Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: The Gate is Marked Neither Enter Nor Exit
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I've seen him deal cards so many times. He is a master of speed and accuracy and can talk a mile a minute while dealing. Usually, we're in a cabin near Clear Lake. Sometimes it's evening and we're in a group. Sometimes, we're alone and talking about things that really matter.
I've certainly seen him handing out and accepting beverages. About five o'clock would roll around and he would quietly get up from whatever was going on and find a can of the mysterious soda pop called Wink, put seasoned salt on his tall knobbly glass and make himself his much loved Salty Dog.
But now he's standing at a gate marked neither enter nor exit. He's not in a Cabin near Clear Lake in Field in northern Ontario, at least not physically.
We watched in wrapped fascination as he tied a hook on fishing line while sitting in a special reclining wheelchair in a hospital in Buffalo, New York. His hands moved with an almost divine articulation and clear direction.
It's amazing to watch an old man deal cards while you sit there, called in as a family because the medicos think his time for a great journey is near. He must be at that gateway marked neither enter nor exit, as he was at a party. He wasn't only dealing cards with his feeble hands, he was reaching for a drink, and asking if everyone had one. Last summer, he could hardly move his hands to deal real playing cards, but not now. They're easy. He stares between us at his partners we cannot see and seems so very contented.
Then a jerk of movement which is so sudden that all the children and grandchildren gathered jump right with him. He seems determined. We don't know if it's like a leap while you dream, where you feel you're climbing a stair or tripping. We don't know if someone in the room only he can see needed him, or called for him.
What we do know is that in time, in God's time, he will be called through that gate unlike other gates. Many are marked with enter and exit. We think he's about to exit so that makes sense to us. We also think he's about to enter heaven, so that, too makes sense to us. But we need to look deeper. The gate is marked with love. What is waiting for him is complete love and peace. Those who were with him and surrounding him loved him. Because the gate is so marked, we know that our love will travel with him, and his love can stay with us. The gate has no latch, no lock. Just a small sign on either side that says: "Love."
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