Heaven awaits

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The massive stroke had shredded her aorta. In the twinkling of an eye Maria was gone. Eighty full years of life had evaporated into thin air. Her husband frantically called 911 as the operator gave instructions. “Put her flat on the floor, clear her airway, keep her warm” came the instructions through the receiver.

The massive stroke had shredded her aorta. In the twinkling of an eye Maria was gone. Eighty full years of life had evaporated into thin air. Her husband frantically called 911 as the operator gave instructions. “Put her flat on the floor, clear her airway, keep her warm” came the instructions through the receiver.

As Maria’s brain shut down from lack of oxygen she began to see herself floating above her body. As she slowly raised above all the confusion she saw the ambulance turn onto Americus Drive. “How odd” Maria thought as she floated above the roof she noticed the new clay roofing tiles that had been installed just a week ago. She felt warm all over as two paramedics rushed through the front door of the house. She floated even higher while watching herself being loaded into the ambulance. “You want to ride along with her or meet us there” shouted the driver.

Maria was gaining momentum and would normally be afraid of heights and flying in airplanes but she had absolutely no sense of fear now. The stars began to twinkle, sparkle and looked as though they had been set into a soft velvet back drop of pure black. She marveled as the pinpoints of light enlarged, stretched and began to lengthen into long streaks of light. Then, out of the corner of her eye, there was a flash of lighting reflected off the sky!

When the intense light had faded Maria found herself sitting on a large flat boulder that had been placed on the edge of an immense grassy meadow. There was a cedar split rail fence running along the perimeter that had no end that she could see. A group of butterflies danced and darted around her and she noticed that they had a brilliant translucent neon appearance that trailed off behind them as they flew by.

As she turned to her right, in the distance, Maria followed a path with her eyes that ran into a massive wall. There was a group of people walking out of a large pearlescent opening in the wall but they were still too far away to say who they were. A gentle breeze was pushing wonderful fragrances of orange blooms, jasmine, eucalyptus and mint around. The crowd was getting closer but still a ways off and behind them she could see flashes of lighting that originated from inside the massive gate that the group had walked through.

Suddenly, a voice startled her, it was a rich deep voice that after the initial shock, made her feel warm and fuzzy all over. The sensation was like taking a gulp from a mug of sweet hot chocolate as the whipped cream dissolved into the mixture.

“Don’t be afraid, I am Uriel” boomed the angel as Maria turned to see a man clothed in white with a silver sash across his chest. His arms were very muscular and he wore silver bands around both of his biceps.

“I have come to welcome you, Maria! And re-acquaint you with your relatives” said the massive nine foot tall bronze colored angel.

For the first time Maria realized that she had died. She began to turn her attention away from the angel and glanced at her hands. They didn’t ache anymore from an arthritic condition that had cruelly deformed her digits. In fact her fingers were straight and her skin was soft, smooth and looked as they did at the age of nineteen.

Maria was speechless and while she tried to form the words in her mouth the moment had taken away her ability to speak. The crowd was getting closer and she could now begin to make out several faces of friends that had passed on before. Her twin brother Carl was leading the group and she recognized her mother Lucille and her father behind him.

“Breathe Maria, it helps to acclimate to your new surroundings” reassured Uriel as the sweet quality of the air was almost too much to take in all at once. The grass was greener too against the warm blue sky and complete with well-manicured edges. Maria began to realize that there were animals as several rabbit’s nibbled grass around the angel’s feet. She noticed birds too of all shapes, sizes and colors that soared through the air and landed in branches of nearby trees.

“Maria! We knew you were coming” Shouted Lucille as her mother put her arms around her and squeezed tightly. “We have all come to meet you, everyone is here.” Maria hadn’t been held by her mother in over thirty years and relished the experience. She even had the same fragrance that she remembered as a young girl. Maria pinched herself as Uriel laughed and her brother stepped forward to embrace his sister.

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