known my step-sister, Haley, since she was three. To me, she
could have been my blood relative. I left Texas when I was
nineteen and Haley was only about seven. I didn't stay in
touch with my family as much as I should have, and I still
feel guilty to this day, since I missed out on a lot of Haley's
life. But I tried to visit once a year. When she won a local
beauty pageant, I was so proud of her. I showed her pageant
pictures to people at work, and everyone told me how beautiful
On November 4, 2002, I got a call from my dad. He told me
that Haley, who had just turned eighteen, had been in an accident
and was in a coma. At this point, I was living in Pennsylvania
and they were in Texas. Six days later, Dad told me that they
were going to run tests to see if there were any signs of
life and, if not, he'd call me back so I could say goodbye
I sat in my room waiting, with the phone in my hand. I was
thinking of all the things I wanted to say to Haley. Three
hours later he called back. When the phone rang, I ran out
to my truck so I'd have a "sound proof booth" where
I could speak just to Haley and not worry about who would
hear me. He held the phone to Haley's ear and I started crying.
I told her I loved her and I was sorry that I couldn't see
her, but that she was going to be an angel, a beautiful angel.
At that point I started crying too hard to speak, so my dad
promised to call me later. When I closed my phone, the time
Later I had a dream. In my dream I was with my dad and Haley.
We were at an old-fashioned arcade and were having a great
time. In the dream, I walked over to where my dad was sitting
and I was talking to him as if I knew that Haley had already
died and that this was our "one more day" that God
had given us to spend with her. And I knew that at the end
of the day she was going to die again. I asked him if I could
tell her what was going to happen. He told me no, but he said
I could go tell her how much I loved her.
up to her and said her name. She turned around and I started
crying and telling her that I loved her so much, that I was
proud of her, and that I was sorry I hadn't been there for
so long, etc. She hugged me and I can't describe how real
she felt. I could feel how soft her shirt was, I could smell
her hair, she felt warm and soft. It was the most "real"
dream I've ever had. When I opened my eyes in the morning,
all I could think of was the dream. I felt at peace because
Haley had come to me and I knew she didn't blame me for not
In May 2003 I finally was able to make the trip from PA to
TX. I stood at the foot of Haley's grave and I was sobbing.
She was physically here in this place but I'd never hug her
again. All I wanted to do was hug her. I had my hands over
my face and I was crying pretty hard. All of a sudden I felt
an embrace. I felt arms around me. I could feel where they
were crossing over my arms and touching my back. It didn't
last long but I remember I abruptly stopped crying and just
enjoyed the sensation of being hugged. I knew that something
amazing was happening, and I concentrated on just being open
to it and enjoying it while it lasted.
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May 10, 2007