Should Heaven have a phone?

What if people who died could get in touch with you? What if heaven had a phone?

I had a really bizarre dream a few years ago that defies imagination. I dreamed about Kevin’s dad, whom I have never met. Kevin only has three photos of his father. At the time of the dream I hadn’t yet Kevin’s sisters, so I knew very little about his parents, and hadn’t yet heard family stories and things. Kevin didn’t speak of his parents much, other than how much he missed them both.

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How do you explain a dream you had of a dead guy you never met?

The dream is I’m helping Kevin’s dad (whom I know is deceased in my dream) to tie a canvas onto a boat to winterize it. Kevin’s father hands me a rope, and a few others are there with me. I have no idea what I’m doing, or what knots to tie, or where. I know nothing about boats or what to do with them.

I ask Kevin’s dad, “Tell me what to do here. I have no idea what I’m doing, or how or where to tie these knots.”

Rather than speak, his dad motions his arm in a ‘get back to work motion’, only I see his hand and arm very clearly. His two fingers are together as he points, and he motions from his elbow. Not in an up and down way, as an old lady might do when scolding someone, but pointing more as a firm instruction. He is not angry.

So I go back and attempt to try tying the boat canvas down, only to again realize I have no idea what I’m doing. I go back to Kevin’s dad, frustrated, and ask the same question again. Again he motions in the same exact way, and I try it again.

Still again, the third time I become exasperated, and march over to Kevin’s dad and say, “I really have no idea what I’m doing here!” He lifts his arm to point ONCE AGAIN, and I roll my eyes and say, “I know, I know – you’re going to go like ‘THIS’ again!” and I mimic his pointing gesture precisely in my dream.

Then the dream ends abruptly. I wake up. It’s in the middle of the night, but I wake Kevin, turn on the light and say, “Did your dad every motion to you like this when he wanted you to do something?” And I showed Kevin the odd pointing with my fingers and thumb that way.

Kevin said, “Yeah, he used to point that way all of the time.” And he went back to sleep.

Um, WHAT??

Well, naturally the conversation didn’t end there.

I still think of this dream when I lose faith.

How do you explain a random gesture and a dream – supposedly designed to do nothing but teach me the gesture until I did it myself?

Why did I have a dream of a dead guy I never met, and know the hand gestures he used?

And when you think about it – this is one of the most subtle things you forget about first after someone you know dies. You might remember events or memories or habits, but things like how they held their hands or gait are things you simply forget.

Yet remarkably, this unspoken trait came through in a dream. How do you explain that?

When you face death, you don’t explain things. You simply are grateful for these odd, dreamy things that happen. You take it as a sign of goodwill or a hello from someplace else – maybe heaven? Maybe heaven has a phone.

When I doubt whether we continue on after life has ended here, I think about that dream a lot, because of someone I don’t know – not someone I did know.

When I look back, the dream was entirely about learning that gesture. Oddly too, it all took place on my former Father-in-Law Ed Muehlemann’s fishing boat. Both Ed and Kevin’s dad were engineers. I often wonder whether a phone in heaven requires a lot of participation among others who are deceased. I suppose I won’t understand these things in this lifetime.

There are many other coincidences, like the huge rental truck nearly breaking down in Gary Indiana, and being lost. I was really scared, which almost never happens when we travel. Kevin had a hard time driving in the dark. For some reason I thought of Papa at that moment, and said a little prayer. I felt like we were in real danger (we learned much later how dangerous Gary is, in spite of the nice people we met everywhere).

We quickly got back where we needed to be and were at the destination in no time. The next day as I ran to Home Depot for parts, I realized the town we were lost in was Hammond, Indiana. Strangely, Papa’s hometown was Hammond, Louisiana. Inspiration or did I see a sign somewhere and didn’t realize it?

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My grandmother’s manger – brand new, and also over 40 years old.

The Bizarre Appearance of My Grandmother’s Manger

In the late 1960s when I was a kid, we had a manger scene exactly like this. For years I wished I could find one like it again. I had searched in stores for a long time, trying to look for something even similar. Mom had thrown ours a way many years ago. It was in bad condition even before we were all teenagers.

My grandfather died this time last year. He was preceded by my grandmother by over a decade. We were invited to come down and go through what was left of his things to see if we wanted anything before items were auctioned off. Grandpa was pretty pragmatic. He only kept what he needed. I love Christmas things, so I grabbed some boxes marked “Christmas” and another box wrapped in twine.

When I got home,  I discovered the twine-wrapped box contained the exact replica of my mother’s manger, as well as some things I made and had given to my grandmother many years ago. I never realized she was sentimental about it. It was also strange that this box seemed like it was ‘mine’ because in addition to the manger the only other things were things I made for her!

I learned later that so many years ago my mother had purchased two of these mangers, and had given one to my grandmother.


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