Years ago in my book Coming from the Light, I wrote about my prebirth experiences with our son Matthew. To refresh your memory, I will quote a brief exerpt: “Near the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, I was visited a third time by our future son’s spirit. He announced, “My name is Matthew”. Each time that I had been honored to be in the presence of my preborn, Matthew, I sensed his predominant personality traits–love and gentleness”.
“Months later, I was almost ready to deliver my son. We were gathered together in the evening for our family prayer. After prayer, our then ten year old daughter, Laura, had tears in her eyes and wonderment on her face. I quote from Laura, now in her thirties:
During the prayer I opened my eyes and looked up. I saw the spirit of a man about six feet two inches tall with blond hair and smooth olive complexion. His spirit was pure and loving. He was dressed in white attire with a V neck. He had a broad chest and shoulders. He had bare feet and bare forearms. His hands were on the shoulders of my kneeling father. As I gazed at him, I knew I had known and loved him forever. He was someone that I loved more than life itself. He was my brother Matthew.
I wrote about Matthew in my new book, Waiting in the Wings: Heaven is our Real Home:
I am describing a typical day with my family. I had seven children at the time. In the late morning after Samuel, our baby, went down for his morning nap, and the other children were at school, Matty and I had some time together. This was a typical day that resulted in a beautiful but simple experience together:
The day’s task was going to be Matthew’s closet. One reason that it had gotten so messy is that Matthew loves to play dress-up. With two older brothers, Tadd and Rod, he has acquired quite a lot of hand-me-downs: old Star Wars shirts, plenty of clip-on ties, (the kind designed to cause pain) and an assortment of belts and boots. He puts together an amazing display of clothes, comes downstairs to the kitchen, and with a big grin says, “Hi Mom, How do I look?”
“Wow, Matty!” “You look great! Who are you dressed up like today?”
Then he will describe to me why he picked a certain vest to match his blue rain boots, and such is how we pass many mornings. After the dress-up clothes come off each day, Matthew usually dumps them in a pile in the closet. The pile had grown quite large. We sorted through the clothes together; Matty helped me fold the clean ones and put them in his drawer and the dirty ones went into the laundry pile.
Soon we worked our way down to the book boxes. As the sixth child, Matt has acquired an amazing collection of Little Golden Books, along with others. Since one never throws out books or buttons without thoughtful pondering, we first began sorting through the treasures. In one corner we discovered a huge pile of old coloring books, some going back eight or ten years to our oldest girls, Krista and Laura. As I came across an unusually pretty colored cow or flower, I pointed it out to Matt, and he would do the same with me.
Soon we sorted out what was worth saving and then we began to organize the books into various categories. Before long the book boxes were beautiful. I chuckled as I wondered just how many hours this would stay in order. Somehow it didn’t matter that it would not last; the important thing was for “one brief shining moment” I could reflect back on the day the books were organized. I recalled my mother-in-law telling me about a friend of hers who kept her linen closet so organized that she tied every bundle with pink satin ribbons. I may not get to the linen closet for a few more years, but I would challenge any mother of a three year old to have a neater closet than Matt’s. Why, it was beautiful!
Then we found the Mickey Mouse Sticker Book. I must have bought it three children back, because it was old, but as soon as Matty spotted it, he wanted it. I helped him carefully tear out the stickers and then find the right page for him to stick each in its place. We licked, sticked, and admired our beautiful creation. Then with one sudden burst of energy, Matty jumped up, threw his chubby little arms around my neck, gave me a big kiss and said, “Mommy, I love you. I really do.”
I looked deeply into those beautiful brown eyes as my own filled with tears. I felt joy and a deep sense of oneness with my three year old treasure. Oh, Matty, I love you too,” I said. “I’m so glad that you are my little boy.” With that we smiled, giggled a little, and went back to our discussion of the sticker book.
As simple as it may seem, we formed another bond of closeness and commitment that day. I know that when Matthew is grown and leaves our home, hopefully to return as a frequent visitor, I will remember that day. I am grateful that I was there with my son to enjoy that fleeting moment, and to capture it in my heart to savor with other treasured times with my family.
In my mind, my brown eyed child will dance across my memory and delight me forever with his three year old wonder.
This week Matthew visited us from his home in Utah. He drove down to Mesa, AZ to give his mom and dad a present. The best way to say it is: He did a clean-up of the century on our one acre yard! But the treasure was just having him here. Brent and I were amazed at his energy and enthusiasm for such a task.
Thank you Matty for coming into our family almost thirty years ago–this week you created another treasured time that we will always remember!