Waiting Room to Heaven


Living and blogging in a 55 and older community has been a experience I will never forget. We live among people that are several years younger but we also live among people that could be our parents. While we party with our contemporaries we also have cocktails every afternoon at four with people much older than ourselves. They are delightful, funny, and stern when we misstep.

We visit in the middle of our street several times a day, get acquainted with their children when they are in the park and gather after dark occasionally for a goodnight glass of wine. I have had the urge many times this winter to say “Goodnight John” as I closed my eyes to sleep, knowing the neighbors were so close by.

Betty and Jack are part of our little group. (Betty is in the very middle of the photo) These two do not live together and are not married but they are much more than friends. They are both in their mid-eighties. She owns a home in Mexico that he visits for a period during the winter and she comes back to our park to spend part of the winter close to him. They are both tanned, beautiful people living in “The Waiting Room to Heaven”.

I came understand what that phrase meant this last week when we returned from golfing and found the cocktail crowd gathered near the street. “Jack has had a stroke we think,” were the words I heard and my heart jumped. I ran from my car to Jack’s side, and even though I do not know Jack all that well, I was compelled to lean over and kiss him on the forehead twice…a simple prayer for his spirit crossed my mind as he said “What happened?”

Jack was back at cocktail hour last night. He told me he was relearning to talk and he looked into my eyes. The sparkle was still there and I thought about the night he asked me to dance in my flapper dress. He and Betty sat side by side. Given another day. Still beautiful as they always will be. Just living, living, living and waiting, as we all are, for heaven.

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