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Sunday, 5 July 2015

No airports in heaven

In a few hours I will be back at that old familiar place: LAX. I have lost count of the number of times I have headed off to LAX, stomach churning at the impending separation from the loved one driving me there, face tears stained from having said goodbye to the loved ones back in the house. This time, having moved my mom into a senior living facility, aware of the lingering and severe pain of shingles from which she still suffers...well, this time will be another one of those I will probably always remember.

So I am awake at 5 am, perched on the bed in front of the open suitcase. It has odd things in it taken from a previous life, happy times, absent people. It is not full, but it is heavy.

Last night, from the windows of mom's new apartment, we watched a spectacular fireworks display over the golf course opposite. It was as if it were put on for us, and us alone. The three of us oohed and aahed from the comfort of her living room as each rocket shot up, burst out and rained down its twinkling, coloured lights. The blue ones are the most expensive, I was told by Mhairi.

The darkness of the night sky, rent by a spectacular show of light. Sounds like a description of the Christmas story. The shepherds got an amazing show of light and song in the sky over Bethlehem, and it was just for them. Maybe not so crazy to feel the show last night was just for us.

It reminds us that in the darkness of illness and pain, in the emptiness of separations, in the dread of what may lie ahead, God gives us a spectacular reminder that he is here, that he is good, that he is love and that his love can light up the darkest night.

It is hard to leave an unresolved situation. I have done it before. So I will walk out of here in a few hours,bruised and tear stained, leaving my dear, confused mom in the hands of Jesus and trusting him, again, to look after her better than I can.

And though I know that to be true, I will say again the phrase I have said so often in the last forty years. There are no airports in heaven. Whew.

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