On the day Carol became an old woman, she shed several tears. Standing in the threshold of the last days of her life filled her with certain uncertainty. Though life is tenuous at any age, when old age comes everyone knows what comes next and there is no way to dodge death. This dreadful day came so suddenly yet also, gradually. Somehow, she didn’t think it would happen to her. Carol never could picture herself with grey hair and never accepted it. In fact she did everything in her power to remain young looking and deny the passing of time but on this day, reality couldn’t be denied. Would she live long enough for her hair to turn white or worse, fall out? Carol didn’t want to die but she didn’t want to be elderly either.
Carol gravitated toward the bed and overcome by this strange season in life, laid down and absent-mindedly, stared out the window, upward into the perfectly blue sky. It was early afternoon, she was tired and it felt good to lie down. She remembered when she never felt tired during the day and how hard she’d worked all of her life; all that was required of her to obtain this familiar, beloved place to relax and gaze at the sky, as she loved to do. Now, she had to think about letting it all go and down-sizing. Tears filled her eyes to the brim when she thought of the children and how far away they are now. She worked so hard at raising them, at doing for others, and now, that she is less capable of serving it seems she is mostly forgotten. Her life once noisy and full is now, quiet. Carol needs quiet at this age but misses companionship, camaraderie, and most of all, being needed. These days she and her husband had to focus on self-care and every day it became more time consuming. No matter the reason, a self-consumed life is a lonely life. She reminded herself to be grateful that she still had her husband and felt a bit of relief in the act of counting a blessing. Then she thought of the inevitable final good-by and the brimming tears over-flowed.
Sunshine streamed warmth through her bedroom window to relax Carol’s sore, stiff muscles and joints. She could see the very tops of the trees swaying in a gentle breeze, as she ebbed into a sorrowful sleep. Carol drifted into dreams and felt herself as she was inside, at the prime of life. It was a bright summer day in a special place. Towering mountains surrounded a valley with a lake in a green meadow. Just beyond the shore-line lay a beautiful forrest, with every kind of tree. The trees nearest the lake bore various fruits more luscious than any she’d ever seen or tasted. There was such peace in this place, a benign but powerful presence that quieted her every anxiety. Birds in free cacophony filled the air with the music of gratitude. Music so beautiful that Carol found herself also, singing. The lyrics flowed through her from the Presence and washed away every sorrow. Suddenly, she was aware of her husband standing beside her and taking her hand in his. Their eyes met in glowing smiles, they kissed, and then realized they weren’t alone. This beautiful place was filled with content, joyful people, all in the prime of life. It was evident there was no sickness here, no aging, no decay, and no death. “This is my home” was her final thought before she found herself awake.
Outside Carol’s window, the sun was fading in a peach and blue display and the tree tops were still. The atmosphere of her dream lingered in the feeling of that powerful Presence and she heard in her spirit; “Trust me Carol. You must let go of this world before you may enter this better place I allowed you to visit in your dreams. This isn’t the end but a new beginning, a revealing of eternity that is new to you now, but a reality that has always been. You belong to Me and everything you love and must let go of here, I will replace and multiply when you are finally home. Until then, continue to serve me. Reach out to others as you are able and point them to My Son. Though you must rest often now, give that time to prayer and meditation. I still have My purpose to work through you here. I won’t abandon you and I will see you safely, through every step of letting go. Then I will safely, see you home.” Carol’s tired, sad heart flooded with the surety only, a beloved child knows and an acceptance of her circumstance that comes only, by trust in the Divine. Refreshed and revitalized, her thoughts turned to Jim, and as she had done innumerable times before, she got up to cook his dinner. Grateful that Jim was still with her and required this of her but also, reassured that should he pass on before her, she would never be alone. Their best days were yet to come.