Sunday Post 9: What is heaven like?

When I was a kid, my family would go to South Carolina for the day once a month to visit our grandparents.  Both sets lived there.  It was about two hours from our house in North Carolina, a straight shot down I-95.  The grandmother who could cook (and there was only one with that talent) would serve us a huge helping of fried chicken and butter beans which we poured over white rice.  Without exception, my brother and I would have gas for the entire trip back home, my mother ready to crucify us by the time we hit South of the Border.

The other grandmother was also a special lady.  Idee was the one we really talked to about life. 

I remember sitting at her white and chrome formica kitchen table one Saturday afternoon.  I was eleven and, as a teenager, learned to drink coffee at that very spot.  On this particular day, we had a discussion about heaven. 

“Idee, what do you think heaven is like?”

“Honey, it’s beautiful.  Like being in a huge garden – clear bright skies every day.”

“What do you do there?”

“Oh, you just sit around and listen to the beautiful music.  The angels play their harps all day long.”

“What do you wear in heaven?”

“There are no clothes in heaven baby.  We leave all that stuff here.”

I have a horrible vision imprinted in my head of me sitting around naked with my also naked grandparents listening to harp music in heaven.  That is NOT my idea of eternal bliss.  I’m not a modest person, but if they’re around, I need clothes.  I hope God has bow ties – and maybe a little Kenny Chesney or Usher.  I’d take Bieber over angelic harp music any day.

This year my view of heaven has changed, actually for the better.  It’s not because I have a new outlook on the fashion scene up there or a new idea about the tunes God plays.  It’s because of a dream.

Last fall I had a vivid vision, I guess it was a dream, about heaven.  It was so real.  One of those moments when you wake up with a racing heart beat because you feel like you were actually participating.  I’ve never been one to remember my dreams.  But I’ve had several this year that I can’t forget. 

In this particular one, I saw a place filled with those who have died before me.  My one grandmother greeting me with a big plate of fried chicken.  My big tall goofy friend Trey with his hand in the air – a high-five and a huge hug.  I could hear him say, in his slow southern drawl, “You finally made it dude.” 

And then I spotted Lisa.  She was radiant, like the day I married her.  She walked over.  We didn’t talk but knew exactly what the other was thinking… “Finally.”

We looked at each other, and in that one glance the years apart vanished.  I reached for that hand that I’ve missed so much and we walked down a path, just the two of us.  It seems as though this time we won’t ever have to be apart again.

It’s a vivid image, an image of deep, deep comfort.  It gives me hope.  

I’m not sure I’m communicating with the dead and I probably wouldn’t admit it if I thought I really was.  But I will say that something has put images in my head that have given me the assurance that Lisa is ok.  That something has also given me the assurance that I will see her again.  And somehow, that makes it easier to live.

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  1. April (Calvin) Poole

     /  March 13, 2011

    Bruce, do cherish the dream – I believe they’re real – maybe because I’ve had them and they are such comfort – read any Kubler-Ross?

  2. Mom

     /  March 13, 2011

    Good memories. Those dreams encourage us and keep us going sometimes. Keep them close.

  3. Mel Ham

     /  March 13, 2011

    I have sensed Lisa just around the corner…don’t know what it means..I was never scared but had this intuitive feeling…The dreams and visions you have are no mistake. As much as you try to describe what seems so valid and real, it’s hard to put to words, though you have done wonderfully here. You never know if these glimpses will lead you to a place or a person. I know there will be a day when things will be revealed…and you will gain more peace. I am proud of how you are evolving out of this hard time. Peace be with you BIL..Mel

  4. evie lichti

     /  March 14, 2011

    Well sed, brother! God bless – continued prayers

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