by Cathy LeBrescu
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I saw the Golden Crane on your Inspirational E-mail's page. That was a very touching story and reminded me of a story I am living. It's funny how life brings us FULL circle, through good times and bad, but with God's help and our trust in Him, we can make it through anything.

Here is my Story:

In March of 2002 my Father was first told he had 24 months to live due to cancer. Three days later he was sent to the hospital for congestive heart troubles. I knew then that his battle was going to be a tough one for all of us. The doctor told us that evening that if there was any family that needed to see him or be with him to make our calls then. Daddy lasted one week, all along putting on his strong face and kept us all going. Being the man he was, the father he was, he was ready for anything that life had for him now. He had grown up on a farm and had dwelt with many a hard times. He served his country in the air force for 30 years, through many wars including the "Big Ones", WWI and WWII. He was dedicated to the youth bowling program here in Warner Robins, Georgia for many years. Along with coaching his own kids he coached his grand kids too. For years his free time was spent sharing his love of bowling with the kids and the youth of this town. He was known to them all as "Grandpa", which only shows what type of man he was. He had the respect of the youth and their parents for many years. No matter what hard time came around, even until the day of his passing, he was there for the kids.

On Easter Morning, March 31st, 2002, at 4:15 am the doctors called us to come to the hospital. The call was my second one that morning. The first was my son-in-law calling to tell us he was going to the hospital with my daughter to deliver our first Grandchild. WOW, my first Grandbaby! A God given gift! I didn't know where to go first but, being Daddy's Little Girl, I went to my Dad's bedside. For so long I needed his love and guidance and now he was calling for me.

I made it to the hospital on time for him to smile and thank me for being me. He closed his eyes and like a dove, he slipped away peacefully at 4:21 am. One thing I didn't know until later was around 4:19 am as my Daddy smiled, my first Grandson had arrived. It was then I knew Daddy waited to bring into this world this special child to us. He was and will always be his guardian angel. Daddy guided him to us as they met at the crossover. Time never meant so much to me as it does now. Just think about it, at 4:15 am Daddy begins his trip home, at 4:19 am our Grandson arrives here, safe and loud, and at 4:21 am Daddy completed his trip home. Also, it being Easter Morning, was even more special to me.

God works in many a strange and wonderful ways. For me, He let Daddy know that he will be the guardian that this Grandson will need. I believe that Daddy did get to know this child and that they did meet at the crossover. Our little man sees Grandpa's picture and calls to him and he has that special smile, the same smile Daddy had.

The story of the Golden Crane and of my Dad both have something in common and makes them both special for me. Today I will make a paper crane of golden paper and give it to my Grandson as a symbol of his guardian angel. This will also keep me in touch with the golden times God has allowed us to share in life and to the memories of a Dad that was and still is so special. He always said he was there for the kids, I know now just how special he was to them. It will be my Father's Day gift to him and his dedication to continue his work with the youth bowling. I will let his commitment and memory go on through these children with my help.

Song playing is "In His Hands" - one we sang together often when I was a child.

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