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DECEMBER 9, 1990

AUGUST 3, 2000




This is the incredible story of my son Ray Reyes who was born into this world to give Love and, who in parting, taught forgiveness, strength in adversity, and an enduring relationship with our saviour Lord Jesus Christ.  The night of December 9, 1990 will forever be etched in my mind. It was the day my son Ray was born. After an arduous labor he was born with serious complications and was rushed to a hospital in Portland, Oregon. My doctor had discharged me early and through his tears had told me my son would probably not live through the night. I will never forget the incredible experience of  feeling God's presense in my life. That night as my husband and I made the hour long journey to the hospital, I prayed.  I begged God to give me my child ...I wanted my son to live. I could not bear to lose him and I remember asking God to spare him, I wanted him even if he would be handicapped for the rest of his life. At the time I hadn't realized what a selfish request this was, but I was hurting and I could not bring myself to bury my child. I will forever remember God telling me that he would give me my wish, but that I would never, ever blame him for what I had asked for.
When my husband and I reached the hospital, we were told that my son,  Ray, was put on a ventilator and his kidneys were shuting down. We were also told that he probably would not survive. We were given the opportunity to have a baptism and a chaplain to perform last rites.  We chose to go through with it, but in my mind I remembered God's promise to me. The next day, we were told that his kidneys had started to function and he seemed to be doing better. Ray ended up staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a month and a half. The real journey of Little Ray's life was about to begin.
Over the coarse of Little Ray's life, my sweet little son endured some of the most difficult times. At four  months of age my son was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy) and cortical blindness. He was tube fed because he was unable to eat and he had painful seizures every day of his life. He endured physical, occupational and speech therapy and saw countless other doctors and clinics. I can tell you as a mother watching your child in the agony my son was in was horrific, it ate at my heart. The last year of his life, he suffered a dislocated hip and we were placed on a waiting list to have surgery at Shriner's. He had a successful surgery and was in the process of healing. It was the first year our family planned a two week vacation with him far away from home. I wanted to take him to the ocean. We made plans for the last two weeks in August. We never got to take him to the ocean, he died August 3, 2000 as a result of a severe grand mal seizure. 

When he died, I felt I had been let down. I felt alone and in incredible pain. One day on a drive home I cried out to God , I begged God for a sign that my son was alright. I screamed Ray's name over and over, I cried so hard I could barely see the road up ahead. As I cried , I looked up into the sky and I was amazed at what I saw. Across the sky was the most vivid, colorful rainbow I had ever seen. I had never seen such a giant rainbow stretched all the way across the sky, it became my entire view. I instanly felt the presense of God and my beautiful son. The image brought me immense peace and reminded me that my son was in absolutely no pain and that he would hurt no more but find peace in the arms of Jesus. My son for the first time in his existence was in complete peace, and for me it was the first realization of that truth.

I know my son was not put on this earth for his own lesson to be learned, he was put here to teach myself and others.What my son taught me was incredible love, strength, peace and forgiveness.  As I watched him endure painful procedures , surgery and therapy, I wondered if I as a grown woman would ever have had the strength to endure as he did. My relationship with my son has brought me closer with God  and has empowered me to share God's Love with others. The journey has not been easy, this road is difficult but I refuse to allow any negative come from the death of my child. My child was and always will be a direct link to God. My precious son, Little Ray, will always have a hand in the direction I chose to take in my life and I want the road and the journey to be a positive one.
When in the darkest of the night and I am in anguish, I think of my son and even though I will miss him throughout this lifetime, I know that the essense of his spirit, is safe and in the most beautiful of places ..........Heaven in the arms of God's son who gave us eternal life. To the God whom he himself felt the agony of losing a beloved child....his son Jesus Christ.



I had gone to Little Ray's Grave and it was a few days before his birthday.  I was standing out at his grave and I suddenly smelled an overwhelming scent of strawberries or a scent very similar...not real ones but the fakey version of them. I knew this scent and yet I could not place it. I thought maybe it had been coming from another grave or from the blanket I had laid on his grave to keep him warm. 
This smell so so so strong it was deliciously sweet, like the lotions in the stores that you just want to drink. I moved away from his grave trying to locate the origin of this scent.  But then I realized that the further away from the grave the further away the scent became.  I got down on my hands and knees all the while talking to God and Little Ray. The scent seemed to come up from his grave. It permeated the ground. There was no denying it.   There was no way to make it go away. 
It was not a wish of mine, it was confusing I desperately racked my brain to associate this smell with my son. I tried my hardest to link it to my angel Ray. I couldn't though. It was like desparately trying to smell "him" through a pair of  his unwashed socks. I saw absolutely no connection dispite trying.   I was so disappointed I had not gotten a sign from him, this smell must have been from something in the ground or I was losing my mind. I was sure I was losing my mind.
I went home thinking all the way, what that meant....the smell of berries so strongly embedded into my memory it was as though it was STILL there. I asked my husband out of desparation. I asked him if he had any memories of Little Ray that were associated with 
strawberries.  He said he didn't. I was so disappointed and yet it was so strong it was nearly impossible for me to forget and dismiss it. I asked him if he was sure, if there was any association or meaning to him. I thought maybe there could have been something I did not remember or a memory that only my husband knew. I was so let down. 
After about 2 weeks I didn't think about it anymore. Then on December 19th, I was getting ready to go out to dinner, and I was putting on my make up and doing my hair in the hall mirror. The mirror is in a closet in the hallway. In the closet are all my makeup and hair products..........and a bottle of lotion.
It hit me so hard I wanted to jump and cry and scream all at once. One month before Little Ray died he had been in a body cast. He had to have major surgery on his legs and his hip reconstructed. He had some bleeding complications and had to have 4 blood transfusions. He had bled so much into the cast that it was virtually unpadded. The dried blood had started to reek a very foul odor. I heard many nurses complaining about the smell of his cast. I felt sorry for Ray because if they couldn't stand it you can imagine how bad it was for him. 
I went to the store and I bought the strongest most wonderfully scented lotion I could find. I found a luscious rasberry scented one. The scent was so strong it could mask the unpleasant scent of the cast and keep his skin soft at the same time. When he was in the hospital, I rubbed the lotion on him many times. The scent filled the room it even drifted out into the nurses station. 
I think Little Ray liked it. He always loved having lotion rubbed on him. This bottle of lotion standing there staring me in the face almost... I instantly wondered about the memory I had forced myself to forget....the memory I had dismissed as my lunatic mind running wild. When I opened the bottle...for just a split second I wondered if the scent would be the same.I realized it was the same....I smelled again just to be sure...i wanted  to be as objective as possible. I realized the significance of this scent right then and there. I opened the bottle and took in deep deep breaths as though I was drinking cold water on a hot day. I took in the verification that I was not Crazy, I had not after all lost my mind. I smelled the scent of this beautiful gift....this beautiful sign....this beautiful reassurance. I danced around ..I celebrated this event. I can say but one thing....

Thank you Little Ray, 
Thank you so much...
and I love you with my whole crazy heart.

"Are not all ANGELS ministering spirits sent 
to serve those who will inherit salvation?"
Hebrews 1:14


~Author Unknown~

  This world however beautiful was never meant to be, 
  the place that we would call our home for all eternity. 
  And though we would not chose to leave, 
  a loving God knows best, 
  And in His time He lifts us to a place of peace and rest. 
  For he has built a mansion where his children will abide, 
  Free from pain and sorrow, forever at his side. 
  He said He'd never leave us to face our trials alone, 
  And though we sometimes fail Him, He never fails his own. 
  And even when our choices are less than He would ask, 
  He knows when human courage is unequal to the task. 
  We cannot judge what happens, though tears and questions start, 
  We only see what's visible, God sees into the heart. 
  And though there may be many things that we cannot explain, 
  We can be sure it breaks His heart to see His children's pain. 
  In loving arms He bears us to a quiet place apart, 
  Where He mends the wounded spirit  and heals the broken heart. 
  And though these ones we love so much have left our present sight, 
  And passed into a better world of majesty and light, 
  Someday we'll be together in our Father's home above, 
  Where we'll thank Him for His mercy and praise Him for His Love.



Jesus loves me!  This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me!  He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin
Let His little child come in.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close behind me all the way.
He's prepared a home for me
And some day His face I'll see.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.


















Original art image by:
Laurie Snow Hein