47: Heavenly Counsel

47: Heavenly Counsel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Heavenly Counsel

Angels assist us in connecting with a powerful yet gentle force, which encourages us to live life to its fullest.

~Denise Linn

Our marriage was in a rough patch in 1996, but the children distracted us. We had no time for fight or flight. So, on an overbooked afternoon, as I rushed out the door with our daughter, I surprised myself and went back upstairs where my husband sat quietly reading the paper. He was oblivious to the chaos around him. Uncharacteristically, I reached from behind, wrapped my arms around him and kissed him on the cheek. “I love you,” I simply said. He looked at me, an alien.

A mom on a mission, I hurried out the door and drove away with our little girl. Our haste seemed important at the time, but today I couldn’t tell you if we were headed for a music lesson or major surgery. A simple cell phone ringtone stopped us. It was my husband according to the caller ID — perhaps a delayed reaction to that unexpected kiss?

“I think you should pull off the road,” he said. I was near a friend’s house, so I veered into her driveway. “I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but I just got a call from your dad. Your mom collapsed during their walk and she didn’t make it,” he explained directly, but gently.

Silence. I’d never experienced the death of a family member and I remember thinking I didn’t want to go down that dreaded road. Simultaneously, I realized that all roads from that point would lead to the same destination, and I gasped in horror.

Thus began the Death part of our family’s life cycle, and I often revisit the day the phase began. Something about it was profound, and I always remember the kiss.

The uncharacteristic kiss that day came from somewhere outside of myself. After Mom passed, I realized it had happened the exact moment my mother had died. Mom, the wise one, had always tried to explain how marriage required grace, and I had rarely listened. But in death, Mom had stopped me in my tracks, turned me around and made me go kiss my man. Maybe it was her last lesson, and in death she’d found power to make me pay attention.

In life, she’d not been so effective. A typical young bride, thirty-seven years ago, I went crying home to Mommy after our first marital spat. She took my husband’s side and sent me home in a huff.

Yes, Mom and I often didn’t see life the same, but once in a while, an angel nudges and asks me to revisit her old advice. Decades later, it’s as though I’ve scrambled through the house and finally found my glasses. Now, I can see Mom’s ancient wisdom, one corn stalk in a freshly harvested field.

Hopefully, she hears me murmur, “Yes, Mom. I can hear you now, and you were right. Thanks for showing me that there are two sides to every marriage. You have saved me from myself.”

~Kristi Paxton

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