Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WAIT (08/30/18)
- TITLE: Philomena
By C D Swanson
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“No buts, butts are from filthy cigarettes. March!”
Philomena’s ringlets of fire framed her freckled face as her huge green eyes searched the open field behind her Mamma’s back.
Her Mamma pointed and her daughter acquiesced, albeit reluctantly, as she slowly walked home.
Philomena despite her rambunctious and stubborn ways, was a typical nine year old girl, equipped with a keen brain, and a curiosity factor that was off the charts. She explored the fields surrounding their farmhouse during and after her daily chores. Her Mamma knew where she could be found when she deserted her tasks in the barn, opting for the fresh country air, and wide open fields, that stretched across numerous acres of land. She always appeared in search of something or someone, seeking more, waiting for more.
Her teenage years merely increased her curiosity factor, which was a good thing to have had while attending College. She readily signed up to major in religious studies. The questions and interest in religion was such, that her professors were reticent about calling on her, as most times they couldn’t supply answers to her questions. Again, Philomena always wanting more, seeking more…waiting for more.
She met Dennis in class during her junior year, and promptly fell in love. They married one year after graduation. She became a chaplain for a nursing home, and loved helping the elderly and their families, through issues of pain, transitions, and life in general. Her husband was an administrator for a local nursing home, and so they had a lot in common, each one tending to the elderly population.
Philomena’s calling was evident as she nursed and prayed with the geriatric residents, offering insight and inspiration to many. Yet, she was still waiting, in search of something, or someone, seeking more, waiting for more.
The days and years of being the Chaplain at the nursing home was fulfilling and rewarding. The myriad of issues that faced this population was anything but routine, each day bringing a brand new set of issues and challenges.
So many family members had difficulties facing the aging of their loved ones, especially the Alzheimer’s group, and the terminally ill population. Prayers helped most, but some had no faith, which made it difficult, but still she had the guidance from above to do so in a way that met their needs.
Many times a soul was “saved” through declaration of acceptance of the Lord and Savior. Yet, through it all, Philomena was in search of something, or someone, wanting more, waiting for more.
Dennis and Philomena had three children together. Each child successful, happily married, with children of their own. Being grandparents of six was a fun thing, and both enjoyed their role immensely, as they aged in place. Philomena was still in search of something, or someone, wanting more, waiting for more.
Dennis passed away at the age of 90, leaving Philomena bereft of his absence. They shared a blessed and long life together, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren… along with a wonderful career as a Chaplain that she never regretted for one moment. It was a full and happy life. Yet, she was always in search of something, or someone, wanting more, waiting for more. The familiar restless swirl of emotions surged within, and Philomena could never figure out what it was all about, until five years after Dennis’ passing…as she was about to blow out a candle on her cake that boasted the number ninety-five, she had a vision.
She looked in awe at an emerald field that stretched on as far as she could see, enhanced by the warmth of the sun that washed over her body. Colorful birds flew by, chirping sounds she’d never heard before. And in the distance, she heard faint angelic voices that grew stronger by the second. A subtle sweet scent became stronger as her vision continued. There seemed to be people gathered around a long table decorated in gold beset by jewels of various stones, with an endless array of food she couldn’t recognize.
A gentle loving voice called out, “Come and join us as we feast at my table. You’ve done well.”
Her parents, Dennis, along with many loved ones that had passed, were seated at His table.
“Eternal salvation… yes…what I was waiting for…”
Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. ( Psalm 62:1 KJV)
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