This encounter happened in the summer of 1982. At that time of my life, I was married with three young children.
My oldest, John, was about seven years old. Living down the street from my parents, my children visited almost every day and grew very close to them. John was especially close to my dad and spent many hours with him from the time he could walk. My dad would take John to the garage and teach him how to use tools, or give him a paint brush and a bucket of water to let him "paint" any wood lying in the scrap pile. My dad also encouraged him to assist in building bird houses by handing him the appropriate tools. Although I knew my dad loved my two younger children, there was a special bond between him and my oldest.
Five years earlier, my dad suffered a heart attack and became semi-retired so there was lots of time spent nurturing my children. During the next few years my dad suffered two more heart attacks, as well as being diagnosed with diabetes and emphysema. We found out after his death, the doctors informed him he didn't have long on this earth, but he never shared that with the rest of the family.
In July of 1982, my mother called and told me they had taken dad to the hospital he had has a massive heart attack and he was in the intensive care ward. My sisters and I spent many hours by his side, talking to him and holding his hand. We never knew if he heard us because he never regained consciousness. During his second week in the hospital, we were told he probably wouldn't last many more days and major organs were now shutting down.
I had been at the hospital two days straight while my husband watched the kids at home. At the encouragement of one of his nurses, I decided to go home and get a good night's rest before returning to the hospital the next morning to relieve my sister of "nursing" duties. I left that evening about 7 pm and arrived home to find my children anxious to know how grandpa was doing. John, especially, listened intently as I explained that grandpa was probably going to be with Jesus soon. John began to cry and I hugged him to give him some motherly support, but found myself crying right along with him. A short while later, I got my two youngest into bed for the night and told John it was time for him to get his PJ's on and hop into bed as well. I told him I needed to take a shower and I would be in shortly to tuck him in.
I showered quickly, dressed and went into John's bedroom. When I walked in, he sat up quickly, furled his brow and asked, "Why did you kiss me with wet lips"? I explained to him I had just walked into the room and he must have fallen asleep and was dreaming. He very, emphatically told me he closed his eyes to say his prayers and ask Jesus to take care of Grandpa when he got to Heaven and was NOT asleep. He said, "I felt you breathe on my cheek and then you kissed me with wet lips!" "Why did you do that?" At exactly that moment my telephone rang and I ran to the living room to answer it. On the other end was the nurse at the hospital telling me my dad had just passed away a few minutes earlier. I think I knew at that moment "the kiss" must have been my dad saying goodbye to his closest grandson.
I went back into John's room and told him Grandpa was now in Heaven with Jesus and his prayer was a very good one! Grandpa was proud of him for asking Jesus to take care of him and he must have been the one that left that wet kiss on his cheek on his way up to Heaven. A huge smile came on his face and he seemed extremely pleased with himself. For many years, my son would tell me he had dreams about Grandpa and how they talked and laughed just like when he was really here.
My son is now 35 and still talks about that night. It's as real to him now as it was 27 years ago. We both truly believe it was my Dad saying his final goodbye with a kiss.