My Sunday Sanctuary: Heaven

If you’ve ever seen the 1990’s TV show, Touched by an Angel, you have a visual reference for what life has felt like the past few days.

It’s been a while since I saw that show, but it seems like there was usually one angel assigned to a case. Then as the story developed, sometimes other angels came onto the scene. But remember how the Angel of Death showed up shortly before someone died? You knew it was coming, but when you saw him appear, it always made you kind of go, “Oh no—go away!”

That is how it’s felt here, across the street from my dying grandmother. It’s as if I feel the angels starting to congregate around her house. I can’t see them—though I do know people who have seen angels, and I believe them—but it’s like I’m just aware of a spiritual shift in the atmosphere surrounding her house, if that makes any sense.

I had a dream that I went to visit my grandmother, but instead of being at home, she was in another building, almost like a big, gaudily-decorated retirement home that looked like a cross between a day care center and an aquarium. I dreaded going that day, because I knew she was close to death—I had to walk forever it seemed, through these long, winding hallways and tunnels, peeking into different rooms and starting to feel panicky because I couldn’t find her.

But finally, I walked into a room painted brilliant blue, with lots of windows and sunlight pouring in, and there, kicked back on a purple chaise lounge was my grandmother, and on a red chair next to her, her sister, Ruby. They were dressed in white Capri pants and summer blouses, barefoot, with their fingernails and toenails painted red. And they were laughing their heads off. My grandfather was in the corner of the room, chuckling softly at them and shaking his head as he often did over other people’s silliness. The whole feeling of the room was pure joy.

And I didn’t know what to make of it. It wasn’t what I was expecting to find. Because Ruby has been dead for years, and my grandfather died over a decade ago. And my grandmother wasn’t sick or frail, but chubby and healthy like she was when I was 20. But when they saw me standing there, they smiled, welcomed and hugged me, and I remember feeling silly for expecting something bad when clearly, all was well.

I smiled when I woke up. And I smiled again when I heard that my grandmother has been dreaming about Ruby every night.

The past few days, when I’ve gone to visit, her face is so pale gray—I cannot get used to seeing her that color. But when she sees me, or one of my kids, her soft brown eyes light up with pure joy and it’s all I can do to not start bawling that very moment.

Because that look is what I saw when she greeted me in my dream. And I know that when my time comes, when I walk into heaven to be with her again, that is exactly what I’m going to see.

One reply on “My Sunday Sanctuary: Heaven”

Comments are closed.