A letter arrived in which someone urged: Don’t go away! It has been a day of pondering not being noticed, as well as of celebrating the tenth birthday of my dad who died Nov. 20, 2001–but was born into eternity sans a painful, suffering, old body. I thought of what Dad did in his earthly life just a little. Mostly I pondered his new life, and some of the little ways in which he has helped me in the past ten years, one way or another–in dreams, in little mental suggestions and reminders, and often in words popping up that are just so Dad–wise adages, humorous aphorisms. After he was already six months into his new life, at his memorial service we gave lists of his great “Dadisms”.
On Oct. 12 I celebrated my mom’s 7th eternal birthday. I had remembered in advance; but the actual day brought temporal responsibilities: refinancing the hermitage. Driving to the bank in a nearby town for the closing, mind busy with earthly concerns, I passed the nursing home wherein she breathed her final breaths. In the banker’s office, I realized only later that at the very time of her passing seven years prior, the banker now spoke of my mother as the best teacher he ever had. In fact, he said that it was Mom who had taken the time to help him overcome a terrible fear of public speaking and cleared his stuttering problem. He added he’d always be grateful and never forget. The rest of the day I celebrated her eternal birthday with much love, joy and even more memories, past and current!
Then there is the wonderful earthly life and even better eternal life of my grandmother, born in this world May 7 and born into eternity after 80 years here, on October 19. She’s been helping me, literally behind the scenes, for now over 43 years, although I’m sure she is not counting. In eternity, a day is as a thousand years on earth, or so the Psalmist says. I celebrate eternal birthdays of all my grandparents at least with thoughts of thankfulness for their past and current lives.
So it is, also with others, such as my grandmother’s sister, Lily, who died of a burst appendix at age 20–shortly after this, her engagement photo, was taken. I celebrate her birthday into eternity and marvel at how even in earth years, her life now is far greater in substance and essence than the brief years here on earth.
Then there is Samuel John, a child who never lived outside the womb yet who has lived (as per our earth time) 30 years in eternity. I use this painting of Samuel in the Temple Praying as my reminder of this little son. It hangs above my bed and sometimes at night am urged to say, “Pray for your mother…sisters, brother, nieces and nephews…here on earth, dear Sam!” I know he does.
Yes, to all these loved ones and many more, I celebrate with thought and joy their birthdays into eternity. As for today’s letter in which the sender said we need good souls and to not go away, I telephoned the letter writer. “Go away?” I asked. “Do you realize that once a soul is created, it never goes away?” The person thought a moment before responding, “I guess I’ve never thought about it like that, but so it is.”
Happy Birthday to every soul on their earthly birthdays and eternal birthdays! Thanks for the goodness and uplifts each of you has given to us on earth and now where you are–still helping, praying, nudging, speaking, reminding, living somewhere–here–and maybe, most certainly, singing!