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Witness: Heatherly
Location: Texas
Date of Encounter: August 2000

I am not currently experiencing any hauntings, but I do have a tale of a spiritual encounter. I will begin by prefacing the story with the events leading up to the event.

My grandfather passed away in hospice care in July 2000. I spent his last night on Earth with him, holding his hand and reading the Bible to him — which was his favorite literature.

He was an artist and a carpenter and spent his last remaining years up in his home carving beautiful artwork out of wood. He loved his simple life and carved because he wanted to, never once selling his museum-quality work. He would only give it away to anyone who truly appreciated it.

At 88, he was about 80% deaf and completely blind in one eye, and nearly blind in the other. After a stroke six months earlier, his health declined quickly and he simply gave up on life.

As he lay in the bed, I sang to him although he probably could not hear me or even knew that I was there, as he was in a coma-like state with his eyes open. He had stopped eating and was severely underweight, and it was hard for me to see him like that — knowing how much he loved life and living. Many times he cried in his last few years, saying that he loved life and didn't want to die.

During his last living moments with me I looked down into his distant, foggy eyes, knowing he couldn't hear or see me and told him that the baby goose that he held at my house the last time he visited had grown up and now had four babies of her own. His eyes filled up with tears and turned red, and his mouth began to quiver as if he was trying to say something. He hadn't spoken in nearly two weeks. His love for animals and nature transcended through his limitations that night.

I knew he would probably die that night, so I sat next to him with my hand on his chest, feeling his every breath and heartbeat. He didn't pass away until the next day — after I left. He was alone, which is what I didn't want. I didn't want his spirit to leave his body and to look down at an empty room. That bothered me for a long time.

In an attempt to comfort ourselves, we turned to his Bible. He was much more dedicated to the Word than we ever were, but knowing that it was so close to his heart, we thought it would ease our minds. My mother said to read something that he had underlined or highlighted — which is something his Bible was full of.

I read the first thing I opened to that was underlined. You do not have to understand the Bible to feel the power behind these words from Thessalonians which read:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore, comfort one another with these words."

We all felt a chill run through us.

At his wake, I waited until after everyone left, and I cut a small lock of his beautiful, thick white hair and placed it in an envelope.

As myself and my friend walked to the vehicle to leave, I opened the door and a mourning dove flew into me as if trying to enter the truck with me. It injured it's wing and I brought it home. I rescue and rehabilitate small animals all the time, so I mended it's wing and let it go about a week later. I took that as a sign from my grandfather, as we had that bond of loving all creatures great and small.

A couple of weeks later, in August, my best friend was at my house and I was showing her a videotape of my Pappaw (that is what I called him), because she had never met him. I wanted to share with her the kind of person he was.

For nearly two hours we watched him talk about God, Leonardo DaVinci, his childhood, his 24 brothers and sisters, his beloved mother, and we saw him play his guitar and sing old, sad songs about homeless children and hobos — songs that made grown men cry, including himself.

After the tape was finished, I got up to go to the kitchen for something to drink, and my friend went to the restroom. At that moment, we both heard a loud musical tone that sounded like a doorbell. Since I do not have a doorbell, we both said, "What the heck was that?"

We both reentered the living room where we had been watching the tape, and searched everywhere for where the sound came from. My heart sank as I realized what it was.

About two years earlier I had one of those cheap doorbells that you plug into the wall, using a battery operated button at your front door to operate the sound. I became so irritated by all the neighborhood kids ringing it that I just took the button off and put it in my piano stool. The battery had gone bad anyway. I never unplugged the part that rings. I had forgotten it was there because it was hidden behind a chair.

That was eerie enough, but what really got me thinking was when I explained to my friend that I had the ringer set to only ring one long tone. To change it to the traditional two-toned "ding-dong," you had to take the back off of the unit and set the switches according to the manual.

Needless to say, it did ring in the "ding-dong" fashion.

Oddly enough, it was my friend who said, "Maybe it was your grandfather saying 'hi'." It hadn't even occurred to me.

Shortly after that, I was explaining what happened to my mother on the phone, and it happened again! She could hear it and we both fell silent.

He was letting me know that his fears of leaving his family behind were pointless, and that he was with the rest of his family in Heaven. I believe he was thanking me for being there for him when no one else could.

It has been three years since his death, and the doorbell has not rang since.

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