Conversations on heaven

Rare Bird Anna Whiston-Donaldson book review

We’re in the midst of a season of change. I’m doing what I can to hold onto summer, while simultaneously longing for fall to begin already. I’m ready for brisk breezes, crispy leaves crunching under my Uggs as I walk to the bus stop to pick up my now-First Grader from another day at school, preschooler in tow.

With only a handful of potential pool days left, I piled the kids in the car last week for a couple of hours at our neighborhood pool before dinnertime. The air was warm, I had the radio on, and the kids were carrying on their own little conversation in the backseat while I sang along to a country pop tune. As the song came to an end, Vivian piped up and caught me off guard with a serious question.

“When are we going to die, Mommy?”

Whoa. Where did this come from? Had that last song mentioned dying as some country songs do?

Before I could even address her curiosity, her brother dove into his own explanation.

“When God calls you back to heaven, Vivi. He’s the only person who knows when we’ll die.”

Wow. Are my four and six year olds really discussing death?

And before I could ask him where he had learned this bit of wisdom, I remembered.

I remembered how I told them about Anna’s son Jack and his accident when they saw me reading Rare Bird last year. God called Jack home to heaven four years ago.

No one knows how much time we have. There are no guarantees.

I am not an intensely religious person, although I do believe in God and I believe there is a heaven. I do believe there is another phase after our lives here. I am hopeful I’ll meet all the people I’ve loved through life in heaven eventually. My heart tells me this place we’re in now is just the preparation for what’s next.

Rare Bird taught me so many things, and I truly feel it’s a book that everyone should read for the wisdom Anna shares within its pages. We never know when life will throw us a curve ball. Something that may knock us down so hard that we fear we may never be able to get back up. And yet, Anna did just that, and continues to face each day with grace and love and kindness.

I constantly think about life and death, and question whether I’m making the most of my time. I have my good days and bad days, like everyone else. I think as long as we love deeply and treat every day as the true gift it is, we’re living a good life.

Jack lived a very good life. Much too short, but he’s home now. In heaven with God. And as Anna says in this new video about the book, it’s not as far away as she had thought.

Rare Bird comes out in paperback in a week, but you can pre-order it on Amazon now.

Sending love to Anna, Tim and Margaret, this week and always. Thinking of Jack and the memories {and God winks} he blessed them with, some of which are described within the pages of Rare Bird.

Follow Anna’s blog: AnInchOfGray, her Facebook page for the book, and her author page for info on readings and events.