Soul Kisses Spiritual Whispers - Spiritual Mastery with Kate Large  



In Honor of Laura Mae Stockam - A Celebration of Her Life

An Earth Angel joins the Angelic Realm

Laura Mae Hailey-Stockam was born to Nellie and Harry Hailey on December 28, 1920.  She grew up to be a beautiful, compassionate woman who put everyone else first before herself.  Physically she was my beloved grandmother.  Spiritually, for me, she fulfilled the unconditional love of the angelic realm in physical form.

Laura was an outdoor girl who loved nature, preferring to climb trees instead of playing with dolls. When she was a young girl she met Gladys Stockam and they became chums.  It was through Gladys that she met her ornery older brother Chester Stockam. 

In the beginning Laura hated Chester because he teased her unmercifully, but then she fell in love with the man with flaming red hair. They dated for two years, then on November 5, 1939 they married.  While he was away fighting for our freedom in World War II, she helped her father-in-law move houses and cared for my mother.  He received a purple heart and came home safely December 12, 1944 (44 years to the day before his great granddaughter, Jesse was born).

In 1960 I was born at St John's Hospital in Joplin, Mo.  Grandma loved her children, my mother and her brother, but she and I had a magical relationship.  After I became an adult she shared this with me, in her words, "Oh, how I loved you when you were a baby and I still love you.  In fact you seemed more like you were mine than your mother's, but you weren't.  I loved to rock you!  If I went by your house after you started to walk I had to be prepared to bring you home with me because you would drag your pink coat to me and I knew what you wanted."

My brothers were born in September of 1961 and February of 1963.  Then when I was four my parents moved to Arkansas where my dad's family lived so he could take over his father's farming operation.  I was devastated and so was Grandma.  She shared this with me, "When you moved to Arkansas I thought I would die, but of course I didn't.  Then you would come stay the summer with me and we would have a lot of fun together."

I longed for summer when Grandma and Grandpa would come get my brothers and I and take us home with them.  They lived on fifteen acres in the country south of Joplin.  Every year Grandma would help me build a playhouse in her yard.  I used an old crate as my cupboard/refrigerator that Grandma's dad had given to her when she was a child.  She and Grandpa always had a huge garden and we could have all the vegetables we wanted in our playhouse.  Grandma would play baseball with us, ride bicycles and one year they got us a stubborn, ornery Shetland pony.

Grandma would take us down to the pond behind their house to fish and bate our hooks for us.  On the weekends she and Grandpa would take us fishing in their boat.  Two adults and three little kids in a fourteen foot boat with five fishing poles...  Looking back I admire them both for their patience and bravery!

I remember lying on a blanket in the yard with Grandma and my brothers identifying angels, rabbits and dinosaurs in the clouds.  Since they lived in the country with lots of trees there were scary noises at night and Grandpa teased us about a "Hootin-nanny" that lived in the woods.  After only a couple of nights waking to three pairs of eyes staring at her, Grandma began to sleep with me.  I was quite the chatterbox (imagine that!) keeping her up late when she had to get up early to fix Grandpa's breakfast before he went to work, but she never got angry with me.  Oh yes, and she let us have Mississippi Mud cake or blackberry dumplings for breakfast sometimes!

Summers with Grandma were magical!  She introduced me to the fairies that lived in a fossilized rock in the pasture and encouraged my connection with the angelic realm in all ways.

When I learned to write I would send Grandma letters and she would write back to me.  It was through the letters that I learned that Grandma somehow "knew" when things would be awry in my life without being told.  She would ask about it, then hold the loving space of nonjudgment for me to pour my heart out to her.  ...and our bond grew even stronger.  She was my lifeline.  No matter what was going on in my life, Grandma held the safe space without judgment, without taking my side, to help me to process and heal.

In 1988 my daughter, Jesse, was born in Colorado.  Grandma shared in her memoirs, "After you got married, you had a baby and now I love her.  I don't get to rock her and spend time with her like I did you, but I love her - she is my great grandchild!  Thank you for having her."

In the late 90's I got a cell phone and called her at least twice each week.  Monday and Friday were our days to chat.  Most of the time we would talk for over an hour!  It was during one of these chats that I learned she was climbing up on the roof to check the flue - she was 80+ years old!  I scolded her for doing something so dangerous and she responded, "but I can see for miles from up there!"

In 2007 Grandpa's health began to decline and he had Dementia so I called her every day.  I asked her repeatedly if I could come out to help her (I was living in Colorado, she in Missouri), but she assured me that she didn't need any help and they were fine. Often when we were talking on the phone I would hear him calling to her, "I love you..." She would scold him with a sharp, "I'm on the phone!"

Grandma's breaking heart broke in the wee hours of Saturday morning, August 18, 2007 when Grandpa's physical body died.  Her life changed forever that day.  She and Grandpa could no longer take care of their fifteen acres in the country so it was in the process of being sold.  Grandpa's physical body died and she had to leave her home.  Shortly thereafter she moved to Arkansas to live near my mother in an assisted living apartment.

In April of 2012 after a bout with pneumonia Grandma needed someone to be with her full time, so my daughter Jesse and I drove to Arkansas, rented a house and moved her in with us.  We were honored to share laughter, love and care for her for 78 days.

During our time in Arkansas we were adopted by our earth angel neighbors Miss Dorothy and Jules, 80+ and 94 respectively, who became our family.  When leaving after a visit, Miss Dorothy leaned over Grandma's chair, patted her hand and told her how much she enjoyed being with her.  We were profoundly blessed to have the love of Miss Dorothy and Jules.

When Grandma would agree to eat I made her home made soups from my America's Test Kitchen recipe books.  If you have been a caregiver for someone who can no longer walk or care for themselves you know there are parts of the day that are not very much fun.  But in our case, Jesse made everything fun.  There was juuuust enough room for the three of us in the tiny bathroom that had no grab bars.  The boys, (dogs Majik and Jayden) would stand outside the door and watch to make sure we were doing everything right.  There were times we all laughed so hard we could barely catch a breath!

All her life Grandma wanted to go to Hawaii, but was afraid to fly, so she never went.  I asked for and received permission from our landlord to paint a mural on the living room wall of a Hawaiian sunset.  Together, Grandma and I searched for a picture on the internet.  She found one she liked and I painted it 17 feet wide and 8 feet tall.  Then when Grandma would wake from her nap she would open her eyes to a view of Hawaii.  After we painted it, my friend Heather in Hawaii sent us an internet link to a Hawaiian Hula dance just for Grandma.

When she was still able to speak, Grandma would tell us that Grandpa was coming to get her.  We assured her we were very happy for her that he was coming and asked her to promise us that she would wake us if he came during the night.  She promised.

As we cared for Grandma the days stopped being days with names and became simply daylight and dark.  I shared a room with Grandma like I did when I was little.  Except now instead of sleeping together, I had my own bed and she slept in her "Princess Bed" (hospital bed).  One night just after I crawled between the sheets, I heard Grandma call my name, but her physical body was sound asleep.  I then saw her in my mind's eye just to my left.  She was beautiful.  She said, "It's Grandma."  Then she proceeded to tell me that she wanted me to know that she was fine even though her physical body did not appear to be!

After only a few weeks, Grandma was too unsteady to walk with her walker so we used her "Princess Chair" (wheelchair).  Even though she could not stand on her own, she was often convinced she could get up and walk around the room or go to the store.  So we never left her alone in her recliner.  If I needed to work and Jesse showered or ran an errand I set up our laptops and watched her on Skype as she watched TV or took a nap.  The first time I set it up I showed her what I was doing and told her I would be able to see her.  Her response was, "So you're going to spy on me!" and she laughed.  I laughed too.  I hadn't thought of it that way, but yes, I was going to spy on her.

There were days that Grandma did not want to get out of bed and wanted some alone time.  Again we used Skype to monitor her from the living room or my office.  During this time we saw amazing things going on in her room and were comforted.  We saw the angels and deceased loved ones tending to Grandma spiritually as movement between the camera lens and Grandma's bed.  It freaked Jesse out the first time she saw them, then it became normal.   

The last day we were with Grandma we took her to Craighead Forest.  It was really hot that day, so we got out of the car and sat under an awning next to the lake.  There was a cooler breeze there coming off the water and Grandma saw fish jumping out of the water.  On the other side of the lake we stopped to look at a gaggle of geese.  Jesse got out of the car to open Grandma's door so she could see them, but when she opened it the geese came after her.  She quickly closed the door and ran around the car to safety.  Grandma and I laughed and laughed.

After 78 days of caring for Grandma, her children forced us to go home and they placed Grandma in a hospice facility. I've heard horror stories from friends about how families lose coherent thought when a family member is dying, then I learned first hand how my family is no different than any other family.  We have hiccups and drama just like everyone else.

Jesse and I were beyond distraught.  Then my guides showed me that our time with Grandma was complete and it was time to go. It was devastating to pull out of the driveway without Grandma, but knowing that she was surrounded by angelic beings of love and light made it possible.

In the beginning I felt Jesse and I we were there to hold the space for Grandma as her body and spirit prepared to transition home to the angelic realm, but we discovered that she was also holding the space for us - for Jesse and I to learn the depth of healing through forgiveness.  It was through the love of forgiveness that Jesse and I were able to stay calm during the family drama and understand the karmic healing.

My heart breaks that Jesse and I weren't there with Grandma when her physical body exhaled its last breath, but we are comforted because she fulfilled her promise and came to both Jesse and I the last day her body lived - before Grandpa came and got her to take her home to the angelic realm.

I was doing an email angel reading Saturday morning, July 28th when I she began talking to me.  I saw her beautiful spirit in my mind's eye just to the left.  We chatted for a bit, then I heard grandpa calling her.  I hugged her and didn't want her to go yet.  It was then I realized that I had let her go consciously - physically telling her it was ok to go, but subconsciously I was holding on with both hands.  She told me "you have to let me go so I can live."  I let her go and felt the cord between us detach.  The instant I felt the release of the cord, I was infused with the most profound love - more love than my human brain could take in - it was all encompassing!

I knew she would be joining the family members of the angelic realm very soon.  She conveyed her time was near to Jesse as well.  Before my eyes closed in sleep that night I checked on her higher self.  The angels showed me the beautiful light of God bursting forth from her chest letting me know she was crossing over fully.

Early Sunday morning, July 29, 2012 at 3:15am Central Earth time beautiful Earth Angel, Laura Mae Hailey-Stockam joined family members of the angelic realm for a magnificent celebration of her life.

We grieve that the laughter of grandma’s physical body has been forever silenced. Yet we rejoice that she now laughs and giggles with the angels free of the physical restrictions of her frail human body. She is no longer afraid to fly and soars with the angels in joy and laughter - and I'm sure she's seen the real Hawaii!

The seventy-eight days Jesse and I cared for Grandma will live forever as a huge blessing in our hearts.  We know that she is as close as a breath and are comforted with the love that binds us together always and forever.  However, the pain of grieving the loss of her physical presence is excruciating...  ...and it is okay to cry...

Grandma has been and always will be my connection to the unconditional love of the angelic realm.  On September 27, 2012, she woke me up kissing me on the forehead just like I used to do to her every night when she went to bed.  She then sat down on the bed, took my hand and talked with me.  Jesse continues to tell Grandma goodnight every night before she goes to sleep and she, too, is seeing and feeling Grandma's loving essence.

Angel Express
While Jesse and I were in Arkansas my husband sent us cards and packages priority mail.  It always took at least five days to receive mail from Colorado. 

Then a dear friend of mine in California sent Jesse, Grandma and I three glowing yellow bracelets to brighten our day.  She mailed them on a Thursday night after 7pm at the post office.  We received the package on Saturday morning.  There was no postmark on the package.  It was as if it came by Angel Express! 

Grandma loved her bracelet and did not want to ever take it off, so she showered with it on and we rubbed lotion around it! 

Grandma was wearing her bracelet when her physical body was laid to rest next to Grandpa. The lap rug that I crocheted for her for Christmas was tucked around her.

As Jesse and I cared for Grandma, the Soul Kisses Community shared our experience.  To all of you who held us in your thoughts and prayers and sent us cards, we are forever grateful for your loving support.

Tree in Grandma's Honor
Grandma's casket was made by Batesville Casket of Batesville, Arkansas.  The casket company and the funeral home have donated a tree to be planted by the National Forest Service in Grandma's name.  The young girl who would rather climb trees than play with dolls continues to live as a tree with deep roots into Mother Earth providing a home for the bodies of nature that she loved.

A Safe Space of Love
Grandma fully supported my work with those of the angelic realm when no one else did.  She believed in me and my abilities even when I questioned them.  She always held the Safe Space of love for me to heal and to expand my heart to love.

Now, more than ever, I am fully committed to Paying Forward the Safe Space of Love to others that she held for me.  If you are looking for answers I invite you to explore the Soul Kisses Spiritual Whispers website to discern what information resonates with you and will help you as you traverse your life path.

If you are grieving the physical loss of a loved one, I send you love and light to heal your heart. 

In love and light,

Love to heal your heart...

Waiting in the Other Room by Kate Large

And Then There Was Heaven by Roland Comtois

Caregiver Pitfalls and Grief
Jesse and I were committed to caring for Grandma.  Jesse had worked for a year at an assisted living complex so she knew how to bathe her and care for her physical body.  Together we put her needs first and did our best to make her comfortable and maintain her dignity.  As I mentioned above, Grandma was a very independent woman who always put the needs of others first.  Now it was her time to be treated like a princess.  She abhorred Depends, wheelchairs and hospital beds because they represented failure to thrive.  Instead of wearing Depends, riding in a wheelchair and sleeping in a hospital bed, she wore Princess Panties, rode in a Princess Chair (wearing sunglasses when she was in public) and slept in a Princess Bed.

Hospice nurses and aids offered us support while we cared for Grandma.  We learned just before we left grandma that we were a topic of conversation at the nurse's meetings, because we had no outlet or relief in caring for Grandma.  To us Grandma was no trouble - we were caring for her because we loved her.  It wasn't till we returned home that we realized the toll the experience had taken on our emotions.  For weeks Jesse and I were numb to just about everything.  Then the numbness wore off and the real grieving set in.

If you are caring for someone who can no longer care for themselves, I implore you to seek out help to allow you to have some down time without guilt.  When you have this time for yourself, work on decompressing and releasing the pain of what you're going through. 

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia, I recommend and the book "ElderRage or Take my Father... Please! - How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents" by Jacqueline Marcell.  Her website and book are loaded with loving support, resources and tools to help you.

When your loved one passes, allow yourself to grieve - as long as it takes.  When you can, embrace the love that you share between you and celebrate that love.  Allow yourself to experience joy and laughter.  Try setting your intention to experience joy and laughter each day and you will heal from deep within.  Let go of any guilt at experiencing joy or laughing out loud - let go of guilt of feeling excited and happy about something.  Know that you are not betraying your loved one whose physical body has died when you experience joy, happiness and laughter.  They want you to be happy!

In time I will write more of our story as support to those who are caring for or grieving the physical loss of a loved one.  Please be sure to subscribe to the Soul Kisses Spiritual Whispers newsletter to be notified when this book is available.

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