Two a.m. in the morning and someone's knocking on the bedroom door and calling, "Get dressed and come downstairs."
I knew right away that it wasn't Publishers Clearing House with a million dollars.
I don't know how you could ever totally prepare for the announcement of the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one; especially a beautiful, 18-year-old, talented granddaughter.
What a wonderful privilege to live in a community where so many express their compassion and when they say, "Call if there is anything we can do," you know they really mean it.
On the positive side, she went quickly and did not suffer for a long time and did not run up the oppressive and astronomical medical costs that add to the survivors' suffering.
We also have great peace in knowing that she knew her savior and is in eternity with him.
That being said, the whole incident has caused me to focus on the whole issue of eternity.
There seems to be some innate sense in humans that this mortal life is not the whole picture.
The only religion I know that does not envision some sort of afterlife experience and has total freedom from consequences is atheism.
One religion envisions that men can become god of an earth with many wives to help them populate it.
Another believes we come back in a better or worse form depending on our behavior. We keep going around until we achieve perfection.
A prominent near east religion purports that if you blow yourself up in the process of killing a bunch of "infidels," you can achieve a beautiful paradise with a whole bunch of virgins. Of course that is just for men.
Then there is the concept that if you are holy enough, by their definition, you can just, upon death, blend into the great universal power.
A group here in the United States all committed suicide with the plan to join a passing spaceship.
Another group from California all went in to the jungle and ended up drinking poisoned lemonade to make the transition to some supposed better state of being.
Another prominent faith teaches that performing rituals, lighting candles, praying to the right saints and doctrinal obedience purchase your eternity.
Then there was David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.
There are also many other tribal and cultural concepts that some part of our human being lives on after the death of this body.
Unique to humans is this feeling that there is a spirit and soul that inhabits this fleshy machine.
When this machine wears out and fails we can move on to another project.
Even non-religion-professing people will say to a loved one at a funeral service, "Wherever you are, wait for me."
Try to wrap your mind around the concept of eternity.
We live in a place that has us locked into a time thing.
Try to grasp the idea of a place or dimension where there is not time.
Mortal life is just a blink on the chart compared to eternity.
When you realize all that, doesn't the understanding of eternity and our transition become the most important thing we face?
Is there a god in the universe and eternity? Do you just cease to exist when you die? Is all of creation just spontaneous generation?
Does your god demand that you die for him? Or did he die for you?
Is there a heaven and a hell?
Can you afford to be wrong?
I have a great peace in knowing that Kellie is now in the arms of a loving heavenly Father.
I will join her in the blink of an eye and for eternity.
"Out On A Limb" appears on the first Tuesday of the month. Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.