This is a post from 2 years ago today on one of my blogs. I still miss you Lynn... but in my dreams you are still there....
My sister Lindy loved my writings. She loved it when I would send her cards and write at length about this or that. We had in the past had talks about what we'd like heaven to be like when we die. She would joke and say if there wasn't snow, she wasn't interested. And so I created a work of fiction that included a character whom had a very strong resemblance to her and I gave it to her to read a couple of months ago. She knew it was her. She told me she loved it and it made her cry (happy tears).
An Excerpt from MY HEAVEN:
God was there.Nobody told me where I could find him, but I knew he was there… somewhere.I felt His presence.I longed to see His face.And if this was indeed Heaven, then wasn’t He supposed to be on a throne of some sort?Should Jesus be at His right hand on yet another throne?Shouldn’t all of us Heaven residents be worshipping and bowing down to Him instead of going about our business and creating our own personal Heaven’s?
The season of winter, which I abhorred on earth, was acceptable to me here in Heaven.The flakes were big and soft upon my skin as I trudged my way up my sister’s driveway to her big, beautiful mansion on the hill.I didn’t feel cold though, only a perfect warmth.She watched from a dimly lit window above and when I reached the large wraparound porch she met me at the door.
“Come in!” she said.
She was beautiful.Her gown was crimson and her blonde hair was in a bun on her head with just a few curls twirling down the sides of her blushed face.I knew right away that she had been outside in the snow…enjoying her Heaven.
Gina filled me in on everydetail of my sister Lily, and though I did not really recognize her from earth I still felt like I knew her.
On earth she had died many years before me. First she had diabetes, then her eyesight began to deteriorate and she had heart problems.Her kidneys began to fail and she had fallen and broken her hip.It was downhill from there.She loved life, but her joy had left her and her eyes grew dim.Then one day she suffered a severe stroke that left her paralyzed.Oh how that woman suffered!The day the angels pulled her to Heaven was a day of rejoicing for her.But how I missed her on earth!I missed the old times of talking for days on end about everything from soap operas to Nascar.I missed the way she would call my children over to her house the minute she saw them playing outside in the yard so she could give them a cookie.I missed her loyalty as a sister.But though I did not know of her heaven at the time, I knew she was in a better place than that of her suffering.
“It’s warm in here,” I said.“Feels good…”
“Here, let me take your coat.”She said.I pulled my fluffy white coat off and handed it to Lily.I could smell dinner cooking.
“Stay for turkey and stuffing,” she said.
“Oh, that sounds wonderful,” I said.“I believe I will.”
She made the most fantastic turkey dinners.This, she did on earth as well.Thanksgiving was her day in the kitchen and she loved cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
“I have something I want to show you,” she said.“Follow me.”
I followed her through her spacious old-fashioned kitchen and to the back of her mansion and she opened the door.Five big dogs came barreling in and I pulled back to let them go through.
“They were mine, when I lived on earth.”She said.I watched as she sat on the floor and played with them and I felt something in my heart that was not a feeling I had felt before.It was as though I was missing something.
“How do you know they were yours?”I asked.
“Lorna told me.”She said.Lorna was her angel.She and Lily worked crossword puzzles together every Thursday evening.
“How nice,” I said.The dogs were shiny, soft, and smelled of fresh lavender.One jumped into my lap when I sat down on the divan and a tender feeling came over me.I had held that dog before.
“There’s a place just around the bend,” Lily pointed to her right.“It’s called the Rainbow Bridge, and there you can collect your pets and take them back to your heaven with you to live forever in paradise.”
“Is that where you got yours?”I asked.Lily shook her head.
I must have had pets before, in my life on earth.But still, I wondered.
I asked Gina the next day if she would like to visit the Rainbow Bridge with me and without saying a word she motioned for me to follow her.
As we passed Lily’s mansion I could see the snow still accumulating on her grounds and a snowman now sat proud and tall right outside the door, complete with a corncob pipe, a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.Lily waved from her window.I smiled and waved back, then gave her thumbs up.I wasn’t sure why I was going to The Rainbow Bridge; all I knew is that there was something missing from my Heaven that I needed to be fulfilled. Christmas day was the last good day Lindy had. Today I was there alone with her when she took her last breath.
I touched her forehead and joked around with her for just a minute. I told her, this is like old times when we'd sit and talk for the longest time... just me and you. Her breaths were shallow and her eyes dim. I am not sure that she heard me... but after I talked to her about her Mansion and the snow and the beautiful place she'd be going to, she took one more breath... then a pause. Then another. And then... nothing.
This year we gifted our kids with candles. Not your typical light-with-a-match candles but luminara candles. The flame looks totally real. Ours are cinnamon but we got the kids vanilla and yes, they do expel a soft and calming aroma similar to a true flame candle.
This photo does not do these candles justice... they are so much prettier than this... but... you get the 'picture'...
Today we took Gracie up to visit with Ellie. She was excited till she got nose to nose with her... then it was indifference. Gracie's favorite place = underneath daughter's Christmas tree. Probably stemming back from when she was a pup and she was indeed a Christmas present!
GP is repeatedly trying to make my life better. He's an awesome husband! A heated hand massager for my arthritis. A heated foot massager for my angry feet. Sleep masks. Make-ups and creams to make me beautiful (well, he tries). The latest and greatest in electronics. The list goes on and on.
A year or so ago, it was no surprise to me that he'd want to buy me the perfect pillow to make my night's sleep as good as it could possibly be.
Enter MY PILLOW....
Now I know it's supposed to be the mother of all pillows. Better than memory foam.
Better than down.
How do I know this you ask?
The infomercial tells me so. Every. Single. Hour. Of. Every. Single. Day.
The guy's likable. How can you not like him?! And he believes in his pillow. He hugs it and talks nice about it and hugs it some more.
But he's stalking me!
Get out of my living room MY PILLOW guy!!!
I did not like MY PILLOW.
It is simply a pillow with a bunch of little chunks of foamy stuff that gathers together allowing your head to sink deep down into the pillow just like he claims the memory foam and down pillows do. Only worse.
But the more this guy talks about his pillow, the more I think to myself... I must be wrong! This must be the best pillow ever! I must try this again!
He is constantly sending me subliminal messages. Trying to convince me that this is the best pillow ever! His consistent sales pitch is working on my psyche!
He has impressed upon me that I need to try again.
And speaking of impressed... you can imagine how star struck I was to turn the corner at the BonTon and run into .....
The MY PILLOW guy!
His pillow might not be the best, but he sure does have MARKETING down to a Tee!
Tonight Marissa and Summer gave me the best Christmas gift ever.
Seeing these angels be a part of celebrating and honoring Jesus is what Christmas is all about and their participation in this Christmas Eve service meant more to me than any store bought gift ever could.
I'll be tucking this into my memory bank and label it as one of the best Christmas's ever....
When two of the most precious gifts God ever gave me honored Him by participating in the true Christmas story. I only hope that during this Christmas program and the beautiful candlelight service that followed, that Jesus 'birth' day touched their hearts in the same way that they touched mine.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND LOTS OF LOVE TO ALL MY FRIENDS IN BLOG-LAND! BE SAFE AND BLESSED!
I'm not one to buy Christmas gifts just to buy something. I think. I ponder. search... for just the right gift.
It was tough this year thinking of something for #2 Son. What to get.. what to get...
He is a writer. And so I thought this cup appropriate.
One of the favorites for my kids in the gift receiving department is when I fill big bags with freshly backed cookies and fudge for each one.
I keep meaning to break this tradition each year because of the back breaking agony of seven to ten hours in the kitchen mixing, measuring, spilling, bending, clean-up and finally sampling. But each year I sense that it would take a huge chunk of their joy away if they left our home without their usual bag of baked goods on Christmas day. And so....
My knight in shining armor aka grocery guy aka husband brought home a big bag of these....
No mixing for the chocolate chip! It saved a lot of time and work. And they turned out great. Yes, I cheated!
But shhhhhhhhh don't tell the kiddo's. They will never know the difference.
Gracie's job was to stay wide-eyed and alert, close to the kitchen to clean up the floor as things progressed. In her words, "It's a ruff job, but some dog's gotta do it."
A while back I had made reservations at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster Pennyslvania for a show...
Last night was the night. So out of town we went. AGAIN!
I Thought .... If nothing else puts me in the Christmas mood, this show will!
One more jaunt out of town in the busy month of December was all I needed to make the already hectic month even more insane.
Our hotel was right beside the theater but as always, we were sent to the millionth floor where we had to lug our bags all the way to the end of the ten mile long hall as far away from the elevator as possible. (a bit of exaggeration maybe... but still). No wonder my BP rises when we go away!
The dinner was wonderful!
The show, awesome!
And now... I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!!
What about Gracie, you ask?
Well, she enjoyed her time away as well... doing what she does best. Resting with Ellie and stealing cupcakes off of little children.
It was supposed to be a dog day. A day for the dogs. "Let's take the dogs to camp!" She said. "It will be their day!" She said. "It'll be fun!" She said.
So we all loaded into the car, well... 2 cars actually. I tried to wipe the smile off my face as I breathed in the fresh country smells and as the wind whipped the fur back from my face... but it was a no-go. The smile stayed. I was a happy camper. Camper. get it? BOL! I was a camper!
When we got to camp it was business as usual. (And yes, we both had business to do in the piles of brown leaves where mom scolded saying it was hard to find and why'd we have to evacuate the moment we got there??) .... Until a couple of pit bulls tried to bully Ellie May and me from two campers down. We were having no parts of it though. You should have seen my lil' niece Ellie! That girl ran full speed as far as that rope would take that long and lean black body of hers and she came face to face with those ol' pit bulls and gave them the what for!!! I'm pretty sure she scared the barks out of them cause they were quiet after that.
We walked, and walked and walked. The cookie carriers suddenly became cookie carrier carriers as we savored the smells along the way. Ellie girl was like - let's go-go-go while I was all about - let's stop and smell the roses dog pee.
Ellie May and me got along just fine. I felt obligated to share my water bowl and treats with her (especially after she was successful in intimidating the neighborhood bullies which gave us so much more peace about being there).
We sat and rested and occasionally got tangled together and needed our peeps to free us... but it was fun.
That camp air was awesome.
The smells... ahhhhhhh the smells...
And the cookie carriers trying to steal our thunder and be cuter than us...
But really, we didn't care much. We were in it for the smells. and the food.
And speaking of food, we had steak for supper! Seriously!! Ellie May said she'd never eaten steak before nor had she ever gone for a walk!!!! Wow. Poor girl. I was glad to share my day at camp with her.
We were both dog-tired when we got home. I could not move. No, really. I could not move.
My neighbor is missing. He ran away from home a little over a month ago. His name is Ollie and everyone is looking for him. I mean, everyone!! Even mom - she always says when we are outside. "Keep an eye out for Ollie." An eye out? She wants me to take my eye out? How will that help?
My pack is strange.
Anyhoo... If you happen to see this guy call the number there and for cryin' out loud don't chase the poor guy! He's scared enough as it is.
I remember the day I ran away from home. It was a warm spring day (BF) (BEFORE FENCE) and mom had me tied to the clothesline out back. I decided to play Houdini and I magically became separated from my restraints and voila!! I was free at last!
I ran like the wind!!!~! Soon I heard the frantic voice of mom calling my name! "Gracie! Gracie!!!!" I could tell she was losing it. (she does that a lot, ya know.. BOL!) Finally, she spied me laying by the front door.
"Where have you been? Why did you run? How did you get loose? !!!!" Interrogation began. Seriously, mom. Do you really think I'd run out in front of traffic like you insinuated I might would do? Psssshhh
So that's my story. Of the day I ran... all the way around the house.
Gracie, the blog's yours from this day forth. Create in it a masterpiece...
Alrighty then! Thought you'd never give it up. I'm so ready for this! Just got my hair done and after spa day, a pumpkin cookie! Cookie Rules AKA Ways to Have fun with the Rest of the Pack: Rule #1 Pretend that you do not like the cookie Rule #2 Walk away from the cookie Rule #3 Never forget about the cookie Rule #4 Go back when nobody is watching and eat the cookie Rule #5 Watch the rest of the pack search under pillows and rugs for the cookie... never knowing if the cookie will show up again ... did the dog really eat the cookie? Will it be beneath my covers tonight? Oh where oh where did that pumpkin cookie go?? BOL! Rule #6 Repeat
It's the time of year when work gets busy and I must say I am so ready for busy after an unusually slow summer. And so I'm doing all I can marketing-wise (short of dressing up like an ear and parading back and forth down the highway), to remind people there is no better time than now to take care of their hearing!
Some days, I think maybe another vacation is in order. The world oftentimes seems like it's upside down ~ kinda like this little house we passed by a while back...
So many horrible things happening in the world. The tragedy in Vegas reminds us of how uncertain our days are on this earth. And of the evil and unrest that lives in the hearts of many - in what we like to believe is our own safe country. Call me crazy, but maybe we have too many freedoms? Just a thought.