In January, 2010, Harold Camping, an eighty-eight year-old self professed Biblical scholar and radio Evangelist announced that the end of the world would occur on May 21, 2011. By Spring, 2011, billboards were seen on roadways across the United States. Philadelphia was no exception to the proclamation that the righteous would be taken in whole body and soul into Heaven in the coming of the Rapture.
Along I-95, LED billboards flashed between advertisements for a local radio station, an ambulance chaser, and the announcement of the Rapture as calculated by Mr. Camping. Tim and I were heading home after seeing Thor. Tim joked he would love to see the look on peoples faces on Sunday, May 22 when they did not wake up in Heaven. It was to be the beginning of the end of days according to the billboard.
Oh how I wish May 21, 2011 did not come. It was the day of my son’s funeral. It was the day we put his earthly remains in the ground. I woke up on May 18, 2011 to a new world – a world without my son. On May 22, 2011, I woke up wishing I had never woke up. I am sure Harold Camping woke up feeling similar, but for other reasons. He has since revised his calculations for October 21, 2011 and then suffered a stroke – I on the other hand continue to be in the Emergency Room looking down at my son, holding his corpse, cursing my God, and at the same time begging Him for forgiveness and not take my son. I have been fortunate to hold on to my health – but not by much.
The end of days came four days early for me, and was finalized that Saturday when I knelt with my hand on my son’s casket as he was lowered into the ground. I felt the hands of my brothers, brother officers, and family raise me up for fear I would fall into the grave. That was my facing revelation without the choir of angels – no angelic voices of the seraphim, cherubim, thrones, rulers, virtues, powers, princes or principalities, or arch-angels blasting their mighty trumpets. I did feel the hand of my guardian angel when I drove past the hospital as I received the phone call that would herald the end of my son’s young life.
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