Recently my editor Ann-Marie Murrell told me about this wonderful movie she had just seen and insisted I see it as well. She was so enthusiastic and moved by this film, I knew I had to see it as well. Ann Marie especially mentioned a scene at the end that took her breath away, without revealing what it was, and wanted to know my thoughts about it once I had seen it. The film was Do You Believe? My husband and I rushed to the theater to see it.
The film was just as she wrote in her review: moving, compelling and a definite 5 out of 5 stars. But to me (as I’m sure with many others) so much more meaningful than any other film I have seen. The ending scene that left Ann-Marie breathless touched my life in such a profound way, I wrote to her of my own experience and she requested I share it with all of you. I have only spoken to a few people about my experience beforehand and am fighting back the tears to tell it now.
Twenty years ago, my parents came to visit me in my new home in Arizona. Soon after they arrived, my father (who had had heart issues in the past) suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. For several days, my mother and I, stood by his side till the doctors and nurses insisted we go home to rest for a while since he was now stable.
A few hours later, in the middle of the night, we received a phone call from the hospital urging us to come immediately. When we arrived, a doctor took us aside and said my father’s heart had stopped. They had shocked him 29 times (yes 29 times) in an effort to revive him but they could not, he was gone. They asked us to come into his room to see him for the last time.
As we entered the room, my father laid on his bed, still. Equipment was being removed and articles were scattered across the room from their frantic efforts to save him. My mother and I went to him and held his hands as the doctor said to us he was sorry and explained they did everything they could. The staff and others were leaving the room quietly when suddenly my father began to squeeze my hand. I said to him, “Dad, can you hear me?” of which he nodded “Yes.” I called to the doctor and told him my father was not gone. The doctor insisted it was a muscle contraction and my mother said firmly, “No, he is alive.” I pulled the doctor over to him as my mother began speaking with my father–and he was answering back! The doctor, in amazement, began to listen to his heart and immediately called for the staff to come back. My father was indeed alive.
Several hours later, they moved him to another room since he was once again stable. He and my mother were talking and she asked my father if he would please be baptized (something she had asked him to do through the years, of which he never did). He tearfully answered, “Yes” so I sent for a priest. The staff was still in amazement at my father’s recovery; one nurse was still commenting to herself that it was a miracle. The priest arrived and with my mother at his side, he was baptized.
The next day as my father slept, I took my mother to the cafeteria to eat. A few moments later, we heard a page calling us back to his room. My father had passed as soon as we left the room and I’m sure that’s the way he would have wanted it. As he lay quietly, both my mother and I knew he was truly gone.
I told my mother of a dream he had told me had just a few days earlier (of which she had not heard). He said he dreamt he went to heaven and as he arrived, they told him to go back, he was not ready yet. He was bewildered at the dream and told me how vivid and real the image was and I could see it had a profound impact on him (unusual for my father to be so moved by a dream). My dad was only 63 years old.
As meaningful as this event was in my life, I know that I am not alone. I’m sure there are many miracles happening everyday to people. The film Do You Believe? gave me the opportunity to share this story with you and I think my father would definitely want me to tell it. So to answer the question, yes, I believe and my father left me an incredible gift in knowing that miracles really do exist.