Saturday, November 14, 2009

In the Next Room

During my afternoon nap, I dreamed our niece Lizzie was visiting us and needed parental permission to do something (I can't remember what, stay longer, I think). So she phoned home and I was quite surprised to hear Barbara's voice on the other end of the line. I couln't quite identify why it should be a surprise, but it was. I took the phone from Elizabeth and spoke to Barbara, inviting her to come visit us, too.

I knew she wouldn't come, but again I wasn't aware of why she wouldn't. I thought it was just a matter of persuasion. "It's been such a long time," I said, "and you haven't seen our new porch... if you aren't feeling very well, we will come pick you up."

Then I felt warm breath and the brush of lips on my cheek as Demetrios woke me up. "I'm going for a drive," he said. "Would you like to come?"

Yes, I would, of course. In a moment. Let me clear my head first... and that's when I remembered Barbara reposed the better part of two years ago now. The grain of truth in the dream is that if you dial Daniel's cell phone even today and he doesn't answer, Barbara's voice still tells you to leave a message, etc.

I remembered a series of talks by Bishop Kallistos (Ware) Barbara and I attended together several years ago (at Deb's church), in which he told us the dead are not absolutely separated from the rest of us; the communion in Christ is still there. It's as though they were just in the next room.

The thing is, the door is closed.

But only for a short time. In church last Sunday I was surprised to see the name of a certain kid as the reader of the Epistle. "He can't read yet!" I thought to myself. "He's hardly more than a babe in arms! Can he even walk?" Then I looked over to where his father always stands and he was there, but not at all as young as he used to be when he held that little tyke; and I realized that had been about 15 years ago! Yes, it's only a short time the door to the next room stays closed.

May your memory be eternal, Barbara! I love you.


elizabeth said...

Memory Eternal. In Church we are still worshiping all together.