In our home we have displayed on our wall a reproduction of Briton Riviere's "The Garden of Eden". It is a portait of a couple walking down a dark, rainy path together. The man holds an umbrella in one hand, and his other hand is being held in a clasp of the woman's two hands. The man has turned to look at the woman, and as they gaze lovingly into each other's eyes, a small smile comes across the woman's face.
I have always loved this painting, because it is symbolic of peace amidst affliction. Despite the rain and gloom, it is the Garden of Eden - heaven on Earth - for this couple as they share a moment together.
My husband and I have had to endure moments of adversity in the past, and we are in the midst of our greatest affliction during this cancer experience. Yet we are like that couple, walking through the gloom and feeling like we are in Eden when we are together.
One day, as I rested safely in my husband's arms, I couldn't help but ask, "If I am already in heaven, does that mean I don't have to die?"
If I do have to go, there is a painful price to pay for such love. The idea of separation from the "great love of my life" and my precious children, albeit even a temporary separation, is the only thing I fear about death. Meanwhile, however, I am grateful for those moments together in "Eden".