On November 4, 2004, my younger brother, Gary passed away from this Earth after a long and courageous battle against cancer. Gary was 45 years old at the time. He left behind his wife, two teenage children, our parents and many other loving relatives and friends. Gary’s demise at such an early age left me, as well as other members of our family, with many questions and disappointment as to why God let this happen. A month and a half after Gary’s death, my family and I who live in Florida, went to central New York where Gary and many of our relatives lived to be with our family on Christmas. None of us were in a joyful mood and a blessed or Merry Christmas was not anticipated. But then God changed our hearts and minds in an instant.
On Christmas Day, 2004 my wife, three children and I went to the cemetery where Gary was buried. My parents and one of my other brothers came with us. When we arrived, it was a typical winter day in Central New York – no sunshine and all clouds. The mood was sullen as we approached Gary’s grave site. I had brought with us two Christmas ornaments to put on a small evergreen tree which was located just behind Gary’s grave. One of the ornaments was Mickey Mouse because Gary loved Disney World. The other was a fishing ornament because Gary loved fishing. I placed the ornaments on the tree, and as soon as I did the clouds parted and a magnificent, brilliant rainbow appeared above us. We were all astounded. None of us believed that the rainbow which appeared at the time of our mourning for Gary was a coincidence. We all knew it was a gift from God – to let us know that we need not worry about Gary because Gary was with God in Heaven. To this day, none of my family members who witnessed this miraculous event can forget how God sent us a message on Christmas day of encouragement and hope for Gary, and for all of us and our Heavenly futures when we would once again be reunited with not only Gary but all of our loved ones.