Old and Wise

by Miles Rost

88 years of life gave Emil Jacobson lots of wonderful memories.

He sat in his bed, looking out the window as the dawn started to rise. He couldn’t sleep that night, he knew that he had to write down his thoughts. He was in the last moments of writing his memoirs, “The Long Story of an Ordinary Man”. Emil had many years as a writer, and many years as a father and husband. As he went through his memories, he knew the last things he wanted to write.

To those I’ve left behind in my life, I wanted you to know that you always have shared my deepest thoughts. No matter where I have been in my life, whether it was in the shadows Dongdaemun with my brothers in arms, or in the people around Northridge after the ’94 quake, you follow my life where I go.

He set his pen down again, looking out at the garden below his window. He looked at the pumpkin flowers as they were blooming. He smiled as he saw the autumn winds lightly blowing the leaves on the trees. The tall oak tree that he saw behind the garden was gently swaying its branches in the breeze.

He picked up the cell phone next to his bed and slowly typed a message to someone listed as “Publicist”.

Stop by in a few hours,” he said out loud, with a creaky voice, “The manuscript will be finished. No need for edits. Publish it raw.”

He put down the phone and picked up his pen again. He looked at the brightening sky and smiled. His eyes became bright and glowing.

To those I leave behind, I want you all to know that you’ve always shared my darkest hours, no matter where I’d go. My sons and daughters, you saw me in the darkest of hours. When your mom passed on, when I held that 15 year old girl in my hands as she died in Northridge, when I was hospitalized after my beach house collapsed into the Pacific; you all were there for me, and saw me in the darkness. You lifted me out by just being nearby. For that, I will always be thankful.

He smiled, as he thought of his last sentences. As he thought, his lungs spasmed and he hacked. For a good 10 seconds, he hacked, his old age showing through in each cough.  Even with the coughing, he returned to a smile and he wrote again.

Shadows approached me in this last portion of my life, and I see them surrounding me. My life has been a good one, as I see it now. From being a father and being a news writer, all the way to being the old and wisened man that I am right now, I feel as though I have lived the best life that I could. It is time for the new generation to write their stories, as my generation is finishing. As the final curtain is lifted from my eyes, I can see my life in 20/20 vision. It has been good.

He put his pen down, and breathed lightly on the page. Making sure the ink was dry, he closed the book. He sat back in his bed, pulling the covers up to his chest. As the sun started peeking over the neighbors house and the hills of the small coastal town, he closed his eyes and smiled. He breathed in the air and sighed contently.

He took in one more breath, and the smile from his face slowly started to fade. He grew still and stony. His hands still holding the book on his lap, his body sat like a statue’s.

——-

Emil Jacobson looked down upon his body. He smiled, seeing the completeness of his earthly life for one last moment. He turned his spirit towards the rising dawn and smiled, as he was lifted up above the trees and above the houses. He continued to fly upwards above the earth. With a quickening pace, he flew upwards through clouds and through space. As he flew upwards, the years that were apart of his earthly life started to melt away.

Within what seemed like moments, he stood on a rocky cliff, looking out over a vast ocean. He looked down at himself and saw himself not as the old man that he was, but as a strong built young man.

“Welcome!” he heard someone call from behind. He turned around and looked at another man.

“Is this Paradise?”

The welcoming man looked at him and smiled.

“Emil, welcome to Paradise. Your arrival is the talk of the folk here. Let’s go meet them, eh?”

Emil smiled at Paul, and joined along with him as he walked from the rocky cliff over to other heavenly folk.

He had arrived.

Guardian Angel

(aka “I Will Wait For You: Chapter 2)

by Miles Rost

A long while ago, I had told the story of an incident where my “future wife spirit” had come to visit me and inform me that I was to wait for her. Naturally, I was skeptical, and after it was all over, I wasn’t able to get any sleep the rest of that night.

The next day, for the record, I was incredibly useless at work and was raked over the coals by my boss for being a “paperweight around the ankles of this firm”. One day, I vow I will leave that company and never look back.

To say the least, it got worse. I had the prescience of mind to go and visit my pastor, who deemed me as being either incredibly insane, a newly initiated member of a cult, or a new apostle. In that order. He wasn’t much of a help on this, lemme tell ya.

Fast forward to three months later. By this time, I nearly forgot about what happened. I went through my daily life, doing what I do, and just being sad about my situation. I came home from work as the sun was at the most perfect position in the sky. I walked out to my patio, opened a bottle of IPA, and looked out over the neighborhood and at the sun. It was probably the first time since that night when I actually had peace in my heart.

I went back inside and sat down on my bed, as I was in a studio apartment. I felt a bit sad, because while I was at peace with most things, I was back to the old habit of mine about seeing my life ticking away. I even kicked myself a little bit because I was thinking about an old girlfriend who I likely could have been in a long-term relationship with, had I not been a greedy little buggard.

In the midst of this darkening of my mood, and as the sun went down over the horizon, a gust of wind came in from the window. I looked up and I saw the misty form from before, this time being a little bit more corporeal. She sat next to me on my bed and smiled.

This time, I was able to recognize that it was a feminine smile, and that she was much more defined as feminine, though I was unable to see the rest of the defining features of her.

“Seems like you were starting to forget about me.”

I looked at her and sighed heavily.

“Well, I figured that you were a one-time dream that was the result of eating a spicy pizza.”

She giggled at my statement, which in my eyes was kind of cute.

“When it comes to God and things, that has a tendency of being the case. But, I’m here now.”

“So, my future wife spirit, why have you come today?”

She smirked as she stood, and turned towards me.

“I am here to spend a little time with you. The time will come soon when we meet, and you’ve had a lot of problems lately.”

I looked at her with a little disbelief, and decided that now would be the best time to really challenge her and see if she was exactly what she said she was.

“Okay, what would some of these problems be?”

“Well, you hate your job and want to get away from there, but you can’t because you need the money to pay the bills that got you the job in the first place.”

I pikued at this. Okay, first guess is a lucky one.

“Then, in the process of forgetting what happened before when I last visited, you became lonely and were thinking about an old girlfriend of yours.”

Okay, that froze me.

“That’s why it was decided for me to come over here and spend a little time with you while my person sleeps.”

This is the point where I suddenly felt sad about everything, and that she knew so much about what was going on. It was pathetic, that I seemed to be so hopeless in my life, that I needed a reminder about things from the spirit of my future wife. I even started to shed a couple of tears, which made her sit beside me on the floor by my bed. She brushed her finger against my face, and the cold appendage took away one of my tears.

Don’t cry. I’m here, I’m strong. You don’t have to hide what you feel from me.”

“But how can I even trust you? I mean, you say all of these things, and I remember asking you about your service to Christ before. But, still, you’re just a spirit. How am I supposed to know if this is truly happening, or if I’m being tricked?”

She sat for a second, and said something that I never would have expected.

“I think that “go with your gut” would be good advice.”

Aaaand that’s where I became sold on the idea that this was, in fact, the spirit of my future wife.

That night, I pretty much told her everything. Everything I felt, everything that I was dealing with. And I talked about my regrets to her.

Regrets only keep you where you used to be. I can see that there is joy deep down inside, someone who is so alive. That’s why I’m here tonight. I’m here to be your guardian in a way.”

“A guardian…wife spirit?”

She giggled at my suggestion, and she smiled. Before we knew it, the night had passed and there was dawn that was about to break. She looked up and gasped.

“Oh, this is not good. I’m going to be waking up soon, and I don’t want to leave.”

“What would happen if you did stay?”

“Simply put, I would disappear. Consciousness would wake my dreaming self, and until the next major time I’d dream, I would not be able to come here.”

The thought of her disappearing in front of me was not a good one for my psyche.

It’s a cold morning, my guardian wife spirit. You should fly back to yourself. Don’t worry about me, I think I’ll be fine now.”

She smiled at me, and gave me a ghostly kiss on my forehead. It…felt cold, but yet warm at the same time.

“I will hopefully see you in the waking world very soon. Keep praying for me, that you’ll see me. And keep yourself ready. Christ’s gonna make things happen in pretty short order here.”

I was about to say something, but she suddenly wisped out of the room and through the window. As the first crack of sunlight started rising above the buildings, I was filled with a bit of sadness, and yet a little bit of hope.

“She’s actually out there,” I said to myself, as I proceeded to call my boss and leave a message saying that I was sick for the day. Yeah, after this event, there was no way I was going into work.