my father having now been in the Montfort Residence for a whole year. Just before his 89th birthday, on January 14th, a gastro-intestinal flu broke out and my father was one of the first ones to get sick. As with Covid-19, no one was allowed to visit at first, but after a while they allowed family to go in at their own risk, so I resumed my visits and the Lord protected me. My father recovered and he was doing well enough.
It was the first week of March when the Lord granted me another dream related to my father, but this one was a bit more puzzling:
I met up with my father - as he is today - in a kind of very large hallway. He was much shorter than me, perhaps the height of an 8 or 9 year-old boy, so that he was in essence a short version of himself. I was very surprised at this! I took his hand and began to lead him forward down the hallway. In the next scene, I then took my father up on my lap because he was now the size of a very young child, but still looking his present age. It really was all very strange, odd and perplexing.
I found the Lord's message in this dream a little difficult to figure out. I understood the symbolism of certain elements but not the heart of the message. For example, a hallway usually symbolizes a transition period because it's the part of a building that we use to get from one room to another; no one actually lives there. I understood therefore that I would in some way accompany my father in a more "hands on" fashion and that perhaps this had something to do with his approaching death. In essence, I would help him transition into this new season of his life. But I didn't quite understand the symbolism of his getting shorter. It's only about a month later that I received some understanding about it through a dream the Lord granted my mother, who by the way, very rarely remembers her dreams!
The days following my dream, both Marcel and I felt a kind of urgency to go visit my father, so we ended up seeing him 4 times. The last day I went in was March 13 and the very next day, the Residence closed its doors to family members because of the Coronavirus. A few days later, on the 17th of March, the whole province officially went on lockdown in order to stem the rising numbers of infections. Marcel and I were so happy that we had heeded the promptings in our spirits. Those visits were truly the last ones we had with my father, which shows that unless the Lord reveals to us His plans, we don't ever know what the future holds. The Lord saw to it that we had no regrets about having done what we could for my father.
The following 2 months were probably the most difficult. Marcel and I felt so helpless to do anything, just like the thousands of people around the world who were concerned for their loved ones but couldn't do anything. We could see now why the Lord had granted us the beautiful Surrender Novena back in December during the Advent season. It's what kept us grounded in God's love and His faithfulness to His promises; that if we just simply surrender ourselves - meaning all of our concerns, whatever they are - and leave absolutely everything into God's hands, He would take care of it all. So we did that. Every day. And it wasn't necessarily always easy. Anxiety and fear surge up so quickly, but every time those emotions surfaced, we simply said, "Jesus, we surrender ourselves and all our concerns to you, take care of everything, take care of Pierre."
As time went by though, we both felt that my father would probably not last very long without any visits, that he would get depressed very quickly and that this would speed up his time of passing from this world.
It was either the first or second week of April that my mother came into my office one morning, all radiant, telling me about a dream she'd had that night:
She was sitting on a chair on one side of a table, looking at a man sitting across from her on the other side. It was Pope Francis and he was holding in his arms the most beautiful baby she had ever seen.
As she was relating this dream, her face was just glowing but she had no idea what the dream meant. However, the Holy Spirit graciously granted the revelation right away. It's like I instantly knew that this baby was my father! It fit with my previous dream of seeing him becoming smaller and smaller, to the point of becoming a baby.
The symbolism was very clear and beautiful and it was such a gift to us. It meant that my father was becoming like a child, so that the Lord's words in the gospel of Matthew were being fulfilled in him: "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven." (Mat. 17:3). My father was now journeying through a season (the hallway) that was helping him to become smaller and smaller to the point of becoming a baby, effectively ushering him into the Kingdom. Pope Francis holding the baby symbolized my father's full reconciliation into the bosom of the Church, the Pope obviously being the representative of Christ and His Kingdom on earth. The fullness of this reconciliation happened a bit later, as I shall recount in the next part of this story.
How wonderful is that! In the midst of our sufferings, the Lord's radiant presence breaks through every once in a while to encourage us to keep hoping and praying and trusting and believing. But God's goodness abounded even more...