This is My "Real" Blog: Somewhere in Heaven. . . .

Angie's Blog!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Somewhere in Heaven. . . .

I talk to myself. Sometimes I argue with myself. I seldom give myself the silent treatment, but I do have verbal discussions, nonetheless. Here's one of the debates I often have with myself.

I am torn between two theories concerning the afterlife. I definitely believe in the afterlife--but I haven't decided if people that have died and are now in heaven can *see* what's going on here on earth. Here are my two conflicting thought processes.

1) They can. Proof? The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus from the Bible. There's definitely a conversation going on where the Rich Man has full knowledge of what's happening on earth. And of course, we've all been told that our loved ones are "watching over us" after they die. But is that true?

Because the other side of my brain says:

2) They cannot. There's no sadness in heaven. If a person who has gone on to "Glory" or "Iowa" or whatever you want to call it (Field of Dreams reference). . . how could they possibly see and experience what's going on here below?

There is a third line of thinking that I adopt from time to time, when I really do want to believe that my grandparents can see me, and my kids. My maternal grandfather was the only one to meet Edison. . .and Mark's Grammy is his only grandparent to meet our kid(s), so I think about this from time to time. Here's what I tell myself on days when I need to believe that they can see me. . .and my adorable kids:

They can see the current world -- but because they're seeing it from heaven's perspective, the sickness, sadness, and hurt doesn't matter. They know the end of the story -- they're living it out in the presence of God.

Shaky theology? Maybe. But on a day when I want to feel my grandparents' presence among me and my kids, it makes things a bit easier.

I'm not stirring up any type of theological debate. If I wanted to do that, I'd post this over on Beth's blog (ha ha!) and let Tony have a field day with it. I'm just thinking out loud -- on my keyboard.

Why today, of all days? Because of my broken dryer. That's right. My broken dryer brought me to this point of reminiscing today.

That's right. . . for the first time in nearly 19 years of marriage, I'm hanging clothes out to dry on the line. You'll notice that there are only clothes belonging to Caroline and towels. I'm not that brave.

Why the reminiscing? When I was a kid, I would spend a couple of weeks in Southern Indiana with my grandparents. I spent a majority of the time *in* Poseyville (yes, that's really the name) but a couple of days out of that time in Indiana was spent in Cynthiana. My mom's parents lived in Poseyville (who could make up that name, seriously). My dad's mom lived in Cynthiana. . .and Fort Branch in her later years.

When Grandma Knowles did her laundry (Cynthiana grandma) she hung the wash out on the line to dry. I would run through the sheets drying in the sunshine. And, at night, the sheets, pillowcases and blankets had that outdoor smell. If I'm not mistaken, there was a dryer in her house. . . but my grandma could save money in ways that you'd never imagine.

She saved the pickle juice for tuna salad.
She saved coffee from breakfast.
She drank the juice that was left over from the corn we had at dinner.

No, it wasn't moonshine. . .it was corn juice. And, if I'm honest, I believe I tried it a time or two, and it wasn't horrible.

But, she was thrifty. She had to be. She used those bath towels that came inside laundry detergent boxes. . . .dry detergent (for those of you significantly younger than me). And dude, let me tell you . . .we used those towels until you could read the newspaper through them.

I'd give anything to have one of those towels today -- just to hold. . .and remember.

I remember she always had grape kool-aid for us to drink--in those thin Tupperware tumblers. She wouldn't dream of soda pop in her house.

Now, Grandma and Poppa Heim? We got Mountain Dew at their house. Yep -- green bottles with the corncob-pipe-smokin' hillbilly on the bottle. Good times.

Enough memories -- back to reality. Back to today. As I hung the clothes on the line, I wondered if she could see me -- and if she was enjoying this as much as I was. Could she see Edison and Caroline playing ball? How about when they started drawing pictures on the sidewalk with chalk?

Could she hear their precious conversations? They're precious until Caroline gets aggressive, and suddenly you hear, "Caroline! Stop that! You're hurting me." It's hard to remember which one is 13 and which one is nearly 4.

As we walked through Caroline's early days, I often hoped and wished with all my heart that they could indeed see and know Caroline -- if from the distance of heaven. I wanted them to see how beautiful she was -- and is. I wanted them to be proud of Mark and me, as we raised her and dealt with those early days of her existence.

But then the other part of me wanted them to be spared from the sadness and anxiety of her open heart surgery. And, when I adopted the idea that they saw with "Heaven Vision," I knew that they knew it was all okay.

Listen -- there are times in our lives that we tell ourselves all sorts of things to get by. This was one of those times. Thankfully, we're four years on the other side of those days.

I laughed as I hung the clothes on the line today, because I wondered how many times Grandma Knowles hung clothes out -- only to see dark clouds on the horizon (just like me today). Of course, I decided that God was reminding me that He's always in control, and sometimes the dark clouds come when we least expect (and certainly don't wish for them.

So far, the rain has held off. And being the clothesline novice, I haven't the foggiest idea of how long clothes must remain on the line. Seeing as I started at 3:30 this afternoon, I may be moving a load of damp clothes into our bathrooms to dry the rest of the way. We'll see.

We're having the dryer looked at tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be an inexpensive fix. . .and a speedy one, too. But today, as I stood in the sunshine, I realized that this little experience was not only good for me, but for my pocketbook (and probably the earth, too). Now that I've made the investment in clothespins, I may do this again, throughout the summer.

We'll see. There really is something about soft, fluffy towels, straight out of the dryer!

Time to sign off. Oh. . while I was out, I took a few more pictures. Here is a little sampling of my "container" gardening.....



Blogger 20Birds said...

i read all of this post, but my head hurts too much to comment on the heavy stuff, so i will simply whine and say, i want to contaner garden, i mean really, for a bazillion years i have wanted to, the thought of barrels of vegetables and flowers all over my seems like heaven to me, ooops straying into dangerous territory, anyway i doubt that i wll ever do it. But i lvoe your photos

5:43 PM  
Blogger 20Birds said...

and it has been so long since i have been the first to leave a comment on one of oyeur posts... so i had ot do it even before i could think of an opinion ot have on the heaven issue, well i have an opinion, but i have no refernecs to back it up, soooooo, I settle for getting to be first here

5:45 PM  
Blogger 20Birds said...

and 2nd and 3rd

5:45 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Neat link. It's cool when a dryer breaking leads you to thoughts of heaven.

A good affirmation that your thoughts are in the right place.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Mellykat said...

Well, I'm betting that it takes clothes and towels FAR LESS TIME to dry in Tennessee than in Northwestern Ontario.

But here's a little tip...bring 'em in when they're dry or an eency bit damp and chuck 'em in the dryer to fluff them!

My dryer is on the fritz too; it still works but it takes WAY longer than usual to dry, and it doesn't remember how to shut itself off anymore. My uncle, the appliance repairman, knows what's wrong but I have this mountain of laundry down there I don't want anyone to he's not coming to fix it until it's gone or at least hidden.

Beautiful pictures, and wonderful thoughts. I think I mix all those theological thought processes together. I often ask my kids if they can see angels around us.

Cheers and big squeezy hugs,

Melly :)

6:35 PM  
Anonymous judy said...

Hmm...I have to think about the first part of your post.
I love to crawl into bed with fresh sheets that just came off the clothesline. I remember helping my grandmother hang clothes, but she used a wringer washer to wash them.
Your flowers are beautiful.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Heather J. said...

A truly beautiful post. Your reminiscing brought tears to my eyes, I want to believe that your grandparents are looking down and are truly awe-inspired by who you have become.
I often have the same conflicting notion about the "after-life." I want to believe that there are "angels" (in the form of relatives and friends)watching and praying for us. For me, to believe any different, I would feel horribly alone. Does that make sense?

Loved the Field of Dreams reference, by the way.

9:48 PM  
Blogger MamaChef's Ramblings said...

SHEW! I had to walk away for a little bit...not because your entry was bad, but because of the raw emotions I still have from losing Granddad so recently. I'm very much with you, as far as not really knowing for sure what really happens, but yet I hope he can still see us in some way.

While I was slightly tearful, I thought your post was beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!! It helped bring to mind some great rememberances!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Jennilu said...

So many things to comment on. 1st - Kaylea asks all the time if she will be able to "see" when she dies. I believe Yes. I believe our deceased love ones watch over us while waiting for us to join them. 2nd - I believe your grandparents have been watching you raise both of your children. They were never sad for you or Caroline because they knew why God chose you to be her parents. Also, they know how happy and complete she has made your family. 3rd - My sister and I were JUST talking about getting old and thrifty. The two kinda go together. You know - washing and reusing ziploc bags; using a shopping bag as a rain bonnet; cutting the toes out of sneakers when they get too little or your feet get hot in the summer; mixing together all the little dabs of salad dressing to use every last bit; making a meal out of mayonaise sandwiches (made only with cheap white bread that sticks to your teeth).....oh, I could go on and on. Afterall, all of my grandparents were just simple country people that came from very humble beginnings. And yes, each of them watch over Kaylea and me and wait for the day that we will join them in heaven.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Yummers! said...

Today is EARTH DAY and what a perfect topic... hanging clothes outside to dry in God's beautiful sunshine. You're saving on the electricity for the dryer, the fabric softener sheets, and getting exercise besides.

We are such a wasteful nation. Those who lived through the depression really learned. I still have some of my mom's ration coupons in a scrapbook.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous tiger lamb girl said...

The answers to your questions about what happens when we 'die' are in the New Testament. It's something I've been discussing with my dad recently...and boy I wish I could remember the scriptures right now. But there are VERY clear scriptures that show that when a true believer dies - they are in sheol (grave) - and only become conscious again when resurrection (the first ressurrection..and I think that bits covered in Rev 20 if I'm not mistaken). I just know I want nothing to do with the second resurrection (when the damned will be judged).

Anyway, if you want me to ask my dad for the scriptural references, I'll be happy to ask him (just email me and I'll get into it).

I guess I've had my nose in the Word a lot these past few months. (I've been learning so much...and just want learn more!!)

Btw, I've made your chicken with lemon and thyme TWICE now. I LOVE it. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!! xo

8:13 PM  
Blogger Rock 'n Roll Momma¬© said...

i too have considered the debate about whether people can see us from heaven. i like your theory that they can, but they can't see the pain and such. that makes a lot of sense. my grandpa died within a few hours of javen's birth, and i've got other grandparents who have already left this world. it's at least nice to hope they can see us and know what's going on with us.

i LOOOOVE line-dried stuff, i need to get a line here so i can hang stuff out. i have fond memories of playing in the sheets blowing around on my mom's line. mark and i used to pretend they were tents. ah, it's fun to reminisce about days gone by! don't get me started, haha!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

Wow, I can't remember when I had time to think so deeply about something! (just kidding) I, too, believe. After all, we have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!

1:30 PM  

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