In El Salvador we celebrate Jesus Christ's birth on 24 December. It is a very special day and preparations for dinner are made in advance and the whole family and very close friends get together. We all go to mass at midnight. My family is a typical Latin American family and we all go for dinner at my parents' house.
The phone rang at 6.30 a.m. It was my mother telling me that my father was not feeling well that morning and she wanted me to go over to their home. Before I reached their place, my brother had already taken my father to the hospital. I picked up a few things I might need and went to the hospital. My father was feeling very very bad. He couldn't breathe easily even with an oxygen mask. He was then taken to the Intensive Care Unit. At that moment when I looked at my father's face, his condition seemed desperate. I called Baba from the very bottom of my heart and I saw my father waving us "goodbye." The Intensive Care Unit at the hospital is located on the fifth floor and nobody is allowed to go there except people that have someone very ill. The elevator opens to a small waiting room, where I decided to sit with my son, Juan Carlos, who had just arrived. All of a sudden, the elevator door opened and a Hindu lady wearing a light blue sari came out. My son and I looked at each other and said, "Baba is coming to give us company." We felt so good.
I want to explain that in El Salvador no one wears a sari. It is very rare to see a woman wearing a sari. We were so surprised to see the Hindu lady. She had red roses in her hands. She came directly to me and asked: "Are you very much worried?" "Yes,” I said. "Is it your husband who is ill?" she asked me. "No,” I said, "It is my father." She said, "I am very sorry" and embraced me. She sat by my side and we talked. I told her how much I loved India and how much I loved Baba. She said, "I have my home in India and in America."
I felt so good talking to that lady. Minutes later my father's doctor came out and called me and said, "Connie, I am very sorry. I did what I could; your father has left us."
My father died in two hours with very little suffering and when I heard the doctor telling me of his passing, I felt my pain had been lessened in a very subtle way, because there is nothing that absorbs my attention more than thinking and talking about Sai Baba and about India. That lady in the blue sari was the instrument to make me think about the crucial moments my father was going through.
Our gathering on that December 24th was very different from the meetings in other years. In the streets thousands of fireworks were being burnt. It became a very auspicious night. I felt the gates of Heaven were being opened to welcome my father's return to his Source. My father was not Baba's devotee but I am sure Baba wanted me to know that He was there to console me.