October 29, 2008

False Teeth in Heaven

My good friend, Sue, encouraged me to read the book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. It's about a man who was pronounced dead from injuries received in a car crash. The emergency workers had already covered him with a sheet and moved on to other injured people. A pastor came upon the accident and prayed for him. Ninety minutes after the accident, the man returned to earth. This book is about what happened to him during those ninety minutes when he left earth and entered Heaven.

I'm always a bit skeptical when I hear of these stories. Part of me, though, is fascinated by what awaits on the other side.
Today is a bittersweet day for our family. One year ago, today, our beloved Meme passed away. As much as I miss her, I am so thankful she doesn't have to endure pain or knowing that her mind isn't working like she would want it to. She was a very godly woman and I take great comfort in knowing where she is now. As I was reading this book, I was constantly thinking of her and what her recent trip to Heaven must have been like.

The author says that the typical "moving toward the light" experience did not happen to him. He said one moment he was driving and the next moment he was in Heaven where he was greeted by a large crowd of people. People he had known, but who had died during his lifetime, ran toward him while praising God. He felt more loved than ever and felt no pain. The people he knew looked the same, but with a new heavenly radiance. The author describes the love he felt as being perfect, something we humans can't yet understand. Interestingly, the most vivid memory he has of Heaven is the music. The most beautiful sounds of praise flowed through the air. I can't possibly describe everything as the author does without copying the book.

One paragraph that gave me a chuckle was the one where he describes his great-grandmother who had false teeth. In Heaven, however, she smiled at him with her new sparkely teeth and had the most beautiful smile he'd ever seen. Meme had false teeth and she used to love to tease us kids by taking them out. Then, she'd ask us if we could take ours out, too. And we'd try, of course! At night, she'd take them out and put them in a jar by the bathroom sink. Believe me, you didn't want to have to head in the bathroom at night because those teeth my just come alive and start chomping at you! Kathryn frequently asks me if when we see Meme in Heaven if she's going to take her teeth out for us. I guess I'm going to have to start telling her, "No, but she'll have the most beautiful smile!

Meme was a beautiful lady. She was the best grandmother anyone could have-she ALWAYS had cookies or banana nut bread waiting for you. She didn't buy expensive gifts, but lavished us with her time and love. I know she would hold me in her lap when I was well into my twenties. She loved to play domino's, bingo, and cards. She hated to lose, but that didn't happen often. I remember her telling me all about the toliet paper she won playing bingo at Walmart thinking that's crazy! She's probably told everyone in Heaven about it now, and where she's from, and who she's related to. We were two of a kind. We could look at each other and know what the other one was thinking. We showed each other love by picking back and forth. We even look alike, which isn't a bad thing. She couldn't keep the little old men away after she was widowed. :) I hope if I am blessed to be a grandmother someday, I will be just like her. It doesn't get better than Meme was.

The last time I visited her, I had Caleb with me. He made her laugh many times and I enjoyed watching them play back and forth. However, when she would look at me, with the look only she can give, I could tell she was telling me not to worry about her. She was telling me she would be fine, not to become dispaired, but to pick up and get on with raising these kids. I know that's what she would have wanted, for she was not one to shut down when rough times came. She was always strong and knew that God's will will be done. Even though I miss her dearly, I am at peace with where she now dwells. And by the description of Heaven both in the Bible and this book, I would never want to bring her back to earth. Instead, I am looking forward to having her run up to me when I reach the other side.

Now read on below for some cheering up... :)

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