7-year-old says she saw Heaven in April 27 storms - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

7-year-old says she saw Heaven in April 27 storms

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7-year-old Ari Hallmark wrote a book about her brush with Heaven during the April 27th tornadoes. 7-year-old Ari Hallmark wrote a book about her brush with Heaven during the April 27th tornadoes.
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She drew a picture of the stairs she says lead up to Heaven. She said she and her family walked up those steps during last April's tornado.

Ari Hallmark, her mom and dad, grandparents and her infant twin niece and nephew huddled inside her grandparent's home in the Ruth community of Arab as a tornado approached.

When the home was torn apart, and the family was literally picked up inside the tornado, Ari says she saw a stairway.

She said she saw an angel, who reached out toward her.

"She was very tall and had blond hair and it was curly," Ari said. 

As Ari and her family members climbed the steps, she noticed a change in her dad. He was bald and wore glasses, but not when she saw him.

"He went to Heaven and he had hair," she said. "And no glasses."

She says she saw a lot of people, including relatives who had gone on before her.

"I saw my Paw Paw Garmany, that's my Nanny's husband. And then I saw, I think it was my Nanny's Momma and Daddy," she said. 

She says she also saw "the Pearly Gates, which were white with crystal handles."

She said she saw Jesus, but she didn't enter Heaven.

"My angel, she said, ‘Come on Ari. Let's go back down,'" she said. 

That's when she found herself lying in a field 200 yards from her grandparent's home.

She wrote a book, compiled it and called it "To Heaven, After the Storm."

Excerpts were taken from recorded sessions Ari had with her therapist, Dr. Lisa Reburn. It also included pictures and quotes from Ari. Her family hopes it will help other children understand death, and life, and Heaven.

The book is set to be published in July.

The family says the finished book will be titled, "Treasure Boxes," which is what Ari called her family members' caskets.

The book will be donated to churches and other groups to help grieving children.

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