Dawn G___ ’s Death and Funeral
January 11 - January 21, 2003
I mentioned in the last paper that I first received the news of Dawn G’s death just as I was leaving to go to Emmitsburg to pray. That was at 8:13 on January 11th. I also mentioned in the same paper that as I was driving home from St. Peter’s in Little Washington on January 12th I was very suddenly struck with the strong feeling that I should offer to drive Bob and Barbara to the funeral.
“As I was driving home I had a very sudden, out of nowhere thought that I should offer to drive Bob and Barbara G to Dawn’s funeral. At that very instant I looked up and the time on the dash was 12:33. I drove to "Parish Church" to pick up the Eucharist for Bob, Mary Ann and Agnes and at the very instant I opened the Tabernacle I noticed my watch said XX:XX:13. As I was driving to Bob’s house I was again hit with the strong thought that I should offer to drive them to the funeral. I felt compelled to look at my watch and it said XX:XX13. When I arrived at their house they were both very sad but handling it well. I made the offer to drive them to the funeral and they accepted. I gave Bob the Eucharist and as I walked out the front door I looked at my watch and the time was exactly 1:13:00.”
The next night, Monday January 13th Bob called to tell be that he just heard that the viewing would be on Sunday the 19th and funeral would be held on Tuesday the 21st but he did not have any more details than that. When we hung up the phone I was suddenly filled with peace and I looked at my watch and the time was 7:33. Exactly 1 hour later Bob called back because his son Kenneth had called with the exact details of the funeral. The time was 8:33. Bob asked if it would cause any problems with my job by taking off and I told him I had plenty of vacation time. Bob then told me how much it meant to him and Barbara and started to cry.
There was a long stretch between Dawn’s death and the funeral because of autopsy schedules and Martin Luther King’s birthday.
On Sunday the 19th I took the Eucharist to Bob and then we waited for his daughter Jenny to arrive so we could leave to go to the funeral home in Dale City. Jenny arrived at 12:33 and we sat and talked for a while. This was the first time I had seen Jenny since we worked together 23 years ago. We helped Bob get in the van and we pulled out to go to the funeral home at 1:13. We drove to Dale City and arrived at the funeral home at 2:33.
Bob McM___ is a mutual friend of both myself and Bob and he showed up for the viewing. Bob lives nearby and provides a lot of friendship and support to Bob G. We were standing there talking and one of Bob’s sons, Matt came walking up and joined our conversation. Matt thanked me for helping his mom and dad and was especially grateful for me helping his dad return to the church. Matt then explained that he was a member of the Baptist church and therefore did not have a lot of devotion to Mary. Bob McM___ is also a Protestant and is an extremely religious person. He has said in past conversations that he does not understand devotion to Mary and does not feel the need to include Her in his relationship with God. When it was my turn to talk I explained the concept of the Immaculate Conception and why it had to be. I explained that Jesus is completely God while at the same time completely human. I said that no Christian disputes the fact that Jesus got His divinity from God The Father making Him True God, the 2nd Person of The Trinity. I then asked them from whom did Jesus receive His humanity making Him True Man? I explained that Catholics do not worship Mary but we do honor Mary and acknowledge Her rightful position and title as The Mother of God. PERIOD.
They were both speechless and could not argue. At that very instant I was filled with that special peace that I can’t describe. I had no idea what time it was but suddenly felt compelled to look at my watch at the peak of the feeling of peace. The time was 3:33:33.
When the funeral home viewing was over we followed other people over to Kenneth and Dawn’s house and we pulled out of the funeral home parking lot at 5:13 and arrived at the house at 5:33. While we were there I was sitting on the couch and a very sudden thought popped into my mind “and by their fruits you shall know them”. It was sudden and strong enough that it made me look at my watch and the time was 6:13. When it was time to leave we loaded Bob back into the van and left. When we left the clock on the dash of Bob’s van was 7:13. When we got to Fredricksburg Bob and Barbara wanted to stop at Denny’s Restaurant and eat. We did and when the waitress brought the bill Bob insisted on paying the whole thing. He added a tip which brought the total to $33.00. We drove home and I unloaded Bob from the van and got him in the house. I told them that I would see them on Tuesday morning to go to the funeral. I got in my truck to go home and when I started it the clock on the dash said 10:33 and as soon as the truck started to move the odometer switched to 33.3. I drove home and when I pulled in my drive way I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
Monday January 20, 2003
I was off from work this day because of Martin Luther King’s birthday and I was doing a little work on the van I sold to Bob for Barbara to drive. This is not the same van mentioned above. I was running into one problem after another trying to get it started because of battery problems and I finally gave up. I could not even get it to jump start. I got in my truck and started driving to Nicky’s shop in Fredericksburg to discuss the sale of certain parts of my Civil War collection. As I was leaving I had a sudden desire to go to St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg and I looked at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
I continued with my plans of going to Nicky’s and started driving but was not sure where I was going to end up, Nicky’s or St. Joseph’s. When I got to the point where I would either turn to go to Nicky’s or go straight to go to St. Joseph’s I thought about the initial desire to go to St. Josephs’s and remembered the XX:XX:33. I kept going straight and drove to Emmitsburg. I arrived at St. Joseph’s at 3:33 PM. I was surprised to see they were having adoration. I was praying the rosary for Dawn G and Fr. O’Brien came walking in. He saw me and looked at me. He did not say anything but I knew he had read my letter. I followed up the conversation we had on December 21 at 5:33:33 by mailing him a copy of my letter on December 27th. When I mailed it I just happened to arrive at the post office at 12:33.
When I finished my rosary I left St. Joseph’s and ran into Ann Fitzsimmons on my way out as she was going in. I drove to the Grotto and said a few prayers. When I finished I returned to my truck to go home and the time was 5:13.
The next morning after mass I drove over to pick up Bob and Barbara to go to the 11:30 funeral. It was snowing pretty hard but not sticking to the road. We arrived at the funeral home and John G who is another one of Bob’s brothers is a Pentecostal preacher and he officiated at the funeral. He did a very nice job. The funeral procession lined up and we started moving at 12:33. We arrived at Quantico National Cemetery and Bob’s brother said a few last words and closed by saying “This service is concluded” and people started walking back to their cars. The time was 1:13.
We then drove to David G’s house who is another one of Bob’s sons for lunch. It turned into dinner and when it was over we loaded Bob back into the van and pulled out at 6:13. We drove back home and arrived at Bob’s house at 8:13. I helped Bob out of the van and into the house. I got in my truck and drove home and pulled in my driveway at 8:33.