Tag Archives: heaven


A Letter to Debbie in Heaven

My Dear Debbie,

It’s been so long since I talked to you or wrote you a text. I miss our daily banter so very much. These days we are getting ready to say good bye to another precious member of our family. Dad is failing fast and it is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking to see our parents love on each other in the only ways they have left to them. For 60 years they have cared for and relied on each other. They don’t know how to live any other way.Young_090  5 x 7

I always thought you would be here with Jocelyn and me to navigate through this time of loving and loss and I miss you so much. I don’t know if this would be easier with you here but I know it would be different; we would be sharing the load and weeping together. Jocelyn and I are a good team. We are making it all work but we still miss our big sister so much.

Today I was wondering how this all looks from your side of the veil. Knowing what you know, is it still sad to watch our parents torn from each other after walking through all the seasons of life hand in hand? Or does your perspective cause the joy ahead to obliterate the present tears?

If God permits you a window on our lives, you know that Dad may join you any day. Are you rolling out the red carpet? Making perogies, orange jelly salad and all his other favourites? Are you preparing to spend the best Father’s Day ever with Dad?

What a joy it will be for you to hear him whistle a happy tune again, throw little children up in the air while he laughs that big laugh I havn’t heard for so long, and play tennis. Hey, in heaven, maybe even you are athletic enough to play with him!

I am so thankful for these beautiful thoughts. And that we don’t grieve, in the Apostle Paul’s words, “as those who have no hope”.  ray-of-hope

Give Papa a big kiss for me on Father’s Day and I’ll hold Mom for you. I love you so much!

Your Adoring Sister,


travel guide books

A Traveller’s Guide to Heaven

travel-guide-books1I have never been to Europe and have always longed to go. When my little sister was still in her teens she had the opportunity. When I saw her pictures I was so jealous that she had actually seen the Parthenon and Chartres Cathedral and many of the other edifices and artworks I had marveled over while studying to become an interior designer. When I asked about the subjects of her photos she admitted that she had no idea what most of them were or what they represented. She just figured that they must be a big deal since everyone was taking pictures of them. (She has since returned to Europe with a much greater sophistication and appreciation for its art treasures.)

A few years ago I was planning a speaking trip to South Africa. I guess I knew as much as the average person about the end of apartheid and the leadership of Nelson Mandela. But I also knew the trip would be much more interesting and meaningful if I learned a lot more. One of the sources of my research was Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. It not only was a long walk, but also a long book. I guess it takes quite a few pages to tell a story decades in the making. And when you spend 27 years in prison, there’s time to recall and document a lot of detail. It was a very inspiring read. As I anticipated, it made the trip fascinating. I recognized the names of streets and places as the names of Mandela’s partners in the struggle for equality. I understood the significance of locations and why people of colour were welcome in some churches and not others. Learning about the country made it more excited to go there.

These days I am learning more about heaven. After all, I have a one way ticket to that place. And two treasured members of my family will be traveling there sooner rather than later, I think. Here are some lovely words I came across recently.

Heaven… is that place-

Where everything lasts forever,

Where love fills every heart,

Where praise never stops,

Where pain never enters,

Where joys never cease.

These are not words based on wishful thinking or vague hopes. They are words based on terra firma from the Bible. They are words of hope and joy I reflect on as I grieve the impending temporary separation from those I love so dearly. And I am reminded that because of this heaven, this place Jesus died inviting me to, my grief is tinged with hope:

And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope.

~I Thes. 4:13 NLT