It was a peaceful day in heaven, just like all the others.
On this particular day, God needed to shake up the serenity just a bit, though. He would do that now and then, but only when one of His greatest assignments needed to be presented. Not all of His assignments called for only the most sturdy among them. This would occasionally happen when the future of one of His most advanced souls would need the assistance of an archangel while on earth, in order that he or she could carry on, fulfill his or her own earthly assignments.
It was one of those kind of days, and so He made an announcement: “Come with me, my children. We must gather for one of my newest, and one of my greatest, assignments.”
Together they traveled with God to the top of His favorite white-capped mountain. When they had reached the top and had folded in their wings just so, God said to them, “My children, today I need to find among you my prince of princes.”
Several of the arch angels immediately took about six giant steps backwards. God had called upon them in the past with this type of assignment. They knew what was coming. It was going to be a job that would encompass all of their greatest attributes. The retracting angels were still enjoying a bit of R&R from the last time they had been the final one left standing to fulfill what God was about to ask of them.
God went on: “This angel must possess the heart of a lion. This assignment needs the greatest heart of hearts among you.”
Several more took those all important steps backwards. Their hearts were still recovering from being so fractured in their most recent past lives that they still needed tremendous mending. God understood.
He went on: “Your mind and will must be so strong that you will be able to bulldoze through the Great Wall of China within the blink of a second. You will be called upon to offer your greatest strengths to another without having your own self falter. Who among you qualifies?”
About half of those now standing stepped backwards. Their strengths had been tested all too recently. They needed to recover their own fortitude, before they could give to another any time soon.
“Your soul must be so compassionate that you will have to completely leave yourself behind.”
This was a tall order, as many of these angels still prided themselves on who they were. They weren’t ready to completely sacrifice a newly assumed sentient being form; and so they, too, moved to the rear.
This left only a few archangels standing. God looked at who was still left and smiled. He liked what he saw, as the field was nearly completely narrowed to the one He knew was His perfect archangel.
“My final prerequisite is that your wings must be so strong that, in the final hours, you will be able to lift another’s life in that person’s greatest moments of pain. You must share the other’s pain, in order for this person’s spirit be extracted from its earthly body and be returned to the high heavens, when I call her home.”
All now stepped backwards, save one.
Standing before God and all of his archangel peers was Ernest.
He was a lovable soul; and, if God had singularly chosen him in the beginning of his selecting order, no one would have given Ernest these attributes. Not because Ernest wasn’t worthy; but, because he was such a quiet archangel. He mostly listened and recorded what he was observing, and just didn’t reveal enough of himself that his archangel friends easily underestimated his potential.
And there Ernest was, now standing before God, as he became His chosen angel of wisdom, virtue, fortitude, and compassion. He was completely ready to take on an assignment that would help another spirit complete her greatest worldly achievements to date.
God explained the scenario.
The soul who you are going to be helping has chosen to call herself Patty. You will recognize her as soon as you set eyes upon her, but you will have to patiently wait for her. First, you both must live separate lives growing up in different west coast states. You will be growing up in California, and Patty will be born and raised in Oregon. You’ll both enjoy idealistic childhoods, raised where being safe is the norm. You’ll then go to different schools and fall in love with another love of your lives. On earth, it’s possible to have more than one soul mate, if it is my will, and this time you will both have two soul mates. When Patty moves from Oregon to your home state, you will both be closer in proximity, but you’ll still be apart for many years. You’ll both marry and have children of your own, creating beautiful families. Later… much later… your families will unite.
Patty’s assignment is to go to earth to serve Bacchus. She will oversee Bacchus’ grape harvests for many, many seasons. She will also oversee the winemaking process and wine that she will be sharing with the world. Her first husband Chris has the land for her, from which they both can plant these vines. They will plant and they will harvest. They will love and laugh and write their final chapter, which will leave Patty a widow. She will live many years in this condition, being true to Chris’s memory and to her children, whom she will choose to raise alone. Once she is ready for her final chapter, this is when your eyes will connect. By this time you, too, will be a man without a partner. You will both have a tremendous yearning in your hearts, and the time will be just right for both of you.
You will both ask permission of your children to love again, and they will be happy to grant it, because they will see the joy that you will bring to each other.
Ernest, you’re needed to help Patty with the last and most excruciating chapter of her life. Her physical pain will be sometimes unbearable as it tests her real, developed strengths that she’ll be learning in this lifetime, but you’ll help her to endure. She will feel that her joys are too good to say goodbye to, but you’ll quietly help her with the wisdom that she needs to know that love never dies in any form. She’ll need to know that, when her pain moves her to the next step of recognition… that it’s just too much for one person to carry alone any longer. You must also help her to recognize all of her achievements in her final hours, and to trust that she’s done the most magnificent of jobs in her soul’s history to date.
This will bring great pain to you, Ernest, and you will suffer silently. Your toughest assignment will be when you must release her back to the heavens, and then patiently wait until all of you are reunited. In Patty’s final hour, it may seem as though you are alone in the pain that you will endure. That won’t be the case, though. We’re all watching. There will be those on earth who also are knowing. Had you not taken on a figure whose stature is going to be larger than life, and if you weren’t my self-effacing archangel, you would have more of the spotlight on that final day when everyone says “goodbye” to their dear sister. But, that is not your calling this time.
It is because you are who you are, my quiet, observing angel, that it is you who is perfect for this earnest role in Patty’s life. We will all gather again to greet her, the day that Patty returns to us.
Patty Schiewe Bogle Roncoroni: June 27, 1951 ~ February 11, 2011
This story is dedicated to Ernest (Ernie) Roncoroni, Patty Bogle Roncoroni’s adoring husband, as inspired from Patty Bogle’s memorial service on Friday, March 11, 2011.