When my grandma died the summer before my sophomore year, I had never seen a miracle. I considered them a rarity, not even sure they happened, but I was looking for one. I didn’t need an apron full of roses in the middle of winter, or to see a man cured of leprosy, or to hear voices. All I wanted was a rainbow.
My grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring. I had never heard of it, and its lightning-fast effects came as a huge shock after the diagnosis. My whole family struggled, and, never having experienced the death of someone I loved, this was the worst thing I could imagine. We stayed with my grandparents as the cancer progressed, and though my grandma was sick, we all made the best of our last weeks with her.
A few days before my grandma passed away, she talked to me about my life after her death. We talked about what would happen after she died, and she told me that she would try to give me a sign if she “got into” heaven. “I don’t know how this works,” she told me, “so don’t be upset if it doesn’t happen, but I’ll try to tell you if I get there. I’ll try for flower petals at your feet or something.” I suggested a rainbow instead, trying to be more practical. I wanted to make it easy for God. “Fair enough,” she laughed.
My grandma died on June 22, 2007. Even though I expected it to come, nothing surprised me more than having my mom tell me that she was gone. From that moment on, I looked high and low for rainbows, praying for rain, but nothing came. I was losing hope when a friend invited me to go to Disneyworld with her family. I agreed and was off to the world where “Dreams Come True.”
Within hours of arriving, we headed to the MGM Park and were in line for Tower of Terror. We turned a corner, and there was my rainbow. It stretched across the entire sky, even though it hadn’t been raining. I started crying, and everyone around me laughed at the girl who was hysterical before she even got on the ride. But this rainbow, simple as it was to everyone else, changed my life.
I believe in rainbows. I believe that the rainbow I saw that afternoon in Florida was a sign from my grandma that she was there and she was watching over me. I believe that my grandma is still with me, even though I can’t joke around with her or hug her or see her. I believe that that rainbow brought me out of my own personal rain and into a phase of my life where I could accept death.
More than anything, I believe in miracles. This rainbow that I know God sent brought me faith during a time in my life when I didn’t have a lot of faith left. I have been changed, and I believe I will lead a life influenced by epiphanies. And I know my grandma will be there with me.
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