Chapter 1

Have you ever felt a sense of coming home- to somewhere you knew you belonged, although the place is not familiar, at least in the everyday sense? Not your home, not your workplace, your favorite restaurant, or even your early childhood home or the high school in which you recall the smells of fish sticks in the cafeteria? More in the sense of a dream, or a surreal sense of deja vu. Perhaps a vaguely recalled place, experience or event from early in your childhood, that you filed away in your subconscious and "pop!" Here it is! I remember this! you exclaim. Like an old popular song you may have last heard some twenty or thirty years ago. Recalled and restored, and once your brain hears the melody, it fills in the coming notes before they are even played out in real time.

This is my story, my experience. You see, I have died, and gone to heaven. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, in fact.

In life, I was a wife, mother, and had a very ordinary, unassuming job as a nursing assistant in a small town nursing home. I left a seventeen year old son on earth, and an eight year old daughter, both of whom I still can see and hug every night, though they can neither see or feel me. I wish so much that Jared, my husband, and Ian and Ivy, my kids, could know now that I have the finest home imaginable. I only wish I hadn't left things unfinished. I felt myself being pulled in two different directions. I didn't want to leave my family behind, but on the other hand, there lie such intriguing adventures and such awesome beauty and glory that I wanted to go forward and meet! God is everything I imagined and more. His kingdom is fabulous, and the people of all tongues, tribes, and eras are fascinating. There is no prejudice, no sense of superiority or inferiority, knowing who was great or who was humble, no language barrier. And stories. So many stories to hear.