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Episode 11: "The First Assignment"
Mrs. Willis was looking older than her years, but she was well over 90. Sometimes it happens that way.
Mr. Willis had already passed away the year before. They were a beautiful couple and they enjoyed their lives. Even though there were many bumps and bruises in their marriage, they stuck together. Early in their lives they had a wonderful little bouncing baby boy who was the joy of their storybook marriage. His name was Glen. Happiness was indescribable for the next six years with this little family. Dad would show Glen the bus in which he would eventually ride to school. It was yellow and full of children waiting to share with Glen. He had a wonderful smile and laughter as he saw it pass by every morning. He was anxious to ride the school bus that was going to take him to joy land. Breakfast would come early for mom and dad and Glen. Mr. Willis had to catch the subway to get to work. Mrs. Willis had to tend to the clothes and other chores of the house. When she came back to the kitchen table, she didn’t see Glen and Mr. Willis had already left. She looked out of the kitchen window and saw Glen running across the street. This incident in their lives would change this happy family, as the school bus that Glen hoped he would one day ride became the instrument that would take little Glens’ life. The shock was great and the pain was beyond reality.
They say a funeral can help in this kind of a loss but it seemed to be the worst thing. Friends and relations came and did their best to comfort the broken pieces of a young family. They brought their children along and that reminded the Willis' even more of little Glen. But as family and friends came together, there was comfort in knowing that they were not alone in their grief. Then came the questions to the priest of why this happened to such good people. Were we all to be as Job was in the bible with such suffering and pain? Do storms ever stop in life? Is this the blunt end of a deceptive happiness?
Father Charles sat quietly first and then invited brokenhearted Jan and Tom Willis to sit and listen to what he had to say. I was also interested in what he was going to say.
Father Charles started to say, “I am sorry for your tremendous loss. We all feel for you and even though we cannot feel your pain, I am here to tell you that God has Little Glen in the palm of His hand and Glen is forever alive. You will see him again. I know that it is hard to find comfort in what I am saying but it is the truth. Life is unfortunately about both loss and life. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry and it is in these moments that we tend to blame one another and even blame God. Some even curse Him for the tragedies we experience. Let Him soothe your pain and bring you through this tunnel of hurt and confusion. I don’t know why this happened but I do know that it was Glen’s time to go back home. Some of us go earlier than others.”
I often wondered why this happened and so like the angel that He made me, I asked Him. “Why wasn’t I allowed to interfere and save this child? Why was I sent here in the first place? Wasn’t I supposed to help and comfort? Is every human being just a pawn in a game of win and lose?” Would He clip my wings and fire me after these impatient outbursts? No, I was not afraid to ask. And a voice came and said, “I have a plan.”
Though the words of their priest were genuinely sincere, a dark shadow seemed to overtake the couple. After all, they had lost the dearest thing in their lives. A year went by and during that time, they separated and the marriage was headed for eventual failure.
Reconciliation was not an option. They blamed each other because it was the only thing that could deviate the horrific pain. It seemed that anger was a catalyst, which often brought them to alcohol and drug abuse. Their lawyers got them together one more time to sign the final divorce papers. She was having problems with her car and so her soon to be ex-husband offered a ride to the lawyer’s offices.
It was a cold meeting, but yet there was still somewhat of a dim spark of care for one another. The atmosphere of the day was gray. It was raining on the way. He turned to say something and at that very instant a child appeared in the middle of the slick highway. The next sound was a thump on the bumper and screech of the car brakes. Tom and Jan immediately got out of the car to see if they could help. Jan called 911 and Tom found the little boy about twenty-five feet away from the car. He was still breathing and was conscious and started to call out and ask for his mom. He was no more than four years old. The police and ambulance got there and took the child to the hospital. Miraculously, the little boy survived. There were no charges filed against Tom and Jan. The child had run away from an adoption home nearby and tried to find shelter on that rainy night. He wasn’t watching where he was going and the Willises hit him. Tom and Jan made it a priority to take care of this child while he was in the hospital. The child was in a coma for a while but regained consciousness. Jan started to talk to him and asked him what his name was. He answered and said, "My name is Glen. What is yours?” Tom was also in the room and overheard everything. It was as if God was bringing back the joy and love through this child. Jan and Tom once again embraced each other and love flourished once again for this pain-ridden family.
The adoption for Glen was final in about six months. And at the beginning of those six months Jan and Tom conceived. Three months went by and Jan gave birth to twin boys. Happiness flowed again in the Willis family. Every Christmas all of their children had a stocking hanging on the chimney, along with the stocking marked little Glen.
Well I saw it all unfold in front of me and yes, He sure did have a plan. Oh, I’m sure that life for them would be better now. Life would never be the same for them but no one was ever promised tomorrow. But He did promise to be there and to see you through whatever. Until it’s time to came back home, no matter what. So now it was Mrs. Willis’ time to go home after 90 years of earth living. She slept very well that night. She dreamed she was in the arms of her dear departed Tom and they were in a peaceful, beautiful garden. Little Glen was running about as she remembered how he used to play. There was no more pain and no more tears. She kept saying, “I wish this dream would never end. I am so happy here. I love you Tom Willis. I’ve missed you so.”
And Tom answered, “You can stay here now. You don’t have to go back. You have made it beyond the hill. Welcome to heaven. There is someone waiting to welcome you home. Lets meet Him face to face.”
Well I am an angel and I still cried tears of joy. This occasion was one that would always make me joyful as I danced in celebration. Welcome home.
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