When I was 13, my father, Brother Sal Traina, passed away, and it rocked my world. As the oldest of his four daughters, I was also the most like him; we shared a love of books, history, and the written word. He was my confidant, my friend, and I was lost and overwhelmed after he was gone.
Who would sit at the kitchen table and help me with my math? Who would ask me what book I was reading or answer my questions about anything and everything that made me curious?
I was devastated, lonely, and angry with God that there was no one left for me to share these things with. I, along with my sisters, had to grow up without him, knowing he would miss so many pivotal and important milestones in our lives. Our home would never be the same again, and I carried this sadness and resentment with me for about three years.
At this point, I was in high school and was having a difficult time missing him. Then one night, I had a dream.
I was at school, and it was dismissal time, and I was leaving the building, as I always did, through the same door. As I left, and the crowd of kids started to thin out, I saw my father standing curbside in front of a convertible. And he was beautiful, young, and healthy, just like in a younger picture we had of him at home — so unlike what he had been leading up to his death, a thin, emaciated, sickly man who could not take a breath.
I immediately ran to him, hugged and kissed him, and he said, “Get in the car. I will take you home.” We talked the whole way. It was more wonderful than I can describe, the feeling of having him with me again. But then we got home, and I got out of the car, and he stayed in the car. And I said, “Daddy, aren’t you going to come inside? Don’t you want to see Mommy and the girls?” He looked at me so lovingly, shook his head, and said, “No, I came to see you.”
With that, I woke up, and although I was disappointed that it had been a dream, from then on, the sadness, resentment, and anger began to leave me. I had been able to be with him and share the things that were in my heart, and I was comforted.
Being free from that pain made it possible for me to give my heart to the Lord some six months later at Camp Towanda in 1977. I had God’s promise and assurance that we would meet again, and my heart was able to rejoice, knowing the fulfillment of the word of God, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt 5:4).
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Good news! You can once again receive church communications through email or text (or both) when you sign up for Flocknote, the church’s new communication tool (which has over 1,000 participants).
If you haven’t already registered to be part of the Flocknote community, the process is easy:
- Text TCOJC to 84576
- Click on the link that comes to your phone.
- Fill in your name and email address.
- Select the regions or other groups you want to receive news from.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.