First and foremost, I should thank you for my beautiful life and for the opportunity I have to live it to the fullest. My blessings--like perfectly wrapped packages donning shiny paper and pretty bows--are genuine gifts from above. They leave me in awe. They make me cry. I will always recongize YOU as the giver.
But today I'm not thinking about life so much as I am about what comes after it. Peace. Light. Wholeness. Heaven.
I feel I should tell you that when I die I don't need a big sparkly mansion on a white diamond-crusted hill. I don't need streets paved in gold and chandeliers made of crystal. I don't need clouds and harps and beauty and majesty.
I long for something else.
And so I promise to live my life as you would have me do. I promise to be good and kind. I promise to love and serve others with the entire capacity of my heart. I promise to teach my children principles of faith, compassion, and discipleship. I promise to endure my trials in patience and long-suffering--to bow my head to you in the throes of pain and to open my heart to you and your grace.
And if I have done right by you, and if your fatherly heart swells with pride for my efforts, and if you feel I have earned my place among angels, all I want, dear God, all I want...
Is to see my son whole and well.
For when my life is over and when his life is over--when we are standing in heaven before one another in our glorious spirit forms--I want to be able to look into his dark eyes and see that he knows it was hard. I want to see the fog of autism lift and see understanding and clarity instead. I want to see our history. I want to see what we decided together, before our earthly journey ever began.
I want to talk to him. I want to tell him how mercilessly I fought for his well-being and sucess, how often I cried into my pillow for courage. I want to tell him what I wonder if he understands now--that I loved him even when he was most unlovable.
I just want him to smile at me and tenderly say, "Mom, I know all of this already."
Perhaps we'll embrace, perhaps the caliber and purity of his mature spirit will take my breath away, and perhaps he'll even whisper, "Thank you."
Because, dear Father, dear God above, that would be heaven to me.