Monday, December 21, 2015

The Road to Heaven

 I wanted to share the story of the best Christmas card I have ever received.

Thanksgiving of 2009 Austin and I were in Gatlinburg, Tennessee celebrating our 1st anniversary. The day we were supposed to return home I got a phone call from my mom saying my Papa (her dad) was in the hospital and had suffered a major heart attack. In fact he had been having many mini attacks for a few months; he called them "episodes." Did I mention I worked for a cardiologist? I felt extremely guilty that I didn't recognize his symptoms and insist he see a doctor. We would soon find out that he needed open heart surgery.

If you have ever met my Mimi and Papa then you know that they are amazing people. I don't say that lightly. They are those kind of people that change your life, the type of people that challenge you to do your very best and never let you settle. They are great at encouraging and motivating and helped shape my life significantly. Together, they always cheered me along at every phase of my life. They both have a strong faith and Christian principles that they live by. They are the most unselfish people I have ever met and mean so much to our whole family and any other people blessed enough to know them. I was lucky enough to grow up just down the road from them, so I got spend time with them regularly. I don't think I've ever met stronger people. My Mimi was even my high school English teacher and drama director. She pushed me hard....always. My Papa still goes out  to work at his ranch every single day. He amazes me!!!

So naturally we were all upset and scared as we entered the long waiting game. We waited and waited. My Papa ended up having surgery and spending way too many days in the ICU. He had several complications and set backs during this time. We did some more waiting and he spent almost a month in the hospital. Slowly and by the grace of God he began to heal and get healthier by the day. Earlier that summer he wrote a poem while at their summer home in Colorado. My mimi is a very talented painter and he asked her to paint a scene to match. He wanted to send them out for their Christmas cards to all their family and friends. They had dropped the cards off at the printers the morning my Papa had his heart attack. Even from the hospital he knew he wanted to share the message of God through their work. He signed every card from his hospital bed and insisted they be sent out. We didn't know how his story would unfold during this time, but I am so thankful that God allowed him to leave that hospital. I am thankful for time. I am thankful that both my boys have been able to know Mimi and Papa. Most importantly I am thankful for God's promise of heaven and eternal life.

The Road to Heaven

by Norman Hahn
Illustrated by: Elwanda Hahn

I'm up in Heaven now living with my Savior,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me tell you the story of how
I found eternal life.

I was pumping gas down in the valley
A long while ago
When a dusty old Ford sedan
Began gearing down to slow.

Off the gravel it came to the rusty old tin top
Where at the ethyl pump,
It rolled to a stop.

"Hey, Sonnyboy," the old man said,
"Gim-me three dollars off that ethyl"
So we can push on ahead."

"Oh! An' here's ten cents more
for two of those sodapop.
I'll have a Coke myself,
But the missus will likely search the lot."

"Sonnyboy, Sarah and I, we're going up to Heaven,
above the mountain high, where we plan to stay.
Maybe you could kindly give directions to help us on our way."

"Now, pump 'er up to the line, Boy.
Giving full measure always adds to the joy."

Always eager to help a tourist and show that I was grown,
I gave him some directions that would take them a long way on.

"So long," he said as he drove away,
"We'll hopefully see you again someday
when your work down here is done."
Then looking into the sky, he said, "Just ask around,
Up there, the folks know me as John."

I was shaking my head as they pulled out.
Strange people, I thought,
My head full of doubt.

About a week went by when the newsman reported
A black Ford sedan was found alone
Up on the pass,
Nothing but a note was ever found,
"Gone to Heaven at last."

Then I remembered: no tent, no gear, no food,
Just an old Bible tucked in between,
And now the newsman says
"They are nowhere to be seen."

I did plenty of sinning and sowing wild oats
during my earthly stay.
The years came and went.
My hair turned to gray.

I thought often of John and Sarah
And that road they took to the pearly gate.
I knew I had to find it soon.
My old body didn't want to wait.

Days and days, I searched for that road:
The road to Heaven up on the mountain high.
"N'ary a trace," I thought
as I slept out at night looking for a trail up in the starlit sky.

I figured that I might as well give up the search.
I was carrying a heavy load.
"Lord," I prayed, "if you don't help me,
I'll never find that road."

Then a package addressed to "Sonnyboy,
Valley Gulf Station" came in the mail
one glorious day.
From where it was mailed, I surely couldn't say.

The postmark started with an "H"
And then it was blurred.
"Not mailed in this valley," the postman concurred.

Inside was a book, all leather bound,
the pages worn thing, It had been around.

The string marker led me to open the book
to where it was hand written,
"Sonnyboy-the route to Heaven
is for none forbidden.
Just read Chapter 3, Verse 16
and end your worldly strife..."

The scripture says, "...whosoever
Believeth in Him should not perish,
But have everlasting life."

And now I've told you folks on earth
of the victory I have won.
The road map to Heaven is in the Bible
in the Book of John.


  1. This is just beautiful Megan. This blessed me so much this morning!

    1. Thank you so much Shay!! They are sweet blessings to everyone. I know you understand how special grandparents are too.

  2. This is beautiful. They have always been such a blessing in my life and set an example for all of us.

  3. Wow are so blessed! They are wonderful people that love life, family, friends, and God! Hold them tight and treasure every moment! Merry Christmas! 💖🎄

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I just read it for the 2nd time and again it brought tears to my eyes. I am so very grateful for their presence in my life and in yours. And I value every minute I get to spend with them and with you and with all of our family. Love you!

  5. Thank you for a beautiful tribute to your grandparents, it truly is a wonderful present to give to others. Allowing your Pa's sharing of the word to continue to reach others, a true blessing.

  6. How special that your Nana was also one of your school teachers! Family is the best gift ever. Your grandparents sound like such warm souls. :)