I wanted to reach out and touch her shoulder, but the next moment, a mist began to form and a new place appeared before my eyes. A station, with many other departed souls standing there, waiting. The train to Heaven had arrived, a pale white engine and just two carriages. I got in, and took a seat near the rear, not talking to anyone. As the train began to move, I looked out the window, and gazed outside.
I don’t remember the time when it happened. I was in a lot of pain, and then suddenly it was not there anymore. All I could feel was numbness. I had shut my eyes through the pain. Now I opened them to see me standing by my family. They were crying. They were standing huddled around a body. It was me, lying there on the hospital bed, staring into the empty space above. My son approached my side, and slowly closed the eyelids. I could have been sleeping. My wife and daughter were crying, my granddaughter holding her mother’s hand, tears in her eyes as well.
The blue sky had just a few wisps of white and the sun was shining in all its glory through them, birds flying and the sounds of cattle as they grazed in the fields. It reminded me of the days when I used to take my children out to the fields when we went to our native village for the vacations. I used to play there when I was a kid. They used to laugh as they chased rabbits and sheep through the fields. My wife and I, we used to watch from a distance and let them have their fun. We saw ourselves in them. We reminisced our childhood then, a simpler time. They would cry when the vacations got over. We would take them to the park in the city, but they always told that more fun was in the fields, with us, when they could run wild without people telling them to stop and slow down. I smiled as the memories came back. I was a spirit, but I could never forget them. They were eternal, unlike me.
We were a happy family. Even occasional arguments did not bring us down. We would always work things out and continue our life. How time flew! My children were soon making decisions on their own, getting accolades in their life, making me very proud and happy. They realized their dreams, became who they wanted to be. My daughter fell in love, and she introduced me to her love. I was delighted with her choice, a very strong minded fellow who loved her a lot. He brought his parents to meet us, and we finalized the marriage. She was happy too, and when they left, she hugged me and cried. I let her, and a tear was in my eye too. We’d both cry again, on her wedding day, when she left with her husband. My son was more career-minded, and deferred his wedding till later. My only regret was I couldn’t see that day. More joy came, as I became grandfather to a cute girl. I was waiting to watch her grow, when I slipped and fell down. The next thing I remember, I was standing next to them.
I smiled. The train came to a halt. I got down and at the end of the platform, I saw a golden gate. Two angels floated next to them. I walked briskly toward it. They came to me and welcomed me. A halo came over my head. The gates opened. The angels chorused, “Welcome to Heaven”.
I walked past them through the gates, turned back and replied, “No. Heaven was what I called HOME.”