Today is the second anniversary of my dad’s death. I miss him every day. This short story was inspired by my thoughts about him.
Time in Heaven, by Bonnie Jacoby
I died thirty years ago. I think that’s a long time but I’m not sure. Time flows differently here in Heaven. Most souls choose to return to Earth as soon as they arrive. Others, like me, choose to wait for a loved one.
I’ve been waiting thirty years for my wonderful wife to die. She’s ninety now. Her time is soon.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be human, to hold her hand, to fight for a living. But every time I watch over her I feel a sense of completeness. I feel as if I could accomplish everything I’ve ever dreamed of. She’s pretty special.
Some of the other souls wait for their special someone, a spouse, a child, a parent. But some just can’t face returning, the ones that had brutal deaths, that lived horrible lives. They need time to heal. I’ve met one soul who has never returned. She died during the early days of man’s existence on Earth. She must’ve suffered greatly. She’s barely here. More like a ghost.
It’s the children I feel the most for. Not the ones that return right away. They’re fine. It’s the ones who have suffered. I know that my wife would want to heal them all and show them the love she showed our children, and protect them from the big scary world.
Our children have grown. I’ve watched them too. I’m so proud of my daughter. She is 70 now and has a gaggle of grand-children. She survived the illness of her husband that took him from her and she poured all her love into her children. She visits my wife every day now to make sure that she is all right. My sons. One is still at war with the world. He has a good life, a good family, a good job, but he is never happy. He is always struggling for some elusive goal that he will never reach. He is not happy and it is affecting his health. His wife is good for him. His step kids respect him and his grandkids adore him.
My other son has had a hard life. His kids are grown now and his partner has left him. He never did look for another relationship. He’s happy with his work, healing other people. He needs to learn to spend time on himself. I doubt that he will. His kids have been sick all their lives and as adults they suffer from bizarre maladies. He still visits my wife, but only once a month.
Ah, there she is. Waking up. I’d hoped that she would come to me in her sleep. She has a brain tumor. She doesn’t know it though. She’s suffered headaches her entire life and though these are worse, she hates going to the doctor. They always tell her how healthy she is and suggest that her aches and pains are due to depression.
She’s thinking about me today. It’s September and she always gets sad on the anniversary of my death. I wish she’d found someone else to share her life with. She’s such a giving, caring woman. But she hasn’t been able to give me up. This is why I wait for her. How could I not?
I pass the time learning things. Anything that I’m interested in. I’ve built things, invented things, learned all kinds of music, and even tried drawing and painting. I love using my hands and my mind. It helps the time go by quickly.
I always feel the tug when one of my family thinks about me. I’m quick to drop whatever I’m doing and check on them. Sometimes it’s just a happy thought. Sometimes they’re mad at me for leaving them. Sometimes they want advice. And sometimes they’re sad and need to know I’m there.
My daughter is thinking about me this morning, on her way to visit my wife. They both go back into the house for a late breakfast. My wife is tired so she lies down while my daughter cleans up. It’s time. I’m giddy, like it’s a first date. I haven’t felt her touch in so long.
She passes away in her sleep. My daughter will discover this when she goes to wake her.
I look into my wife’s eyes as I reach out my hand to help her out of the bed. The love shining there is more than I remember. I cry. She cries. I don’t know how long we will stay in Heaven. She may want to return soon. But right now I feel complete. My wait is over.
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