My Sister's Guest Room
My sister’s guest room ranks favorite when I think of best places to stay in Chicago. It’s a cross between a resort and a family guest chamber and I smile when I think of it.
No one grows African Violets like my sister. A half dozen of the delicate plants sit proudly in the guest room on racks in front of the room’s north window. A recliner chair sits alongside them with a small table topped with the kind of books I like to read. Oh, the delight to rest there!
A large comfy queen bed with a white comforter and pillows galore provide wonderful sleep. End tables on both sides of the bed hold lovely lamps and delicate collector items. She makes it personal for me with small framed photos of my family.
A bookcase lines one wall with frames of happy family times as well as photo albums that date back to when we were kids. Besides a TV, she displays artifacts of trips as well as her accumulated Willow Tree collection. Next to that, stands a coat rack with a variety of plush bathrobes.
The other side of the room features a vanity and mirror. Once, she found a new makeup line and liked it so well she purchased two of everything to include me. I felt pampered getting ready every morning at that vanity and excited to try my new makeup. I like having things that my big sister has, even at my age!
The last time I visited, two years ago, I witnessed her depression. She was diagnosed with cancer twelve years ago and doctors expected her to live for only four years! I tried, during my three-day stay, to encourage her. When we sipped our last cup of morning tea together and I gathered my luggage to leave and I wondered if it would be the last time I would see her alive as I kissed her goodbye.
Now I’m the One Depressed
Earlier this year, my niece sent me photos and an update clearly revealing that my sister’s health declined. My heart feels heavy when I speak to her on the phone. I wonder how long she will live.
Next Stop, a Mansion
My sister and I share faith in Jesus’ words that promise a place for us where we will dwell forever with Him.
In My Father’s house are many mansions;
If it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2
I enjoy reading stories written by people who have seen heaven by some means. My husband cautions me. He reminds me that Scripture doesn’t give us too many details about eternity. We don’t know if the author really experienced heaven or just ate too much pizza before writing about it.
My favorite heaven story happened to a teacher who took a nap before a speaking engagement and ended up in another dimension. The glimpse of glory left him so overwhelmed he could not speak that day. He radiated. The audience could not even sit down; everyone knelt worshiping God. In his book, the teacher described perfection all around and visited his mansion that awaits him. It was decorated in everything he loved. It sounds mystical I know, but it was a great read and I felt extremely loved afterwards.
I think about that book these days. I would bet my last dollar that my sister’s mansion will be decorated in light wispy hues with splashes of colorful accessories. Would the view from the window feature majestic Red Rocks which she loved on earth? And I would wager African Violets will stream the window sills in perfect form! The best is yet to come for her. I smile when I think there will be no more suffering.
Only God knows her final day on earth. As of yet, she still wakes up to the sound of birds chirping in the tree near her deck. I take comfort knowing that the ultimate healing is on the way!