Blue Like Tidy-Bowl Cleaner, Kool-Aid, and Heaven:Thoughts on Home, Family, and God from the middle of Suburbia!
Before 1999, I didn’t think much about heaven. It was out there somewhere, beautiful and wonderful I was sure.
Thinking of it, reminded me of food. (Like everything else reminds me of food, too.) Although meat always smells good when you pass a barbecue, grilling up dinner, if you’re not hungry, has no draw. But the hungrier you are, the more interest you have in what’s under the cover of that grill. And it wasn’t until death met our home that I became hungry for heaven.
It all started when my husband and I moved 1,000 miles from California to Montana. I had one main concern, and that was leaving my aging grandparents behind. A few years after we’d moved, the news I’d dreaded came. My grandfather was dying of cancer and he didn’t have long to live.
The thing that surprised my extended family the most was his desire to spend his last days in Montana. So over Christmas break, my husband and I drove through a blizzard, packed my grandparents up, and moved them to our home.
My grandpa seemed fine at first. Sure, he was a little slower than normal but that was to be expected. Then the weeks and months passed, and the weaker he became the more I started thinking about our eternal home.
I had listened to songs about heaven and read about it in the Bible, and while it was interesting, when you’re in that situation it’s about as filling to your soul as reading a cookbook or watching to a cooking show when your hungry.
Never having lost a close family member before, I had a hundred ideas of how I thought I’d deal with things, but none of them were right.
After four months living with us, my grandfather was bedridden. My grandmother and I would spend time in his room reading Scripture verses and praying with him.
Then, one day the idea of heaven heightened. I was reading aloud to my kids when my grandmother called me into the room. My grandpa was praying with hands lifted. Later he described smelling beautiful scents and seeing white birds and a gentle lion. More than that, he saw his Savior with arms stretched wide.
The next day, my grandfather went into a coma, and while I should have been terribly sad instead my heart nearly burst with joy. Every time I walked into the room it was as if heaven had touched the room with blue electricity. It seemed brighter and filled with the sensations of the brush of angel wings.
I have two final memories of my grandpa’s last waking moments. One was the peace in his eyes, and the other was the kiss he blew my direction. Though unable to speak, he was giving me a final farewell. Or a “see you later” to be exact.
So while I’m not ready for my life to be over today, heaven has great appeal. The small taste of it was enough to last a lifetime, and the reality of it will be a feast that I’m eager to enjoy . . . forever.