Yesterday we attended the service to celebrate the life and homegoing of Miss Pat. It was a very lovely service. I didn't see her often, but she was always "there", ya know? My mom talked to her every few days, and in fact, had just spent the evening with her a few days before she died. I knew that it would be especially hard on my mom, but I didn't really expect to feel such an empty place in my own heart. There has been a spiritual matter that I have longed to understand for many years now (worthy of its own post at a later time). I have asked many people about it including my pastor, other pastors, and other believers. I am reading a book on the subject, where the author had the same questions as me. Now I sit here and wonder how come I never asked Miss Pat? Would she have known the answer? Probably not... it is one of the great mysteries of faith, I believe, but now that she is gone, I am wishing that I could sit and talk with her one more time. To laugh and reminisce about all the things we've seen, heard, and done over the years, and to get her take on this issue that puzzles me so. It's odd. When someone dies, we speak of our belief that he/she has "gone to heaven". Always before, that's pretty much where I would leave it... but it was so strange the other day when I just had this feeling, or this vision, if you will, about Miss Pat's arrival. No, I didn't see pearly gates or streets paved with gold. I didn't see Jesus, or a crystal sea. I know her body is buried in the ground, and the face we love wasn't what arrived in heaven. But that's how I know her, and it was her beautiful face that I imagined I saw... her mouth open in wonder, her eyes sparkling with tears of joy, and that laugh... I could just imagine hearing her say "Wow!!!!!!" I can remember her singsong way of saying "I didn't know thaaaaat" when she'd hear a bit of news or learn something new. I'll bet she's finding out a lot of things now that she didn't know! She was the epitome of a faithful servant. A True North. A guiding compass who will be sorely missed. I am comforted, though, and delighted by my personal, special, amazing "vision".