I'll Take That with a Capital H!

3:46 AM Elizabeth Seckman 22 Comments

I believe in Heaven. With a capital H. A proper noun sort of place. Like Houston, Honolulu, or Havana. For me, it's not just an idea or some fabricated happy place we pretend exists to comfort the kids when the dog dies.

It's as real as the earth, the wind, and the water around us.

But we have to take that on faith.

Many years ago, I was a waitress. Not a very good one, but I was one. Honestly, The only part of the job I was good at was small talk, which I relied on to make people forget that it took me two trips to the table to remember the extra napkins!

One day, an elderly man came in. A heavy set guy with gray hair and pudgy, kid-like hands. He ate his food then lingered over coffee. The place was empty so I sat and chatted with him. Somehow, someway the conversation turned to Heaven. He was a true believer. I was still at the "it's a good place...in theory" stage. I knew about it from Sunday school and it sounded pretty all right...but I was in no hurry to check it out first hand.

When I told him this, he laughed. A good belly laugh that brought tears to his eyes. Then he said, "You're young yet. Just like a baby in the womb, you want to stay where you are."

Young me probably looked totally blond and confused, so he explained, "A baby, when it comes to term and is ready for life on earth, has to be forced out. The chemistry in the mother's body changes...hormones are released that prompt the contractions that shove the fetus out. Birth is a struggle. The baby isn't a willing helper. It wants to stay. Life in the uterus is comfy. It's warm and safe...what more could a soul want? Death is the same. We fear it because we have no idea that we will be more. Human existence is what we know. It's what we are comfortable with. But when our time comes, we will have another birth into a life that is so much more than our minds can comprehend."


Fast forward about fifteen years. My brother was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma. A wicked cancer that moved with the speed of August mildew. My brother was a smart man and he knew his days were numbered.

And he was also a die hard atheist. He would tease me that the light at the end of the tunnel was the paramedic checking  dilation, nothing more. While he was hospitalized for treatment, he threw out nuns, priests, ministers and any other clergy who had the kahoonahs to stop by his room. I would pray for him...please God, if you won't heal his body, heal his soul so I can meet him one day in Heaven.

Then, one day, I poked my head in his door and he waved me in. He was thin and frail, but his face was no longer pinched with worry. He asked for a basin of water and his razor. As he shaved away the stubble, he told me, "I don't want you to make a big deal out of this...but...that God of yours won't leave me alone. At night, when everyone leaves and the place is quiet...He is here. Now, I don't plan to have a big discussion about it...it's between Him and me. I also don't want you freaking out when I say this, but I'm okay with dying. I'm not saying I'm eager to take a dirt bath, but I'm not afraid. I want you to understand, however this turns out, I'm going to be all right. You will be the one in pain and I'm sorry for that."

So true big brother, so true.

Prayers for the families in Colorado. And everywhere. Every minute of every day, someone is making the journey and saying farewell. May they have God's comfort.

22 comments:

  1. Wow. That is a wonderful story. Makes me tear up.

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    1. But it's supposed to be uplifting! But then, there is tearing up in a good way. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Emily, but it's supposed to be happy. So how about a smile to make up for it? :-D

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  3. Amazing. I have faith that this is how it works - else, what is the point?

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  4. What comforting stories. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Most welcome. Thoughts of the tragedy in Colorado made me think of it. Those poor families...

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  5. Wow. Teared up a bit there. Thank you for sharing that story, Elizabeth!

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    1. Cyber hankie?

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Aloha from *H*onolulu,

    Wow, Elizabeth, you took my breath away with this post. So very sorry for the loss of your dear brother, and how wonderful he found some peace before he passed.

    And that old man... now, there was a visit from an angel, if there was ever one:)

    Thanks for sharing what I'm sure was not the easiest of post to write...

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  7. Apparently, you're making us all cry. Thanks for bringing truth to the internet today. :)

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    1. No one was supposed to cry...it was supposed to be uplifting.

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  8. Lovely posting and so heartwarming and true I have no words to even comment. Loved reading your posting today!

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  9. You brought tears to my eyes. You also brought comfort, because at times I think about these issues and don't always know what to make of them.

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    1. I think we all have those questions. And when bad things happen that make no sense, it makes me feel better when I remember the time on earth is short and there is something better to come.

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