Most are familiar with those ethereal rays of sunlight, usually occurring at dawn or dusk, often called “God light.” As a child, my personal perception was they meant God was watching us. Somewhere along the road of life, someone shared the belief that those rays indicated souls were going to Heaven at that very moment.
That sounded pleasant enough – until my mom had to move into a nursing home.
Many late afternoons, as I was driving down the freeway to visit her, that spectrum spread in the sky before me, and anxiety stabbed my heart. All but oblivious to the highway traffic, my instinct was to speed – terrified one of those souls was my mother, intent on reaching her before the beautiful light could take her home.
Praying – crying – speeding, I frantically made my way to the nursing facility.
Upon arrival, I dashed to her room, to find her quietly waiting – always waiting…
As I rushed to her side and took her hand, she would simply smile that soft, vacant smile (not at all the animated countenance of the mother I knew), and quietly, in a weak, almost frail tone, say something like, “Hello, Nancy… How are you?” (Again, in no way resembling the deep, strong, persuasive voice of the woman who raised me.) She would often follow that greeting with a story of how she had just visited with her mother or brother – someone who predeceased her. Yet, somewhere in her mind, somehow, she had just visited with them.
The impossibility (her reality) of those visits, didn’t matter to me at that moment.
I was just thankful to have reached her before the “God light.”