A cousin on my deceased husband’s side passed away suddenly last week. The gifts my husband left behind for me, are too numerous for a blog post. It’d take a novel. One of them is the unconditional acceptance and love of a family whose hearts, larger than most, welcomed in my teen-aged daughter and I. Although he has been gone for more than 14 years now, this family has kept us tucked into the fold, seamlessly integrating my son-in-law, and each granddaughter as one of their own. Speaking from my own childhood and past experience, I know it does not take a blood line to be family. I’ve often felt more supported, valued, and loved from those who didn’t share my DNA. So, when we heard the news of Paula’s death, it was a no brainer to head up North and attend calling hours. This phenomenal lady was born with cerebral palsy and spent her life in a wheel chair. Don’t allow the apparatus that supported her body, and her medical disability fool you though. I would place bets that her life was better lived in 54 years than a good majority of the population, handicapped by an inability to recognize life is meant to be lived full on, and the only thing stopping us, is fear, or the belief that we can’t. There were picture boards filled with her traveling, picnics, jet-skiing, at ballgames, playing games.... dancing eyes and joy vibrating from a crippled body that always tried, and a mind that refused to believe it was impossible. Her mind won. She lived it up!
Here is what I know in my own heart to be true... Heaven is where we all came from to begin with, therefore, heaven is our true Home. We’re just visiting here; spiritual beings, having a human experience. Our true nature is that energy, the soul.... infused with the Holy Spirit, that lives in us and never dies. We are here to taste life, love, and friendship: give, learn, teach, and grow more beautifully into our spiritual skins. This realm, simply, is both classroom as well as playroom. But, it's not Home. We are here for a specific purpose as well. It may be to change course, impact someone else’s path, invent or create, or even correct some karma. And.... this, I know, is where it gets dicey for those of different faiths and beliefs. Yet, for me, it is what I believe. I intuitively know this as a deep truth, FOR ME, and it gives me great peace. I believe we are born again, and again, and again, reconnecting, intertwining, interchanging roles, with others: from our past, present and future. As a child, (and I was a seeker even then) I sat in awe and witnessed the vastness of the Universe and heard about time and eternity, I could not imagine a God who would allow us to live on earth, for a mere 70-80-90 years ( a blink) and then it would be time for permanent retirement, lolly gagging in heaven. Not my Creator.... always Creating, and Re-creating. Rebirth simply makes sense to me... a recycling, like the seasons, birth, growth, death, renew. Meeting again, and again through all time. That would certainly eliminate Alex’s fear of not really knowing anyone in heaven should her present life be cut short, but I am sure I won’t share that with her at this time and that’s all a much bigger blog post, for another day.
My father passed away after a long journey into the depths of Alzheimer's Disease. The one constant, even though his mind, recognitions, and perceptions were ever driving him into inner darkness, was his adoration of little ones. The final months of his life, we were visiting him in the nursing home. While I’m still unsure if his eyes even knew who we were, I'm convinced his spirit did. His eyes lit up at the sight of Alex and he broke into smiles and laughter as she danced around him, teased, and played with him. Their love for one another and the obvious joy in each other’s company, needed no words. A few weeks later, post his funeral, her mother and I were in the basement, taking care of some laundry. Alex, was playing on the other side of the basement wall. We heard her chattering away, laughing and talking. Her momma asked, “Alex, who, on earth are you talking to?” Her reply, “Grandpa. He’s here!”