Heaven is for Real

kayla swing hat

Dear Kayla,

I’m so sorry that I haven’t written lately.  Sometimes it’s just too difficult to comprehend and compose the words that I want to say to you.  But, that still shouldn’t be an excuse to not write…….Do you remember whenever you were having a bad day, with or without cancer, and to cheer you up you would ask me to tell stories about you when you were a little girl?  One of my favorite stories was when you were about 3-years-old; you looked up at your Aunt Mary and asked, “Aunt Mary, do you have a little lamb?”  I now realize how much comfort you received from hearing about things that you were unable to remember due to being so young.  The stories gave your thoughts and emotions a break from reality and you were allowed to mentally escape from your problems just for a few moments in time.  I find myself remembering special times of my own childhood when I am having a bad day.  It’s really just another way for me to cope with your absence.  Other than the birth of you and your sister’s, my young childhood, was the best time of my life.  Some of my favorite memories are waking up on a warm summer’s morning to the sound of Granny’s sewing machine as she was making clothes for us to wear.   I could leave home and play with my neighborhood friends all day long until it was time to come home for supper without the fear of being kidnapped.  It was a time when the only thing I worried about was what Santa Clause would be bringing me for Christmas.  There were no bills for me to pay, there was always food to eat, and my clothes were always clean.  I never worried how these necessary things were done; I just knew they would always be there.  I had no concept of how stressful it may have been for Nana and Papa to ensure my safety and happiness.  But, I can now appreciate everything they did for me.  And, I am so thankful for the happy childhood they provided me.  It has been many years since I was a little girl of the 1970’s, but, I would still like to go back in time and visit my childhood for just one day.  The only thing I would change is that I would bring you and your sister’s with me.  I would love to be able to show you how wonderful life was with no computers, cell phones or cable television.  I know it might sound dull and boring.  But, there was just something so comforting about life being simple and not having so many choices to choose from; your imagination was your friend and companion rather than Facebook.  I realize that I can’t get in a time machine and go back to being a kid.  So, I depend on my happy childhood thoughts and good memories of you to get me through a rough time…..When you have time, would you tell me the story about the moment you died and what you experienced?  What did you see?  What did you hear?  I’ve heard so many stories about the afterlife, which sound amazing and reassuring.  But, to know and understand your story would provide me a type of comfort unlike reminiscing about my childhood.  I want to know what it is like to feel like that young child again with no bills to pay, no struggles, no stress, pain or grief.  And, the only time I can imagine this to happen again would be the moment someone passes away……Thank you for blessing my life.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.  I love and miss you immensely.

Love,  Mom


Hi Madre!

Thanks for your letter.  I was so happy to hear from you again!

I remember you telling me about how much you enjoyed your childhood.  A time with no internet, cell phone’s, or text messaging does sound pretty lame.  I guess it’s because I’ve never known a life without technology until September 22, 2012.  It’s just not needed or wanted in Heaven.  I know it is hard to imagine, but, everything is so perfect here and there is just no need for technology or social networking.   You will be thankful for that, too, once you get here.

I would love to tell you about the day I entered the gates of Heaven!  It was absolutely the best day of my life.  Once I was admitted into PICU (pediatric ICU), I became so much weaker; my strength was slowing diminishing.  I knew early on that I wasn’t coming back.  I know you worried that I couldn’t hear you once the doctor’s put me in a medically induced coma.  But, I want to assure you that I was completely aware of your presence.  I heard your cries and your prayers.  I saw your tears and anxiety.  But, as much as I wanted to snap out of that coma and comfort you, my heart and soul was yearning for Heavenly peace.  I had suffered enough.  And, God knew it was time for my suffering to end.  In the days leading up to my death, I was visited by so many of my family members that had passed on before me.  I know you couldn’t see them, but, they were right there at my side.  And, they were at your side, as well.  I told them I was scared, but, all of my fears disappeared as I slowly approached my last day on earth.  They assured me that God had prepared a place for me in Heaven and He was anxiously waiting for my arrival; He had great plans for me and specific reasons for needing me at that time.  I didn’t question anyone; I just trusted in God to take control.  In the hours before my death, you saw me get worse with my blood pressure dropping, my kidney’s and other organ functions shutting down.  What you didn’t see, was my soul leaving my sick body behind.  As this was happening, all the pain I once had seemed to be a million miles away.  I know you have heard about  near-death-experiences and almost always, they see some sort of light.  In the moments leading me up to my death, I began to see a small light, but, everything around me was so dark.  I could hear you and everyone else.  But, I could only see this light and I knew I wanted to be, not only near it, but, longed to be in the light.  I reached into this inviting brightness and felt a hand grab mine.  The grip was so strong and held my hand tightly.  I had never touched this hand before, but, I knew that I trusted the One that was holding me.  The second I took my last breath, my fears and pain were instantaneously gone.  And, the tiny light became enormous in size; it was if it lit up the entire sky and I could see beauty and peace everywhere I turned.  All of my family members that had passed on before me, were all with me, as well; they never left my side.  And, then it appeared!  I was face-to-face with the gates of Heaven.  As the gates slowly opened, the enormous light began to soften.  I entered through the gates and took in all of the beauty in Heaven that I had read about in the bible.    And, I then realized that the light was God’s assurance that I had made it home……..I hope my story of when I went to Heaven brings you peace and comfort.  Please encourage others that have doubts about Heaven that it truly exists;  just as the title of the book says, “Heaven is for Real.”  God promised me that he would take care of you, Allison and Ashley.  I believe in Him.  So, please put your trust in Him, too.  I love you, Madre.

Love, Kayla

P.S.  When I was afraid of letting go of my life on earth, I was reminded of a verse that provided me encouragement.  I believe it will comfort you, too……..

 2 Corinthians 4 :18:  “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen.  For the troubles we see will soon be over, the joys to come will last forever.”

I have found that most mother’s who have lost a child find comfort in writing letters to them.  I just recently began writing my own letters to Kayla.  But, I thought, “What would she say if she responded back to me?”  Of course, I don’t know exactly what she would say.  I simply wrote her response from my heart.  Who knows?  Maybe this is exactly what she would say.  I can’t wait to find out one day 🙂


About MomMinus1

Welcome to my blog, momminus1 (mom minus one). I am a mother of three beautiful girls, Kayla 17, Allison 13 and Ashley 5. One of my daughters recently became an angel; Kayla passed away on September 22, 2010 due to complications from AML leukemia. She was diagnosed on July 3, 2010. She endured harsh chemotherapy treatments, hair loss, rare and painful skin disorders, horrible stomach infections, weakness, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety and fear. From the time she was diagnosed until the day she died it was just 81 days..... A short, but, horrific battle with cancer. I am always asked, "How are you doing? What can I do for you? How are your two girls doing?" At times, these are tough questions to answer. And, I express myself best when I write. Writing is so helpful and therapeutic for me. Maybe I can answer these questions for those that are concerned about us. Maybe I can help another mom that might wake up tomorrow and find out that their child is diagnosed with cancer. Maybe there is a mom somewhere, like me, that just lost a child to cancer and is searching the web for answers. She might be thinking, "Is there anyone out there that understands what I'm going through?" I understand. I am grieving. I am in pain. I have a big piece of my heart that is now gone.....I would love your feedback about my blog, too. Thanks for reading!
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14 Responses to Heaven is for Real

  1. Jennifer says:

    Love this letter writing! It still brings tears & pain as I read & try to digest your posts. Thank you for sharing these intimate thoughts from your heart. You inspire me as I see your strength in God motivate you to push on! Pray for you often. Hope you guys are doing well!!

  2. Janell Sponburgh says:

    This writing was very comforting and made me feel peaceful inside. This is what I feel someone would indeed tell you as they entered Heaven. You have some of my same thoughts. I have often thought of how wonderful it would be to be able to relive a day from my childhood. I too believe we had it so much better with a simple childhood. I would love to be able to hear and see my grandfather preach again. Amber I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas!

  3. Beautiful!!! I believe you know exactly what Kayla is trying to tell you, you are listening to your heart and she is speaking directly to you. I know when I talk to Alexa exactly what she is saying back to me, and she was just one year old, but listening with our hearts is an amazing way to communicate. I am amazed at reading your response from Kayla, I feel like I am reading what she wrote to you. Very touching and very healing, I hope you are feeling some healing through these beautiful letters Amber. Our girls are together, I just know it…
    Hugs from Darlene, Alexa’s Mommy Forever

    • MomMinus1 says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I know you can feel Alexa speaking to you. I really believe it. I can feel Kayla with me all the time. And, I believe our girls are together, as well, and watching over us always.

  4. Cyndi Amerson says:

    Amber, I believe that when we lose someone close to us; we are more in tune with the spiritual side of life, we can see it more clearly, where as some hasn’t seen it yet. It is sad without them here with us, but we have the gift of them in Heaven and them being close to us in our hearts every day! The letter you wrote to Kayla is so beautiful, and the letter from Kayla, as well! I have thought so many times of my childhood just like you have, it was a wonderful time. The picture of Kayla in the chair is so precious. Merry Christmas!

    • MomMinus1 says:

      Hi Cyndi! You always say the such encouraging words. Thank you for reading, commenting and being a very special friend to me…..I think that picture was taken around the time she and Kristen were going to Ms. Betty’s. Love you, girl!!

  5. judy says:

    amber, you just amaze me!!! the response from kayla felt so realmy heart just hurt reading it. i dont know what to say but you have a gift and you need to use it more. thats the first time i heard the story about mary, that was so cute! she had a wonderful sense of humor. i remember so clearly her sitting in the back of the car trying to ask us something and we did not answer so she just answered herself and caused us to laugh and laugh. she was just precious. anyway, keep up the wonderful work and i love youi!!!

  6. David and Bailee Meredith says:

    Amber, Bailee and I just read your post and we were blown away; beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. What a unique perspective on your relationship with Kayla. We hope your words help many Mothers and families that are coping with a loss of a loved one. We believe that is God’s plan for you. Bailee, Melissa and I love you and our prayer’s are with you as you move forward and continue to touch lives. Stay strong girl.

  7. Misty says:

    What a heartfelt way to keep in contact with Kayla in your very own special way. She truly is blessed to have such a wonderful loving family. These letters amaze me, as do you.

  8. Susan B says:

    I’ve got a lump in my throat that I just can’t seem to swallow. This post was comforting and I feel like I’m getting to know your daughter. She called you “Madre”, eh? Sweet.

    • MomMinus1 says:

      Susan….I’m so glad you found some comfort in this post. And, yes, she did call me, “Madre.” She took spanish in school and just decided that she would start calling me that. Guess I should write a blog about that, too. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

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