Angel: Hello, Lew.
Lew Hi! Do I know you? You look familiar…
A: I’ve been around. You’ve probably seen me before but we’ve never met officially.
L: But you know my name.
A: Yes, Lew. I know a lot of people who know you. I just saw your Papaw Buckelew Moore a little while ago.
L: You did? How is he?
A: He’s doing fine. Singing all the time now. That man loves to sing.
L: I know. I loved it when he sang to me….. Hey, can you take me to where he is?
A: Lew, that’s exactly what I’ve come to do. Do you want to go now? L: No…. Not just yet….
A: We don’t have to go yet. Lew, I notice you’re having some trouble breathing. I can help you breathe if you like.
L: How can you do that?
A: I can float over you and breathe in your mouth.
L: You can float? Show me.
(Angel takes a spin around the room avoiding the doctors and nurses who are there but they don’t see or feel her anyway.)
L: Wow. I saw you had wings but I didn’t think about your really being able to use them. Cool!…Now about helping me to breathe…if you do that, will we be able to talk anymore? I really want to talk to you some more.
A: I want to talk to you, too, Lew. We will be able to talk but we won’t use our voiceA: I will hear your thoughts and you will hear mine.
L: Breathing is getting harder…I’d like your help.
(Angel floats above Lew and places her mouth over hiA: Her arms support his torso.)
L: Wow…I’ve never breathed so welL: Thank you.
A: You’re welcome, Lew
A: Lew, we can leave here any time. Are you ready?
L: No. Who else will be there that I know?
A: You Grandmother Winkle and your Grandmother Moore.
L: Really! Wow. Grandma Winkle used to hold me and feed me. She loved me very much and I’ve missed her lately. So that’s were she went…And I never knew Granny Moore but I sure want to… Who else is there?
A: JesuA: Jesus lives there all the time.
L: But Jesus has been here with me all the time. How can he live there?
A: Jesus is God. He can be everywhere and with every person all the time. I know that’s hard to imagine, Lew, but it’s true….. Lew, you don’t’ seem ready to go. Are you waiting for something?
L: YeA: My mother - my mother or SheilA:
A: Lew, you know how much your mother loves you but she’s not going to be able to get here before we have to leave. You saw the snow when you went to the ambulance. There is 18” of snow on the ground in Kentucky tonight. Your family will be able to get here later and take care of your things, but not before we have to leave.
But Sheila…we can wait for SheilA: She’s on her way and very close.
Sheila: “Luder, Luder. Miss Sheila is here.
L: Oh!…good! I’m so glad you’re here.
S: Don’t worry, Lew. You aren’t alone.
L: No, SheilA: I’m not. I never have been.
S: Relax, Luder. It’s okay.
A: Yes, Sheila, it iA: More than you know.
S: I love you, Lew.
L: I know. I love you.
Sheila, tell Mom I tried to wait.
S: Now rest, Lew. I’ll be right here.
A: Lew, are you ready now?
L: YeA: What do I do?
A: Just move your face away from mine and take a breath.
L: But I’ll drown!
A: No. Trust me. This is the water of life. You will be fine. Any other questions?
L: Just one. You didn’t tell me your name.
A: It’s Grace, Lew. Sheer Grace.
Lew moves his head to the side of her face and takes a small breath. His eyelids fly open. He takes another breath, quickly, deeply.
L: Grace! I can do this! It’s wonderfuL:…What do we do next?
A: Let’s go up toward the light, Lew. That’s where everyone is waiting.
Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.View All Post