A Fluttering of Wings

The rubber plant in the room was bending and weaving its large leaves, and the fica tree shuddering and shivering...


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Mary Anne’s mother had a close friend who once quoted a poem to her: “When I go, there will be a great fluttering of wings.” I may not have the quotation exactly right, since it was told to me, not written down. But Mary Anne said that these words remained with her always: the awesome image of the “fluttering of wings.”

One night Mary Anne’s mother woke up to see the rubber plant in the room bending and weaving its large leaves, and the fica tree shuddering and shivering. She stared. All the windows were closed. There was no wind. But the trees were waving as if in a great wind. She was so frightened that she ran next door and spent the rest of the night with the neighbors.

“Oh, I must have had a bad dream,” she explained. But in her heart she knew it was no dream.

The next morning she went home, unlocked the door and as she stepped inside she was swept with the sense of the presence of her nephew Buddy. Buddy was a gentle soul, a melancholy man, unmarried, music-loving and artist by bent. Suddenly Mary Anne’s mother knew he had died. Moreover, she knew what she had seen the night before was the “great fluttering of wings.” 

Within an hour the phone call came from her sister, announcing that Buddy’s body had been found.

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Tags: Angels,Death
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