The Words of the Weber Family

Robin's Wings part two of a story about spirit world

Ken Weber
December 16, 2010

In part one of this story, Margaret Astor loses all hope in life when her daughter dies of a heart attack. She even refuses to listen when Robin tries to speak to her from the spirit world. So, Robin enlists the help of her younger brother, Winston, to reach out to her mother. Here is part two of the story.

3. Wings Of Hope

As Winston stepped back into the room, Robin began pacing back and forth across the room, her semi-transparent body floating just inches above the floor. The sight struck the boy a being somewhat funny and he began to laugh softly to himself.

"What's so funny?" asked Robin angrily.

Winston burst out giggling. "I've never heard of a ghost pacing around the floor."

"Stop calling me a ghost!" cried Robin. "I'm your older sister! How would you like it if I called you a ghost?"

"I'm sorry," said the boy becoming more serious. "What do you need me to do?"

"I need help getting Mother to listen to me," said the girl. "She's lost all hope for her life and she's really unhappy! Just look," she said pointing toward a mirror. "See for yourself!"

Nervously Winston looked into the mirror. The reflection was not his own and he found that the glass had become a window to another room.

"That's the living room downstairs," he gasped, "and there's Mother next to the bookcase."

"Yes," said Robin. "She's looking at that picture of Father again. She talks to that picture, you know."

"…talks to it?" asked the boy looking up at his sister. "Really?"

"Yes," said the girl sadly. "Sometimes for a long time too. She even asks it questions when she needs help or advice."

"Does that mean she's going crazy?" asked Winston becoming a little worried. "…talking to a picture and all?"

"No," said Robin. "You see, when someone you love dies, you cling to any memory of them that you have left. When they aren't there anymore, even one picture of them becomes a cherished possession." Robin was crying now, the tears streaming down her face. "…and when you miss someone as much a Mother misses Father, it's not so crazy to talk to their picture."

Winston looked into the mirror again and a tear trickled down his cheek. Now he could see that what Robin had said was true. His mother was picking up the picture, holding it lovingly in her hands, and speaking to it.

"What am I going to do George?" she was saying. "How do I cope with the feelings that I have. You always said to have hope, and that if we have love we can go through anything. Robin believed in the hope you spoke of…but where is she now?…She's dead! Yet even in spite of this, people still insist that I have hope! Now Miss Parks is telling me that Robin was strong and courageous for holding on to her hopes and dreams…that hers is the more adult viewpoint to have. But life is so difficult and the obstacles are so huge! How can a person hold onto these hopes and dreams? It's so hard…so hard…"

The scene faded from the mirror before them and the children found themselves looking at their own reflections again. Finally after a long silence Winston looked over at Robin. "Mother is so sad," he whispered. "What are we going to do?"

Robin was standing with her hand on her chin and was deep in thought. "She's trying to cut herself off from being hurt anymore," said the girl. "That's why she won't let me get through to her. But her grief is grounding me to the earth and preventing me from going into the afterlife. There is only one thing we can do! Sit down Winston. Here's my plan!"

It was late when Robin and Winston finished talking. The plan they had made sounded exciting and Winston couldn't get to sleep because he was so anxious to carry it out. In the morning he was up and dressed when the first rays of sunlight came in his window. The boy laughed. All of the other ghosts that he had ever heard about always carried out their deeds in the night time. Robin's plan, however, was going to go into action shortly after lunch!

All that morning Winston helped his mother with different chores. He went with her to do the shopping; he helped her do the laundry, and he helped set the table when lunch time came. All in all, he was the image of what an ideal son should be.

Mrs. Astor eyed her son suspiciously as they ate lunch. "You have never helped out with the chores," she said. "You always preferred to be out playing. What is it you're up to?"

Winston looked up nervously. "Oh, nothing," he stammered. "Nothing at all."

It happened about an hour later, after the dishes had been finished. Mrs. Astor and Winston had sat down in the living room to read the paper, Mrs. Astor sitting in her easy chair, and Winston lying on the floor with the comics spread out in front of him. Everything was peaceful and quiet, and nothing could be heard except the rustling of newspapers.

Suddenly a breeze started blowing though the house. Mrs. Astor shivered and pulled her sweater tighter around her shoulders. Then, looking around to see where the breeze was coming from, she got up and shut the windows. As she did she noticed that the leaves on the tree directly outside the window were completely still. There was absolutely no movement outside to indicate that a wind was blowing. Yet even now, with the windows closed, a very strong breeze was still circling through the house.

Then the house itself began creaking and groaning as if some breeze was shifting the floor boards slightly in their places. Somewhere in another room a door slammed causing Mrs. Astor to jump with surprise. The creaking sounds grew louder. It sounded as if someone was walking around upstairs in Robin's room!

"Winston," said Mrs. Astor nervously. "How would you like to go for a walk outside?"

"No," said Winston continuing to read the paper. "I want to finish the comics first." The boy giggled to himself. It wouldn't be long now. Already Robin's plan was going into action. Winston listened with excitement as the creaking sounds moved from Robin's room to the upstairs hallway and began coming down the stairs.

"I'll tell you what," said Mrs. Astor very visibly shaken now. "Let's go get some ice cream at the store!"

"Naw!" said Winston still looking at the paper. "I'm still full from lunch."

The creaking sounds were now in the front hallway right outside the living room door. Mrs. Astor began to walk toward her son; but she stopped in surprise as the door slowly began to open. Was it the breeze or some unseen hand that was opening it? Mrs. Astor did not know! The door swung wide open to reveal an empty hallway beyond.

Now a voice came riding on the breeze, a girl's voice! "Winston," it whispered. "Winston!"

Mrs. Astor stood transfixed in the middle of the living room as she saw her son get up and walk toward the door. "Mother, it's Robin!" cried the boy. Mrs. Astor reached out, but Winston was already out in the hallway.

"Winston!" whispered the girl's voice.

"I'm coming," cried the boy running up the stairs.

Panic stricken Mrs. Astor raced after her son. "No!" she wept. "I don't want to lose you too!" As she ran up the stairs she saw Winston open the door to Robin's room and walk in. "Come back!" she pleaded. "Don't go in there!" Now she too was at the door looking in.

Standing in the middle of the room she saw Winston…and Robin was with him! "Take my hand and follow me," Robin was saying.

"No!" cried Mrs. Astor. "Winston! Get away from her!"

But slowly the girl and boy walked across the room to a full length mirror, and as if it was a doorway to another world, they stepped into the reflection in the mirror! Mrs. Astor gasped and walked into the room. She reached out to the images of her children which seemed to float just inches beyond reach on the other side of the mirror. "Winston!" Mrs. Astor's voice trembled. "You come out of that mirror… Do you hear me?"

Robin and Winston walked further away into the mirror's reflection. Then they both turned, and still holding hands, they signaled for their mother to follow.

Mrs. Astor gulped! Very carefully she touched the mirror's glassy surface, and it seemed to give slightly under her touch. Then she stepped back, bent her knees slightly, and leaped into the mirror.

Mrs. Astor tumbled, fell, and screamed! She was now flying through a long shiny tunnel!

"Mother!" she heard Winston call out. "Take my hand!" She looked up and saw Robin and Winston, still holding hands, flying directly in front of her. "Take my hand!" Winston called again.

Desperately Mrs. Astor reached out; but she missed her son's hand and spun around in the air.

"Again…" called Winston. "Try again!"

Mrs. Astor reached out again, and this time her hand met with Winston's and grasped it firmly…and the three of them, with Robin leading the way, continued flying down the long shiny tunnel.

"Hold on!" called out Robin. "We're beginning a journey! You see, our world is a reflection, a mirror image of an invisible world." As the girl spoke, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel and began to grow larger as they continued flying. "This invisible world," continued Robin, "can be so wonderful that a person feels just like he's flying!"

With incredible speed Robin, Winston, and Mrs. Astor burst forth from the end of the tunnel and found themselves flying through a beautiful sun lit sky. Clouds billowed up around and below them stretching from horizon to horizon, and below the clouds were the rooftops of houses and buildings.

"That's Morristown down there!" shouted Winston. "There's Grant School, and over there is the old Willard Candy Factory. Hey Robin! I thought you were taking us into another world. Everything looks the same!"

"Part of it is the world we left behind," said Robin with a gentle laugh. "but it is much more! Let's fly down there and see if it really is the same!"

With that Robin, her brother, and her mother dove down through the clouds. Here, as they soared over the rooftops, they found that they were not alone. The sky was filled with people flying through the air, darting this way and that. As they watched they saw some of these people fly down, land on houses or buildings only to disappear as if they had passed right through the roofs. Other people seemed to appear suddenly out of the walls of other buildings and to go soaring off into the sky.

"That isn't Morristown!" gasped Mrs. Astor. "…not the Morristown we left."

"Yes it is," said Robin. "You're seeing more than just the physical world. You are also seeing where everyone's spirit lives!"

As Mrs. Astor looked around she saw a man come soaring down out of the clouds and begin flying next to them. "Hello neighbor," he said tipping his hat.

"Good heavens!" gasped Mrs. Astor. "It's Mr. Underwood! He passed away two years ago!"

"Yes," said the man, "and since then I have felt great! Why, I have a whole new life ahead of me…an eternity so to speak, to continue perusing my dreams. It's really wonderful!" With that the man soared off into the sky again.

Mrs. Astor watched until the man had disappeared into the clouds. "He certainly seems to be in good spirits for a man who has been dead for two years!" she finally said.

"Good spirits…" said Winston stifling a chuckle.

"Yes, it can be rather nice," said Robin. "Unlike what some people think, you don't just go to Heaven or Hell when you die. You enter into this world at whatever level you are at spiritually during you life, and you are able to pick up right where you left off. Sure, some people live miserably while they are alive, and they have a hard time when they come here. But Mr. Underwood was a good man. So, he's very happy here."

Mrs. Astor continued looking around. "It's amazing," she said. "I never dreamed it would be anything like this!"

They continued flying, and looking down they saw a traffic jam snarling up the streets below them. In the midst of the cars was a policeman frantically trying to direct traffic. Looking up at the sky Winston let out a gleeful laugh. "Hey look! It's the same way up here!" Sure enough, in the sky directly above the traffic jam, the people flying through the air were crowded together swarming around each other. In the midst of them was a policeman shouting frantically.

"Straighten out a little bit," he was shouting. "Can't you see the trouble you're causing below?" In the sky one man bumped into another, and below them in the street a car bumped into the back of another car. "Look out man!" shouted the policeman. "See what you did down there?"

Robin smiled. "Like I said at the beginning of our journey, the happenings on earth are a reflection of what is happening here in this world. If things are confused here it causes confusion on earth. Come on! Let's get away from this crowd." …and with that they flew away from the town.

Now they soared out over the countryside. Golden wheat fields stretched out in one direction and a beautiful blue-green forest stretched out in another direction. Everything was peaceful, and they soared happily along letting the wind carry them over the hills and valleys.

Mrs. Astor sighed. "I don't remember the countryside ever being so peaceful. Those wheat fields and forests…the gold actually seems to shine and give off warmth, and the green…why one can simply feel the freshness it has."

"Yes," said Robin. "Here you don't just see colors, you feel them and hear them as well."

"That's right," said Winston softly. "Listen!"

Mrs. Astor listened. "Music! Why, the entire time we have been flying over the country, there has been music playing."

"Down there!" gasped Winston. "Look!"

Below them was a river like no other river they had seen before. Within its banks flowed, not water, but the most vibrant and beautiful colors they had ever seen. It was like a rainbow flowing through the countryside, swirling around the valleys and shimmering over the hills. And the sound that the river made was not that of flowing water, instead it was the sound of sweet violin music, of harps, and of soft gentle horns.

"What's the melody?" asked Mrs. Astor. "Is it a waltz?"

Winston closed his eyes. "No. It's like those lullaby's that I remember you humming long ago."

"No," whispered Mrs. Astor. "It's not that either. What is it Robin?"

"It's the music of the heart," said Robin softly. "It's the music of love."

Slowly now they drifted down out of the sky and landed next to the banks of the river, and the lush green grass cushioned their feet like a thick rich carpet. They stood listening to the music of the river and feeling the soft gentle breeze, and they smelled the fragrance of the wildflowers.

"Things are so much more vivid here," said Mrs. Astor "…the sights and sounds, the fragrances, the softness of the grass under our feet!"

"Yes," said Robin. "A person's senses are much keener here. Everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste is much more vibrant and alive!" Robin reached up and began plucking fruit from a nearby tree. She handed it to her mother and brother. "Here, taste this," she said.

Mrs. Astor and Winston took the fruit and bit into it. The taste was that of coolness and freshness and it filled their whole bodies with life and vitality. They ate as if they were famished and hadn't eaten for days, taking all of the fruit that Robin gave them. Finally when they had eaten their fill they just closed their eyes and savored the taste of the juices in their mouths.

After a long silence, Mrs. Astor whispered, "I used to dream of a world like this. I used to believe that all life was meant to be this way."

"It is," said Robin.

"But there has been so much hurt and pain in life," continued Mrs. Astor. "Who can believe in a world like this after experiencing so much suffering?"

"This world is real," said Robin softly. "Even if we don't believe in it, it doesn't go away. It's still here whether we believe in it or not."

"But it's so hard to believe," whispered Mrs. Astor. "It's so hard to have this kind of hope."

"Mother," said Robin. "If you bottle up love and hope, you bottle up God as well."

It was getting dark now as evening approached. They watched the sun set changing the sky into lush golden colors. Then the darkness came and began blanketing the countryside and bedding everything down for the night. The river, as if in response to the darkness, changed from its bright vibrant colors to a deep rich blue, and the music it played was that of peacefulness and calm. In a matter of minutes, night time covered the land and watched over everything with its thousands of star lit eyes.

But now there was a strange stirring in the air as if some unseen being had just let out a long deep sigh. Then a breeze circled around them caressing them like soft, gentle hands. Winston sat up, turned his face toward the breeze, he closed his eyes, and Mrs. Astor tilted her head back and breathed deeply of the fresh breeze.

"It feels so good!" whispered Winston.

"Yes," said Mrs. Astor. "It feels very loving and gentle. What is it?"

But Robin was standing up now with a surprised look on her face. "I don't know," she replied. "This breeze and the feeling it brings is something I didn't expect. I don't know what it is!"

Winston opened his eyes and looked toward the trees. "Oh look!" he whispered. "Fireflies!"

Robin and Mrs. Astor looked. It seemed as if stars were twinkling and moving around through the trees.

"Yes, fireflies," said Mrs. Astor. "Thousands of them…and look, they're coming this way."

As they watched, the small, sparkling specks of light swarmed out of the trees, circled around them and then flew up in the air and began swirling above their heads.

"Wow!" whispered Winston. "That was neat! You could feel them touching us."

"Yes," said Mrs. Astor. "It was like they were embracing us. What are they, Robin?"

"I… I don't Know," stammered Robin.

The tiny specks of light came down and circled around Robin and swarmed off toward the trees again forming a sparkling, changing shape. They shimmered in the darkness lighting up Robin's face with a beautiful silver glow.

"That was cool, Robin," said Winston. "Make them do it again!"

"But I don't know what they are," said Robin.

The fireflies continued circling around each other in a shapeless form. Then they spoke. "Hello Robin," said the fireflies.

Robin looked in amazement at the sparkling specks of light. "Who are you?" she asked.

The fireflies sparkled like diamonds in the trees. "I am a being whose existence has been debated for thousands of years," said a voice. "Yet I never intended to be an object of argument or debate. You were not meant to believe in me, but to live in me! Come now, Robin. You know who I am. Are you ready to go? Are you ready to come with me?"

Robin looked back at her mother and brother. "I…I want to go," she said. "But it's not up to me. Mother, please. It's a beautiful world here; it really is!"

Mrs. Astor embrace her daughter and began crying. "No," she wept. "I can't let you go!"

Winston took hold of his mother's arm and looked up at her with tears in his eyes. "Mother," he wept. "Please let her go! It's a beautiful world like she says! Please don't hold her back!"

"I can't," trembled Mrs. Astor. "I just can't!"

Robin wrapped her arms around her mother's waist and buried her face in her clothes. "Please," she pleaded. "You're holding me back. I can't go unless you let me."

Now both mother and daughter held each other in a loving embrace and wept.

"It's a world of love and hope," cried Robin, "just like I told you. It's a world that never ends."

Slowly Mrs. Astor loosened her hold on Robin, and looking down she wiped the tears out of her daughter's eyes. "You really want to go, don't you?" she said.

Robin nodded her head. Mrs. Astor let out a long deep sigh. "I understand now," she whispered. "I have no right to hold you back. But please…Dance for me just one last time."

Robin looked up at her mother and smiled. Then she embraced her mother again.

Now they heard music and they all looked around. The river…What music was it playing? It was a ballet!

"Why, I know that music," said Mrs. Astor.

"Yes," said Robin. "It's the music that I was dancing to that day you came by…the day Miss Parks stayed after school with me to teach me a difficult step."

Robin stepped back from her mother. The river chimed out a musical introduction, and the girl bowed. Then as Mrs. Astor and Winston watched, Robin raised herself up and stretched her arms into the air. The music sprang to life and Robin began flowing with it lightly touching the grass with her toes as she moved. A harp sprinkled the air with melodious sounds and the girl spun around. Horns echoed through the hills as she leaped.

Then the most amazing thing of all happened! The fireflies, which had been waiting patiently to one side, now joined in the dance. The thousands of tiny specks of light swarmed over to the girl and began circling and darting about her in time to the music. When Robin kicked her leg up, the fireflies shot up and spun around in the air. When Robin held her hand out the fireflies touched it and spun around her waist as if they were embracing her. When the girl spun across the grass, the fireflies spun around next to her.

Mrs. Astor and Winston were so captivated by the scene before them that it was several minutes before they looked around. When they did, however, they found themselves back in Robin's room and they realized that what they were now watching was a scene being reflected out of Robin's full length mirror. Quickly Mrs. Astor walked over and put her hand on the mirror's surface, and she watched her daughter's image dancing just inches beyond her reach.

But now the fireflies around Robin were disappearing, and the girl stopped dancing and looked around as if she were searching for her sparkling partner. Then Robin looked toward the sky and smiled. Mrs. Astor and Winston looked up, following her gaze. There in the star lit sky of the other world they saw a group of people flying. But these weren't just any people. As they dropped down out of the sky and landed next to Robin, Mrs. Astor whispered their names. "Aunt Betty!" she said softly. "Uncle Edward! Grandmother and Grandfather!" She looked toward the sky as more and more people arrived to greet Robin "Why, it's all of our relatives and ancestors that have passed on!"

Winston walked over and pressed his nose to the mirror's surface watching the scene intently. Then as his eyes rose skyward a smile flashed across his face and he tugged at his mother's sleeve. "Mother, look!" he said. "It's Father!"

Mrs. Astor looked, and sure enough, there was Robin's father flying down out of the sky. As they watched George Astor landed on the ground next to his daughter and they embraced each other. Then he stepped back and began stroking Robin's hair. After a long time the girl and her father turned toward Mrs. Astor and Winston and began waving.

"Good-bye, Robin," whispered Mrs. Astor pressing her hand hard on the mirror's surface. "Good-bye."

Slowly now the image in the mirror began fading, and Mrs. Astor and Winston found themselves looking at their own reflections. Quietly they turned and looked into each other's eyes. Then Mrs. Astor ran her hands through her son's hair, smiled, and embraced him.

Somewhere there was a beautiful world of golden wheat fields, rich blue-green forests, and rivers of colored light that played beautiful music. There Robin, her father, and all of her ancestors flew through the sky. It was night time and thousands of shimmering stars looked down on them as they flew.

George Astor looked over at his daughter and took her hand, and she smiled back at him. "Come on, Robin," he said. "There is a whole new life here waiting for you. Your life is just beginning! Now you can really live!"

…and they sailed off into the sky on wings of hope. 

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