Twelve years ago I wrote this letter and short story to my daughter to convey my deep feelings and happiness that God looked down upon me and blessed me with this wonderful gift.
ANGELS IN THE CLOUDS
Dedicated to my Daughter
I wanted to write a special story for you on your 24th birthday.A story about us.How or where to start puzzled me for quite a long time.I sat at the computer night after night for weeks until finally, looking through the window at the stars twinkling against the black velvet sky, it came me. This is my interpretation of how our souls meshed into one. I hope you enjoy it.
It has been quoted by theological scholars, that babies who await to be born are harbored in what is known as "The Garth" and when the last baby is born, the world will end as we know it through the seven signs from God individually sealed in sacred envelopes by His hands and given to his trusted archangel, Michael, who shall deliver them to the world in an earthy form.When this will occur, no one really knows for sure, for the Old and New Testaments contradict greatly, as well as Nostradamus.And what the seven signs are, I will not frighten you by revealing them.I leave this historical knowledge for your own curiosity to research.But, in the meantime, I will voice my opinion and tell you this.It can be prevented, and it shall be, as you will learn further through this story, the only logical way - - a quite simple solution really.The Garth, otherwise known as, "God's Great Storage Bin" has to be kept full at all times and unfortunately the only way to do this is by death.
My mother once told me, when I voiced that I missed having grandparents, "a soul on Earth must depart to make room for a new soul.Your grandfather made room for you in 1950, the year before you were born.Your grandmother made room for your brother Patrick a year before he was born.You see honey, for every soul that is born, another must depart.God has to keep both his Kingdom and the world he made replenished."
Because of my mother's home-spun philosophy on this, she always had this dreadful fear that every time she was to be a grandmother she was going to die to make room for this child.Needless to say, this never happened; rendering my mother's superstition invalid to say the least.But I made sense of this because I did not want the world to end.
A great deal of research has been done in the area of parapsychology and reincarnation that makes me tend to believe that maybe souls are, as it were, if not for a lack of a better term, recycled.(Leaving Shirley MacLaine out of this.)
It has been reasoned that reincarnation evolves because the being that God created has not yet learned the meaning of life.Hence, it has to return until this knowledge is acquired, and depending upon the intelligence level of the soul, it could be once, twice, or several times.After the revelation is realized, and only then, the soul may enter Heaven for eternity as it will have finally figured out what God has intended for all of us.
There are some people, ratio on sanity balance left questionable, that claim to have lived as many as 10 previous lives!And who are we to contradict or disbelieve.Anything is possible.Being Irish, I believe in everything - ghosts, reincarnation, the hereafter, etc. and everyone knows the Irish are "a bit touched" (all that inbreeding you know).
I personally have found that I can detect when a soul is newborn or lived before, through their eyes.Afterall, "the eyes are the windows of the soul."
Through my eyes, this is my story.The relationship between you and I that only we two will ever share.
The angels, Arbrab and Ahtram, were relaxing on their billowy cloud playing their harps.Sweet music flowed throughout Heaven into Gabriel's ears as he returned from the Almighty's chambers with orders for the angels' missions.He paused a moment, aloofly opening the envelopes, a smile upon his lips.He was savoring the soothing chords that drifted around him. They encompassed him in an aura of languid bliss (Arbrab and Ahtram's playing could always do that to him).
After reading the contents, the smile disappeared and his complacent demeanor turned to one of sadness.
Out of all of his angels, Arbrab and Ahtram were his favorites, though he did not indicate this to the rest of the angels for favoritism was forbidden in Heaven, and he dreaded the day that the Almighty assigned them their missions and he would lose them.Their gaiety and laughter and the pranks they pulled on him would be lost to the usual sobriety in Heaven.
God ran a tight ship.He expected obedience from his angels and their tasks performed to perfection.And in return, he rewarded them generously.They were allowed to do whatever made them happy.If they wanted to gorge themselves on rich delicacies of Earthly food they enjoyed in their living lives, or drink until their bellies exploded, they were allowed.If they craved the company of a female, they were allowed.So long as they took their work seriously and their tasks were completed successfully, they could do just about anything they wanted.That was the joy of Heaven.And that is why complaints are never voiced in Heaven.
As on Earth, Heaven has classes as well.There are three classes of angels.Class A - the soldiers:they keep the kingdom in order, or if needed, return to Earth on a crucial mission; Class B - the cherubs:they perform the work tasks; and Class C - the repudiates: they are the reincarnations who have not yet learned what God has intended for them to know and need to keep returning to Earth until they gain this knowledge.This is the class that Arbrab and Ahtram are in and this is why Gabriel is so saddened.One of them must return.
Ahtram was the eldest.She is the longest repudiate and she is the one who has been chosen to return.In earth years, she is in her thirties.Arbrab is in her twenties and still has not been found a mission.Ahtram took her under her wings when she first entered Heaven fifty years ago (in Heaven time).They were inseparable - until today, which is why Gabriel's task of informing them of God's intention will be so difficult.
"Ahtram."Gabriel said, "I have your orders.It is time.You're mission has been chosen."
"Oh please Gabriel.Just one more song.Is there time for one more song?"She pleaded.
"I'm afraid not Ahtram.I've already let you idle longer than I should have."
Ahtram frowned at Gabriel.
"Please don't pout.You know how I hate when you do that."He put his arms around her shoulders in a fatherly fashion.
"Ahtram.This is your seventh life.It's the last one.Make it count.I want you to return a permanent angel."
"You just want me to be eternal so you can have someone to reprimand all the time."She toyed."You know how you love scolding Arbrab and me when we're naughty.It's what keeps you young."She sarcased.
Seriously Gabriel looked at her.
"No Ahtram.You're wrong.I love you as if. . . .as if. . . never mind.I just don't want to see you end up in purgatory with all of the other lost souls.Remember how you botched up your last mission?"
"Yes.But it wasn't my fault!That was the hardest mission I had ever been on.You made me Lizzie Borden's sister and my mission was to turn her into a good and kind ladylike creature like me!THAT was an impossible task!I never get the easy ones!"She pouted.
"What are you talking about!?I made you King of England for Heaven's sake!"
"Oh yeah.That was a doozy!I chopped off my wives heads!Way to go Gabriel!"
"How was I supposed to know you had such a blasted big ego about having a son and would go to that extreme when your wives wouldn't give you one?!"Gabriel sighed and looked Ahram in the eye.
"I don't want our last moments together to end in an argument.Trust me this time.It's an easy mission.There is a woman who needs you.She's in pain. Her husband beats her, she has lost a most wanted baby daughter and feels her life is doomed.You can bring her joy and turn her around.You have the gift of humor.You make everyone laugh.Your heart is pure and your mind is logical.Go and give this woman peace, love and laughter, the things she needs and I promise you, you will be rewarded."
Ahtram struggled with Gabriel's words then hugged him.
"I will make you proud and I shall return for my golden wings.She then turned to Arbrab.
"Well, Arbrab," she sighed, "I'm afraid this is goodbye.I'm gonna miss you my friend."
"Ah, don't look so sad Ahtram.Well be together again soon."
As if knowing something Ahtram did not, she smiled coyly and fluffed Ahtram's wings.
"Maybe sooner than you think."She winked.
Nineteen years have passed since Gabriel sent Ahtram on her mission.He has watched the progress she has made very closely.The woman Gabriel assigned to Ahtram as her mother was not as easy a mission as he thought.Ahtram's life was full of pain, sorrow and frustration in trying to help this woman, hence, bringing unto her the same pattern as the assignment she took.
Ahtram, much to Gabriel's dismay, had married a man similar to her Earth mother's and endured the same hardships.Gabriel shook his head and thought to himself, `the woman is gifted in so many ways, but the one gift she is sorely lacking in is insight outside of the heart.She rules with her heart and not her mind.'He woed.
Fearing she was losing the battle, and would never gain her golden wings, he decided to send in reinforcements to help Ahtram, one angel he knew for sure would accomplish the mission he initially sent Ahtram to undertake.But, could this angel carry out TWO missions?It has never been done before.Two missions for one angel.What if she fails?God would have his wings for sure.
He pondered.He paced.He thought.He decided.
Arbrab was in Heaven's kitchen drinking a beer and telling jokes to the soldier angels that she heard in her waitress days on Earth when Gabriel walked in.
"So this guy said, `honey, do your feet hurt?And the waitress says, `no,' and he says, `well, they should because you've been runnin' through my mind all day.'"
Gabriel interrupted the laughter.
"Arbrab."He called."I need to speak with you."
"Not now boss, I'm on a roll."
"NOW Arbrab!It's important."
"Okay, okay."She answered, then turned to the laughing angels.
"I'll see you guys later."She floated over to Gabriel.
"What's up doc?"She flippantly asked.
"Arbrab, Ahtram's in trouble.She needs you.Things are not good down there.You have to go to her right away."
"What's wrong?"Arbrab asked concerned.
"The mission was almost accomplished.She turned the mortal woman around as much as she could but now she's in the same predicament as the mortal and I fear for her.You must go and help her."
"Right away.I'm on my way."And with that, Arbrab flapped her wings into a descending pattern and began to take off - but Gabriel called out once again.
"Arbrab.You must not fail.Remember, you have two missions, not one, you must recuperate what Ahtram has lost and save Ahtram as well.It will not be an easy mission.And if you fail. . . ."
"Don't worry pops,"Arbrab shouted back as she flew down to Earth, "I won't."
Ahtram laid on the operating table with legs in stirrups, sweating and pushing until finally, the doctor shouted, "It's a girl.A healthy, beautiful girl."
The nurse laid the Arbrab on the woman's stomach.
"Why is she blue!"Ahtram panicked.
"She's just cold honey.That's all.Here, see."And the nurse rubbed Arbrab's little arm until it turned pink
Ahtram smiled with relief and held her baby close to her heart.
"I think I'll name her Daniele Gabriel."
"That's a pretty name.Unusual."The nurse replied.
"Yes.I've always liked the name Daniele."
"Why did you choose Gabriel for her middle name?"The nurse asked.
"Because. . .because I. . .I don't really know.It just popped into my mind.I would never have thought of that for a middle name.Maybe because it rhymes with Daniele - or maybe because my doctor's name is Gabriel."A thoughtful, puzzled expression clouded her face.
"Or, maybe, because her face is like an Angel and she tooted her horn so loudly when she was born that she reminded me of the Angel Gabriel."She quipped, but never really believing in that reason.It was just an odd feeling that she should the name child after Gabriel.
Gabriel was watching from above, craftily smiling.He kept close tabs on Ahtram and Arbrab through the years, pleased at Arbrab's accomplishment in her missions.
The mortal woman that Ahtram set out to save became a loving, warm, kind and laughing human being because of Arbrab's antics and songs, the attributes that Gabriel loved so much about her.At the age of two Arbrab sang and danced for the mortal woman and Ahtram and imitated Barbra Streisand.Gabriel thought she would play a musical instrument eventually as she did in Heaven but Arbrab never did.
The Earthly mortal woman that Gabriel sent Ahtram to help had passed away but with the reprieve of knowing love and laughter from both Ahtram and Arbrab for they made her life on Earth a pleasant experience allowing her to enter Heaven with the knowledge that she had brought into the world a daughter of substance who in turn gave her a granddaughter to be proud of.
Gabriel led the mortal woman into the pearly gates of Heaven with rapture in his heart and a smile on his lips.She was seated with the senior angels, the soldiers, for she had utilized all of her reincarnating lives.A soul was saved.And now Gabriel could use her for a mission for Arbrab if it was needed.In fact, every angel is assigned a progeny to guard and guide throughout its life, and Gabriel thought it was only appropriate that the mortal woman named Anna should be assigned as Arbrab's guardian angel.He was quite pleased with himself and smug.
The journey however, was far from being over, and Gabriel knew better than to count all of his blessings until the road traveled by Arbrab and Ahtram brought them back to him.
Arbrab was now 24 in Earth years and a fine young woman.Ahtram, thanks to Arbrab, had finally gotten her life back on path and was heading towards the realm where golden wings are rewarded.
Arbrab was now engaged with a fine young man, on the verge of completing her education to start an illustrious career.Everyone is doing fine and all is well with Heaven and Earth.
"Give me a cognac."Gabriel requested from Paul the Apostle tending Heaven's bar that night.