Topsy Turvy Moment with Ellie Braun-Haley

We've all had moments when our life, career, or writing journey turned topsy turvy. Things change - many times for the better, although it might not seem so at the time.

Today my guest is Ellie Braun-Haley. Let's read about her life-changing and touching moment she shared when I asked, "Have you had a time in your life, career, or writing journey where everything turned ‘topsy turvy’?"

The day my world turned upside down was a day when everything felt "off" and I could not understand why it felt that way. I was away in another city for a day and when I returned home, my 17-year-old son was not home. He had been away for the day competing but he should have been back. The "off" feeling grew stronger and I felt like the world was ending. Everything was weird and my feeling of panic increased.

When the police came to my door, I could not accept the news they handed me. "Please don't tell me my son is dead. Just take me to him. He's really in the hospital and he's going to be all right."

But they would not take me to him and he was not all right. He had been killed on his way to compete. All that day when I was feeling out of sorts, it was because my world, as I knew it, no longer existed. Jason was gone!

I was very close to my son and when he died in a vehicle accident at the tender age of 17, I thought I would never see him again nor hear his voice, but I was wrong in my assumption. Life often holds more for us than we could ever imagine, and God in His wisdom, gives us opportunities we need to heal us and to move forward.

It was God who helped put my world back together again. My Heavenly Father led me, comforted me, and sent others to help me find my way back to harmony. God used this new time in my life to introduce me to things I had never even dreamed of. He walked with me and helped me to "see" again, but with a new perspective. And God introduced me to hundreds of people who talked to me and shared wondrous stories, stories that I recorded and eventually published in a book.

Five years after Jason's death God gave me something else I desperately ached for. Jason, of course was never far from my thoughts and one day, the pain of missing my son returned so abruptly I broke down, sobbing. Between huge gulps, I spoke to God in prayer, begging Him to give me a dream where I could once more see my tall, beautiful, blond-haired son. I pleaded. I begged. I cried. “It is very easy for you, God. This is so simple. Please, please give me this dream. I miss him so much. All I ask for is a hug. That’s easy for you, just one hug in a dream.” I cried on and begged as if my life depended upon this one thing. In those five years since his death, I had dreams every night, but not once had Jason been in any dream. I ached with a mother’s heart, yearning to see my son, to hold him, if only in a dream.

God answered my prayers and I indeed got my dream. Strangely though in my dream, Jason was not the tall 17-year-old son. He was much younger – he might have been seven years old. In the dream, I was chastising him for something he had done. I said, “Jason, don't do that. Do you want to get killed?"

And this little blue-eyed boy, my son, looked at me and spoke the most compelling words he ever uttered, “But Mom, death isn't forever."

I awoke and immediately felt upset. I thought, “Five years without a dream and now I don't even get a hug!”

Then as I became more fully awake, it dawned on me I had just been given something far better. Jason had returned to me as a child to comfort me. My son had given me words that have filled me with hope again and again ever since that night. Any time I ache for reassurance and comfort, I need only recall that one sentence from Jason, “But mom, death isn’t forever.”

My topsy turvy world had righted itself, with help from God!

Thank you, Ellie, for sharing your Topsy Turvy Moment. Be sure to check out her web site for more stories.


Janet Ann Collins said...


Unknown said...

This is a powerful and intimate posting. I know it took a lot of courage to write, even after this amount of time. Thank you for sharing your son with us, and all best wishes to you.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Yes - wow!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Nancy, thanks for stopping by. I agree - powerful and intimate.

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful and powerful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

My Goid continue to bless you.


T. Forehand said...

A heartfelt post. I have been the nurse holding onto the parents who receive this type of news. Jason is so right, Death is not forever. God Bless him and his wisdom.



Donna J. Shepherd said...

Cheryl, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Terri, that must be a most difficult part of your job. Bless you as you help those who are facing such heartbreaking times.

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