“Mom, your eyes are full of tears! Why are you crying?” asked Bohnfi.
Miriam was silent for some time. Then ran her hand over Bohnfi’s playful hair and said: “Sonny, it’s your younger sister’s sixth birthday today. I just remembered her.”
On hearing this, Bohnfi ran to his room. He came back holding a small rosewood framed photograph of a cute little girl. She looked angelic with a lovely smile, twinkling blue eyes, flowing blond hair, and dressed in a white frilled frock with a few pink flowers embroidered into it. Bohnfi, very delicately, placed the frame on the table. And looked at it for a few moments.
Both of them were silent for some time. Then Bohnfi looked up and asked his Mother, “Mom, where is Anfi now?
“She is in heaven now,” said Miriam.
“But Mom, you had told me that she died!” said Bohnfi.
Now Miriam took hold of his hand and asked, “Sonny, shall we go for a walk?” “Yes, Mom,” he replied.
Hand in hand they walked. Slowly they strolled along. Both of them were silent. Bohnfi knew that his mother was thinking about Anfi. He too missed her much. Life without her had lost much of its fun and laughter.
They crossed a meadow where small plants with little flowers bloomed and dotted the greenery. Soon they reached a small river.
His mother now stopped. She now knelt by his side and pointed in the direction of the river. Bohnfi looked in that direction.
She asked, “What do you see?”
“Isn’t it a bridge, Mom?” he replied.
“That’s right. Now shall we go across?” she asked again. “Oh, yes,” said Bohnfi, now a little bit excited. Hand in hand, they walked across the bridge and reached the other side.
“See, Bohnfi, we’ve reached the other side,” said his mother. She paused. Bohnfi knew that she was going to say something important now. She had the habit of pausing before saying things important.
Bohnfi waited in expectation.
Miriam spoke again. “Imagine this side as heaven and the side where our house is as earth. And we reached here by crossing the bridge.”
Bohnfi was listening intently.
She continued, “Imagine Anfi as having walked across this bridge.
Thus she’s now in heaven.”
Bohnfi’s eyes opened wide in amazement. He asked: “Mom, so death is a bridge?”
“Yes, sonny, you got it right!” said Miriam.
Bohnfi was thinking now. He had thought till then that death was something dark and terrible when people cry a lot. But his Mom was describing death as a bridge. She was saying that Anfi, his younger sister, had walked across the bridge to the other side, heaven.
He asked again, “Mom, is she alive now?”
“Oh, very much. The only thing is that we can’t see her now. But one day we will,” she replied.
Bohnfi was thinking again. He asked, “Mom, but we can go back across the bridge, can’t we? Then whey does not Anfi come back?”
Miriam was surprised at Bohnfi’s question. She said: “It’s a good question, sonny. Yes, we can go back across the bridge, but no one is permitted to come back from heaven. In fact, no one would like to come back because it is such a beautiful joyous place full of light’n glory!”
“But Mom, do you think that she’s happy there without you and dad and me and Phil and Debbie (his elder brother and elder sister; actual names being Philip and Deborah)? asked Bohnfi.
Miriam playfully rubbed his cheeks and said: “Hey, sonny, she’s more happy that you can know. See, Anfi loved Jesus. She has crossed the bridge to heaven where Jesus is. And where He is, there is unending joy!”
Bohnfi’s eyes twinkled at the happiness of heaven. His tongue could almost taste strawberry ice creams that he liked so much. For that was the best of happiness he knew in life!
By now he was looking upward and standing still. He was lost in thought.
Miriam knew he wanted to ask something; “Bohnfi, what’s it?” she asked.
Bohnfi went near his mother, and almost in a whisper asked: “Mom, will we meet her again?”
Like a bolt of lightning, quick and fast, came her reply: “Oh, yes, one day we will see her with Jesus!”
Bohnfi’s face lit up with joy; for he knew now for sure that someday they will meet again.
“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it will live” (John 5:24, 25 NIV).
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