We sat in the small, sterile emergency room with the petite, still, lifeless body of Susan.  We could not pull ourselves from the room until the doctor had pronounced her dead.  Because there was a person in the hospital with a great deal of bleeding that they could not stop, our wait was longer than usual.

I sat with Susan’s long-term caregiver and a social worker who had worked with the family for more than 20 years.  This social worker had guided them through so many battles and complexes that she had become a good friend.  The three of us spoke in stilted voices, knowing this was a holy time as Susan was being ushered from life into new life.

Janet, her caregiver, smiled.  “Susan always wanted a mansion.  She wanted her mother and me to buy her a mansion.”  Susan’s mother had died a few weeks before today.  Susan, at 65, had mourned deeply after her mother’s death. 

A couple of weeks ago, Janet and Susan had driven by a mansion in our city.  The gates were open and a man was outside the gate checking the mail.  The two women stopped the car to look beyond the entrance.  The man asked if there was a problem.  “No,” Janet explained Susan’s desire for a mansion. 

“Come into the gate.  You can come closer.”

Susan’s joy knew no bounds.  “Can we buy that mansion?”  Susan left the event asking.  “I really want a mansion!” she insisted.

Her caregiver told her that Susan would not own a mansion here on earth; but Jesus was preparing a mansion for her in heaven.  “When you get to heaven, you will have a mansion.”

More delighted than she had been since her mother’s death, Susan sat pleased, contemplating the new prospects for her mansion.  Then came the questions.  “Will I be able to sleep there? Who will stay with me?  Will my mother live with me?  Can you stay there sometimes?

The three of us laughed at Susan’s inquest.  “She has her mansion, now.”  Janet said, tearfully.

The doctor entered the room to declare that our good friend was gone.  It was a sad time but our sadness was for ourselves, not for Susan.  We exited the room with visions of Susan roaming her mansion, hand in hand with her mother.  Smiling, laughing and saying, “Hallelujah!”

While we can have joy in the middle of pain.  True happiness for Susan has arrived.  She has seen the Lord and her mother.  And God has given to her the desire of heart, a mansion.  I just wonder who will be sleeping with her at night.

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