Before starting this post, let me share some big news:
Today (7/23/2013) I was interviewed LIVE on TV. (You can watch the video HERE).
--Now, onto the post of the day--I'm sitting near blazing TV-studio lights. The whole time I'm remembering an important violin concert from years ago, when I practically went blind, wanting to stare at the lights instead of all the faces beyond them.
It's almost my turn to be interviewed on live television. A deep breath fills my lungs and I wonder again, why I'm doing this. That's when I close my eyes for a moment and think of my boy in Heaven. . . .
Zeke sits beside an old man on the side of a misty riverbank. They throw their fishing lines into the water and talk.
"What do you think your parents are doing?" the old man asks, tilting his fishing pole at a thirty degree angle.
"I don't know," Zeke says. "I didn't live long enough to know much about the living. And I don't get to see my parents unless they're hitting some sort of milestone."
The old man smiles. "Your Mom's hittin' one today, boy." Zeke raises an eyebrow incredulously. "Just look into the water."
Zeke peers into the heavenly river, so pure it smells like rain. The waters swirl and suddenly Zeke sees something, more than he'd expected. . . .
In my mind's eye, I'm walking along a beach. I find myself holding someone's hand even though we haven't seen each other in years. I keep gazing up at him and smiling. "I've dreamed about this," I say, tears in my eyes.
"So have I."
We keep walking, for miles and miles. After we've traveled across many sandy beaches and rocky shores, we turn to the sunset. "Once," I say, "when I was very young, when colors seemed more important than a career, and playing the violin in a nearby cave was more desirable than anything, I said a prayer."
He smiles. "And what did you pray?"
I look out at the tumbling waves. "I asked God to give me a sign that He still loved me."
"Did you doubt His love so much?" he asks.
"I guess I did." I pause, wondering over the small moments that make up our lives. "Well, nothing happened for the entire day that I prayed. I painted and drew. I went to my cave and played my violin. At one point, I knelt next to a rock and so much sadness overcame me. I asked God if He even loved me anymore."
"Did He answer you?"
"I didn't hear it at first, but before long the words filled my very being and I FELT them. 'Of course,' a voice replied and the air smelled of incense. 'Look,' the voice said. I looked at the sunset and my breath stopped. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen in that area. The clouds stretched orange and gold. They were my favorite color, chosen as my favorite not because of its hue but because orange represents eternity." I know he understands that this reveals more about me--about the desires of my heart--than almost anything.
"How interesting; eternity is what you truly long for," he says. "Some wish only for fame, fortune, or even death after years on Earth--you . . . you, seek eternal life." He pauses, still holding my hand gently. "And you knew God loved you . . . because of the beautiful, orange sky? You thought he answered your prayer?"
"I know He answered it. In some way, it made me realize how He painted the sky for me . . . for each of us, every single day. His love shines everywhere, through almost everything."
"And that's what you hold onto whenever bad things happen in your life?" He studies a shell by our feet and I don't say a word. "You remembered that, even when I died . . ."
Zeke--MY son just nods. "Orange is my favorite color too, a reminder that someday we'll be together in eternity."
Tears fill my eyes. He's so strong and healthy, much different from the infant who died after two and a half months of struggling in the hospital.
"I'm so proud you're my son. I've done everything I can so people will know you; your life won't be forgotten. I can't make up for the past, but I'm trying my best for the future. Every day I spent putting my journal--the moments from your life--into the computer . . . Every moment brought pain, but with it, you came back, just like today."
My eyes close and a deep part of myself starts fading. A heart once full, seems a bit empty, and my fingers close on themselves because he's no longer holding my hand.
I breathe slowly, willing peace to come again. "Please know I won't forget you," my voice drifts away just like my son did.
I look back, but Zeke really is gone, washed away with the wind and the waves.
"Elisa? Elisa? It's time for your interview," a sweet woman breaks my reverie, calling me from the side of the stage.
I stand and begin walking to my seat in front of the cameras. My hands fold as if in prayer since the warmth of my day-dream still lingers.
Zeke, I love you. Always will. My heartbeat slows and I remember the one question that always plagues me. Do you still love me? I wonder although he's been dead for years and I'm almost to my seat on stage.
The interviewer smiles kindly, but I feel as if my knees won't quit shaking.
Then, I feel something--it's just a nudge at first, but so much peace comes with the words. Of course, I love you, Mama. . . . Look.
My eyes turn forward. The studio lights are so vibrant, those yellow and orange colors wrap around me just like a surreal sunset. The faces below them glow blue, an endless ocean of hope and endurance.
I no longer simply long for eternity, but I realize the truth in its meaning--eternity is part of right now, just like my memories and my dreams. Just like Zeke.
"Thanks for joining us," the interviewer says kindly.
"Thanks for having me," I say, wondering if they really do have KSL in Heaven.
That's when the interview begins.