There is No Chocolate in Heaven …

My beloved CANCEL THE i wide

If I remember correctly, I had just walked into the back yard of the church. The sprinklers were still watering the vast lawn, so I tiptoed my way to see who were sitting on the bench at the far end… it took my breath away to see the very two people I was thinking about … I was overjoyed and shouted, “I cannot believe you are here. You are really here..”

Nagi smiled and said, “it is good to see you too.”

I sat between them on the bench while Sabry said, “you were wondering about the awful things going on now?”

I sighed deeply and shook my head sadly, “you see what is happening?”

they did not answer immediately.. I looked at each of them again and tried to cheer up saying, “but you are here.. I am so happy to see you.. I wish you never leave again”

“I like the memorial picture you made for us.. you never forgot …” Sabry said.

“But I must admit.. the caption you put there is a little bewildering… what do you mean by the phrase :cancel the I?” Nagi asked

“Oh that … well, it is what our friend Elias had taught me… ” I replied, “you see.. I had a long argument with him about several topics we were discussing, and finally he told me ‘listen, you use the word I much too often.. I do this, I like that, I know this and I think that… try to cancel the I and see what happened!!!’ to be honest it was so hard to do… after some time of trying, it was clear why he said that”

“A very wise man,” said Sabry, “the world does not revolve around you dear.. you are just a part of the world around you..”

We talked a little about some sweet memories… then I inadvertently blurted, “… but in heaven everything is peaceful and you don’t feel any pain.. right?”

a moment of silence passed before Nagi answered, “yes.. but we also watch over you.. especially when you so constantly keep remembering us in your heart in your thoughts…”

then Sabry added, “we do not want to see you suffer unduly.  You see, there are certain things you have to endure in order to grow, but sometimes you overload yourself with pains which are totally unnecessary.. “

I stood up and walked a few steps trying to hide my tears. Sabry came after me and like he used to do in the past, he wrapped his arm around my shoulder kindly, “you cannot make everyone happy… each person has to fight his own battles… everyone has a role to create their own happiness.. many people lose their way and some eventually find their way back.. you cannot live in misery because someone else has jumped off the cliff”

I turned to face him and I could hardly see him through my tears, “But it was all my fault.. you see, it was my failure___”

then Nagi interrupted while standing behind me at a short distance, “No my dear.. it is not your fault.. every person is responsible for his own actions… you did all you should do plus some more.. so stop blaming yourself, otherwise you shall actually go astray yourself…” he came to face me with a mile and added, “you cannot make anybody behave one way or another… the best you can do is advise and guide… be an what you preach… beyond that, every person is on his own.”

Sabry then gave me a handkerchief to wipe out my tears and calmly said, “you see the turmoil happening now all around? It is causing quite a disturbance all over the world.”

I answered, “I was going to ask you about that? It is really scary… a lot of people are badly hurt.”

He went back to the bench while I stayed standing next to Nagi who answered me, “you don’t have to worry.. the divine plan is very carefully executed.. everything is under control”

I hesitated for a moment before I asked again, “But you see.. our children are being crucified, our families are being scattered away from their homes, and the powers of evil seem to be prevailing in every direction.. it has become a real desperate situation… “

Sabry laughed gently and said, “listen to yourself… just repeat what you just said in your mind… don’t you remember how many times in the past the same thing happened…”

then Nagi added, “remember Nero, the Barbarian invasions, the inquisition, and so many other years of turmoil…not to mention what happened at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Himself and the difficult years after that.. “

We were all silent for a while until Sabry finally said, “each time these things happen, you think the end is at hand.. the faithful are defeated as a lot of people lose their faith and fall by the wayside… remember Elijah and the seven thousand faithful he did not know about?” He then stood to face me saying, “these things are designed to shake off the chaff from the wheat… the ones who have faith from the pretenders”

Nagi hit me on my head playfully saying, “those who persevere to the end are the chosen few…never lose sight of that”

I looked at them before me and I looked up to heaven… like a dreamer I started to say slowly, ” I can hardly believe I am talking to you… Oh, How I wish you stay here with me and never leave… please tell me you shall never leave again.”

They looked at each other and Nagi said, “well we are with you as long as you keep us in your heart… once you forget us, we are forced to move on”

before I had a chance to answer Sabry added, “and eventually you shall come and join us too and we shall be together with all the others in the great light.”

I earnestly answered, “I want to join you now.. now please.. don’t go.. take me with you.”

They were flying away somehow… and Sabry laughed and said, ” but you know there is no chocolate in heaven.. I know how much you like chocolate.. “

I giggled and said, “it is OK, if I have to give up chocolate to be with you… so be it…”

“wow, you shall give up chocolate… that sounds hard to believe” Father Samuel was standing before me laughing and shaking my shoulder lightly. I was still seated on the bench so I jumped to my feet to greet him and hug him, “Oh father I am sorry.. I was talking to… I mean… they were here … standing here and I was very happy to see them..”

“I know you loved your departed friends so much.. you were just talking to me about them the other day…” Fr. Samuel answered, “in fact you never stop talking about them every chance you have… but you need to remember what Jesus said ‘if you love anyone more than me, you do not deserve me’ “

“Oh, but father you know…” I had to come back fast, “Jesus is the Land Lord of my heart… all his children are just permanent residents”

The priest looked at me kindly and smiled… after a few seconds he said, “you see, God loves a servant who knows how to remain faithful despite the stretch of time or space.”

Honoring two truly saintly young men who departed in the late seventies. and will never be forgotten. Sabry and Nagi please pray for us and all the children of St. Athanasius family all over the world.

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