I am writing you about your book Heaven and what an impact it has made on me and my father. My dad was diagnosed with end stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease nine years ago. In 2001, after the birth of my daughter, the doctors gave him three to four years to live. My daughter is seven now, and that shows we don’t have an expiration date stamped on the bottom of our feet.
Two years ago I was introduced to your book in Sunday school when my teacher began a series on it. I bought Heaven with a very open mind and was very excited. It was totally mind-blowing to me to envision how it will be. Because my parents were victims of a devastating flood in July 2007 that damaged a third of our town, FEMA was kind enough to let them live in a mobile home next to my house. I was able to take care of Dad here so, for the past nine months when my feet hit the floor, I took my girls to school and went straight to his house to make him breakfast and spend the morning together. That little schedule ended up being seven days a week, every break I had and in the evenings, and when I wasn’t there we were always calling each other.
What a relationship we had. He became my best friend. I walked in one morning with Heaven in hand. I told him I wanted him to read it, and he informed me that it was too hard for him to read, since his glasses weren’t strong enough. I had planned on getting him some reading glasses next time I went to town but left the book with him anyways. He called me a few hours later to tell me that he was on page 50 and couldn’t put it down. He read your entire book without glasses....he was blind, and I feel God gave him sight to read the words. Ever since that, we talked about Heaven daily. He told everyone that came to see him, called them on the phone and emailed them that they had to get this book. Our days became engulfed in Heaven talks and questions we would come up with and look up.
One day I went to his house and he said, “Angie, I need you to do me a favor. I want you to get online and see if you can’t get some more copies of that book. I want people to read about Heaven, and when I tell them about the book, they never get it.” We got a few extra books to pass around. All the books are being read now, but when people finish reading their copies, they have to sign and date them and return them to me. I will turn around and pass them on to the next people.
Dad finally gave my book back to me. He kept it a few extra weeks because he wanted to write me a message in the front. He shook so badly he had to type it on the computer, then print it out and tape it inside. In the front of the book he thanked me for letting him read it. He was looking forward to the day that he gets to go to Heaven, and when it’s my turn he will be waiting in the present Heaven to take my hand and show me around.
My dad turned 62 on November 6, 2008. The day after his birthday, he went in the hospital for severe pain and breathing problems. He spent a week in the hospital, and then was back to the house where we never left his side. I was never told, but I knew he was sent back to die. Hospice stepped up and came all the time. That week was the worst week of my life. I have never seen someone suffer so much in my entire life. The things that man had to go through were unbearable to me, but he was my best friend, and I was not going to leave him. He knew he was going to Heaven, but he wasn’t scared—he was excited.
Mr. Alcorn, your book touched my life and my dad’s. Your words comforted him while he went through total misery. I leaned down to my dad about three days before he passed away and whispered in his ear, “I’m sorry, Dad.” He asked me why. I said, “I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.” His response was, “Not a problem.” Then he smiled with his eyes still closed. He knew where he was going and was not scared but anxious and awaiting.
He passed away November 20. It tore my heart to pieces since my dad and best friend was no longer here. But I often look back on your words which bring me such comfort. I just bought my brother Heaven on audio. I will do everything in my power to get people to read that book.
We all learned something with the loss of dad. God blesses us with special people in our lives. That’s why it hurts so badly when they are gone. It is not forever—we will be reunited in Heaven and never have to worry about leaving each other again, and my dad will be able to walk by me with no pain. — A. M.