Submitted by Jannina Hurdle
January 2010

silhouette_holding_handsSome families face incredibly tough decisions; such was the case with Jannina. Born in Costa Rica, she was part of a very loving family. Her sister, A.J., was only 2 years older and her brother, Ronnie, was 7 when she was born. Because Ronnie suffered from an asthma condition, the humid climate of their homeland wreaked too much havoc on his health. Their mother, Amparo, had a difficult choice to make. She loved her children dearly but could not idly stand by and let her son deteriorate. It was with some degree of heartache that she and Ronnie left Costa Rica to move to the drier environment of Los Angeles. It was very sad for the girls to watch their mother leave but they knew it was to help their brother. Amparo promised to come and get them when she was able and she left them in the very capable care of their father and three aunts.

Seven years later their mother kept her promise. She and Ronnie returned to Costa Rica to bring Jannina and A.J. back to live in Los Angeles with them. Her father, however, did not go. Circumstances had led their parents to a divorce and he chose to remain.

Once in Los Angeles, Jannina and her brothers’ relationship began to blossom. They did a lot of things together which included going to the beach, taking trips and going out to dinner. They enjoyed each other’s company and took every opportunity to strengthen their bond. Eventually, as they got older, Ronnie met a wonderful girl named Donna and they moved in together.

After living in Los Angeles for approximately 25 years the girls were ready for a change of pace. Tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, the three of them decided to move to Denver for a more relaxed atmosphere. Ronnie and Donna now had a daughter together and decided to stay put. Although they chose to live in different cities, distance did not prevent them from keeping in touch.

Three years after moving to Denver Jannina found herself getting married.She and her husband decided to move to the south where some of his family lived. She continued to stay in touch with her family out West.

Nine years passed and everything was going fine until Ronnie was diagnosed with liver cancer. Jannina’s mother and sister returned to Los Angeles in order to help Donna care for him. It didn’t take long, however, for the cancer to ravage his body. With his health spiraling downward Ronnie was admitted to the hospital. Jannina received the phone call she had dreaded. The doctors felt it would be best if she come out there because they didn’t expect him to hold on much longer.

Immediately she boarded a plane headed to L.A. As she settled into her assigned seat and closed her eyes she could feel the uneasiness building. How would she handle seeing her brother so ill? How could she truly convey the love she felt so deep inside for him?

As these thoughts rummaged through her mind she suddenly had a vision. It was so real. She could see herself standing at the foot of Ronnie’s hospital bed talking to him, telling him it was okay for him to go. The vision was so powerful! She snapped her eyes open and thought, “Where did that come from?” She closed her eyes again and there was the vision. She told her brother, “Ronnie, it’s okay to go.  It’s okay to go to the other side.” Jannina opened her eyes and immediately turned to the passenger seated next to her. She asked him the time. It was 10:00 am central time which made it 8:00 am on the west coast.

She felt the tears welling up as she questioned herself. Why was she having these visions and why was she telling her brother that it was okay to go to the other side? She knew Ronnie had not been very spiritual. Perhaps out of her concern for him she was somehow trying to comfort him and help him to not be so afraid.

A flight attendant walking past noticed her tears. He asked if something was wrong and she confided that her brother was dying. He took her to the rear of the plane to get some water and help her regain her composure in privacy. It was at that moment that she told the attendant she felt her brother had already passed.

As Jannina departed the ramp at the airport she was greeted by Ronnie’s best friend, Mundo. He took her hands in his and as she looked into his eyes she said, “He’s gone, isn’t he?” Mundo could do nothing but shake his head in agreement.

When she arrived at the hospital, rather than being upset and emotional Jannina felt a sense of completeness. It was hard to explain but she was not nearly as upset as she had thought she would be. She looked at her brother as he lay peacefully in the bed and gently took his hand. Very lovingly she uttered the words, “See you on the other side.”

After speaking to her mother things became much clearer to her. At the hospital Amparo had noticed that Ronnie was anxiously watching the clock. It was as if he was expecting something. At 8:00 am his mother assured him that Jannina would be there at any moment and to just wait on her. It was the exact same time that she had the first vision on the plane. As she was having the second vision, Ronnie was taking his last breath. She was overwhelmed with peace in the belief that she had indeed been able to see and speak to her brother before he passed. Her spirit was there to comfort him when he needed her most. It was her words that released him to that peaceful transition.

That night Jannina and her sister had gone to sleep in Ronnie’s bed. She began dreaming and felt as if she was taking her last gasp of air and then an incredible sense of peace and comfort. The dream was so powerful it took her breath away as she awoke. She felt Ronnie had shared with her what he was feeling at his passing. She knew that the immense sense of peace, comfort and love that had permeated her entire being was exactly what her brother had felt. That revelation gave her great joy.

After Ronnie’s cremation they had a wonderful memorial service for him. Jannina had never felt such peace and comfort in knowing that her beloved brother was no longer suffering. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his spirit was alive and well and in a wonderful place. She was able to let go of his physical presence with the absolute assurance that she would see him again.