Extract from The Queen and Me

And now for something completely different: an extract from my story 'My Vacation in Heaven' about visiting the Virgin Mary while in heaven:



Over the next hill I saw in the distance a large lake with a beach on one side and majestic hemlock trees surrounding two thirds of the lake. As we approached the shore I spotted a lovely young woman among a group of children. She looked up and started walking toward us until she was close enough to reach out her hand to me, "Welcome, my name is Mary. We have a lot to talk about. Come."

"Holy Mary, Mother of God!" I blurted out. Instinctively I knew that she was THE Mary, the original after whom billions of ladies, including my own mother, were named. "I am deeply honored to meet you in person!" Seeing the Virgin Mary was like meeting an old pen pal.

"Come, let us sit together." She gently took my hand and together we walked to her cabana facing the lake. When I sat down, she said, "Ask me whatever you’d like."

"How can you do all that people expect of you? You are the head of the Greek Navy and the queen of Mt. Athos; you intercede to your Son for billions of souls. You must not get a moment’s rest." And without stopping to hear her reply, lest I forget my questions I added, "How did you communicate with me on earth, are you an angel? Did you really never die? Tell me about that? Did you know Jesus would rise after the crucifixion? What you must have gone through!"

"Is that all?" she asked with the patience and conviviality I would expect from a queen. "God trained me well to trust Him. Like you, from my first childhood thoughts, I knew He was alive and with me, guiding me, comforting me and encouraging me. The trip to Egypt, the pregnancy, those events, like the hard times in your life taught me how to walk through dark tunnels. I eventually learned to see without eyes. "Do you remember where Scripture says, ‘Awake you who sleep. Arise from the dead. And Christ will give you light?’ When my Son tells you to wake His sleeping sheep, He wants you to shine light on them. Bring them out of the darkness."

"That sounds important." I said, "What is darkness?"

She smiled as if to remember how stupid I could be, and then replied patiently, "Darkness is anything that distorts or hides truth or causes separation from God such as pride, pornography, and drunkenness."

"You think my job is hard. Not so." She added, "By avoiding darkness I am able to give people guidance. This awakens them. By seeking my help they are reminded of why I have such influence. I would never entertain darkness, not the darkness of the gossipers when I was pregnant, nor the darkness of the flight to Egypt. Nor even the darkness of His trial and crucifixion. Darkness lies.

To wake the sheep shine the light on the darkness that is around them and within them. Remember you only need a little light to eradicate darkness."

Then remembering my other questions, she said, "Dormition, was I sleeping? They called it sleeping because that’s what it looked like to them, but I only shut my eyes so I could see the light inside me that lead me here. It was a gift for me to be able to bring my own body with me here. The joy of living here is infinitely greater than what the sleeping people think they will gain from darkness. We can only feel sorrow for them, never anger. Enough lessons. It’s time for my Dormition feast. Come, let’s dance together! We will continue to speak often when you go back, especially now that you know the sound of my voice.

Would you like to borrow a dress for my party?"