Today I have a real treat! A book excerpt from Irene Weinberg’s new book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven.
This incredibly moving, profound, and inspirational TRUE story of the author’s life.
They Serve Bagels in Heaven (book excerpt)
Saul and I were in our house on a lovely fall Sunday afternoon. He was watching football in the den while I washed dishes in the kitchen, some classical music on low in the background. Those words were so clear, and so clearly being spoken to me, that I actually turned to look behind me to see if someone had come into the room. There was no one else there. I went into the den to bring Saul a glass of water. Standing behind him, I kissed the top of his head and pressed my cheek against his soft, red beard. We watched the game together that way for a few minutes. I took a deep breath in an effort to push away those words that had forced themselves into my mind, but it was hard to ignore that somebody somewhere was telling me I might lose the love of my life.
A few months later, that’s just what happened. It was the week before Christmas, and we were finally able to escape to our ski house in the Catskill’s. It had always been a sanctuary for both of us, and Saul badly needed a break after suffering through a grueling month of business upsets. His recent bone weariness scared me—the pain was much more intense for him this time. Other business upsets had bothered him, but this seemed to be seriously wounding him. It was so different that I feared he was heading into a decline over the endless work and the deep frustrations and disappointments he seemed to face every day now. It may have been the fact that the message had warned me of an enormous change to come; I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, I must have known this might have been his time to go. Because of all that, I was determined to make this his weekend. And it was great. We went to all the restaurants he loved, we skied on his favorite slopes, and we spent time with dear friends. We even made love in the hot tub. He too must have sensed something because afterward, he held me close and said, “I’m so lucky and thankful to have you in my life.”
On the way home the next day, he fell asleep at the wheel. As I felt the car go into a swerve, I cried out, “Saul!” Hearing me, he picked his head up off his chest and, with an unnatural calm, tried to right the car. As he turned the wheel, the car swerved so sharply in the middle of the road that we became airborne. Just before it flipped over, I heard these words reverberate within and around me: “He’s not going to make it. You are.”
Somehow, I was in a state of total acceptance. There was something about these words, along with the other message, that gave me strength. Shock may have had something to do with it too, I suppose, but I don’t think shock alone would’ve kept me that calm. When we landed, the car slammed down hard, turning and hitting four more times before rolling down a steep embankment. It was totaled.
When we finally stopped, I looked at Saul and knew all through me that he was dead. He was gone, while I survived. Saul’s beautiful, outrageous spirit was no longer in his body. His warm, strong arms, his intelligent blue eyes, and his big, gorgeous heart were all lifeless now. Even though I hadn’t died, my injuries were so severe that I wondered how much longer I might be alive. Something had happened to my right eye—it felt like it was on fire. My collarbone had totally reversed itself, and the bone of my shoulder, which had sustained the strongest blows, had pushed so far out of my skin that it felt like I’d sprouted an angel wing. Worst of all, a jagged piece of metal had pierced an artery in my foot so deeply that I was hemorrhaging.
As I started trying to help myself, I felt the car being turned over. Next, the two strong arms of an EMT were reaching in through my broken window, grabbing me by the shoulders, and beginning to pull me out. It was then that I heard a third and final message that confirmed the other two messages for me beyond any doubt. This one I just knew was the voice of God, our true source, saying to me: “Be loving and kind to everyone.”
I had just lost the love of my life. I was battered, cold, and bleeding profusely, but these words managed to fill me with love, compassion and a profound knowing. I knew I was being given a directive from heaven itself. Whatever lay ahead, I knew I could accomplish it with as much love and kindness as possible (under the circumstances, anyway). I also knew without a doubt that I wasn’t alone, which was a good thing because the business and family troubles I had waiting for me would have weakened an ox. Saul and I had each begun a journey that would take us on different paths we needed to walk—still together somehow, even though I was now very much alone.
ABOUT IRENE WEINBERG
They Serve Bagels in Heaven: One couple’s story of love, eternity, and the cosmic importance of everyday life begins with the amazing messages Irene Weinberg received from heaven during the tragic car accident that took her husband Saul’s life. Irene resides in Northern New Jersey, where she oversees business interests. She is a mother, a stepmother and a grandmother. The author invites readers to connect with her on her website.