Carol Jean remembered those wrenching hours following Will's death. Unknown to anyone, he had a congenital heart defect, essentially a ticking time-bomb in his chest. Always healthy and active, he was never one to visit the doctor regularly. He had a stubborn streak, which Carol Jean had found irresistible at eighteen, but also exasperating as they progressed through their lives together. At forty-two, the trigger was set and Will was ripped from her life.
"I was allowed to stay and help you," Will continued, and Carol Jean realized how much she had felt his presence during all those lonely hours. "I have watched over all of you, and with help from others, I have been able to make sure you could come through these trials."
Carol Jean allowed Will to once again encircle her in his arms, and enjoyed the warm presence of his spirit surrounding her.
"I can see that now," she whispered. "Somehow I knew you were there."
"Carol," Will said, pulling back slightly so he could look in her eyes. "There is more for us to do."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Before we can rest, there is more for us to do. Something for each of our children. But this time, we can do it together."
“Together”, Will continued, “We will be by their sides as they go through rough patches, help them celebrate the miracles in their lives, and any other experiences they may have along the way. We helped bring our dear children into that world, and so we have the extraordinary experience of walking along side them during times of trial or triumph. Sometimes we can do that best as angels unseen.”
Carol Jean was having none of it though.
“What?!” You mean I am going to be invisible and help them with no guarantee that they will be able to hear me or understand me? No. This is unacceptable. I want to go back. I want to talk to a supervisor or whomever it is you talk to here, wherever here is. I can’t help from here. I can’t hold my grandbabies from here. I can’t continue to help Freddy from here. I can’t encourage Josie or hold her hand or give her hugs or comfort from here! I need to go back! Take me back, now!”
This was not going at all like Carol Jean had expected. She had expected the afterlife to be like a Garden Path or a Pin Wheel, maybe a Log Cabin, but this was more like a Buzz Saw or a Crazy Quilt! Was there quilting in heaven? She could really use a needle and some thread right now.
*****In order to finish the story by Sunday, we have included two sections today. We hope you enjoy and come back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to "Carol Jean's Final Quilt".