What is the Pre-Departure Lounge? For now, I will liken it to the lounge at the airport where you are sent to wait for your flight. In the case of this story, I will liken it to the ancient souls waiting in semi darkness all day long in holding pens across the planet. They are sent to these places to await the Lord’s call to begin the trek to St. Peter’s gates for admittance.

It is a dreamlike state where you wait and identify that you are in a state of waiting, for the next level of departure. Where does it take place? You wait in your mind of course. Why are you in this state? You want to make some last minute decisions? Not really, you have done all of that in black and white, but this is a place to wait in semi-comfort and analyze all that you are, have been, and are to become.

You sit and wait. No one comes to tell you anything. No one comes to give you the kindness of a wink, a pat, a kindly touch; nothing comes your way but occasionally a small swift breeze circles around to assure you and your blank stare that you are still waiting. Your stare is not blank, don’t they know? You are still there. You are telling them, but they act as if they do not hear. You have been many things to many people in your lifetime. You have created wonders on God’s green and blue earth. You have suffered humanities elations and ills. You really want someone to look into your fading eyes and say hello. How are you today? That would be enough. That would give you confidence to hope for the next passage. You were on the bestseller list with Reader’s Views for 10 days with your silly little New Age Novel. You re-wrote an enchanted gifted program. You had no idea you were doing it by living it, but they give you the credit. No one knows anything about you in this dank hallway as you sit head dropped nearly to your knees and drool on your thighs. Where are you anyway? Again, remember, my friend Xavier said it is the Pre Departure Lounge. He said it is where you sit and wait. Are you taking a delightful flight over the pond to see friends you have made over the years? Not at all, you wait here for the final departure of your living, breathing, thinking, and physical days on this planet. They are all gone, and if not gone, still considered gone. That is enough whining. You’ll go if you were good or if you were bad. Nothing you can do, but imagine yourself elsewhere.

Will you have an after life, you cannot say. No one who has promised to come back and let you know how it is over there, have come. You wait and are left wondering. You have had dreams of what a heavenly place will be and how it will feel. You hope to meet others, especially hoping to meet those who have preceded you.

You hear laughter. It reminds of you of the raucous family parties with children and grandchildren running, hopping, skipping, and jumping. You imagine you hear them squealing and your mind is seeing smiles forever on their faces. They are lodged deeply in the recesses of your memory mind which is still left for you to ponder, or is it? You try and remember the name of the park where four generations of your stock met, exchanged wishes, told lies, shared visions and aspirations, then tarried long after the sun went to the other side of the earth. When it was all said and done, the memory in bits and pieces remain, but where are they now? They could be on the moon for all you know, but what you do know is that here you sit in the Pre-departure lounge saving seats for them.

My Aunt Myrtle


What? You have never heard me speak of my Aunt Myrtle? How could I have even told you her name, because I did not know she existed until several years ago, when at a family reunion someone put her name on our family tree? Still we were not sure and no one ever spoke of her or gave a hint this person existed or was connected to our family. She is gone and everyone connected to her is gone, too.

Myrtle Levin was born to my grandmother and grandfather and lived just under three years. She was found buried at Salem Memorial Park and Garden with a beautiful aged gravestone stating she died May 10, 1910. Born February 16, 1907, Myrtle was the first child of Dora and Joseph, was a sister of yet to be born, Stanley, Martin, Merriam and Max and Aunt Myrtle to many of us.

After checking all of the vital records and finding that indeed Myrtle is ours, we discussed moving her to the Levin Family plot at 1051 El Camino Real, Coloma, CA 94014. Please visit when you can. With proof in hand and without even time to think, Myrtle was moved to a lovely little spot in the Levin Family plot. We were told that when Mrytle was disinterred, there was still a casket intact with little particles very much in existence. Our family wondered why she had never been moved to join the family, but found that she was buried in a children’s section, which was the way things were done then and in some cemeteries still done. Did the family feel it was better to leave things lie? Did we have the right to move her? Thank goodness it was done the moment both cemeteries heard the story and saw the proof. They took the case in hand and did a most genteel move to right what they deemed a wrong.


It must have been too painful to discuss Myrtle with later generations or were things like a child’s death a sacred secret. Did they think that by not talking about her they would ease or lessen the mourning of this child? Was the shock and disbelief so overwhelming that no words would ever come? Did they think that by being mum they could ease back to a normal life and leave the hurt of this unordered death behind?

Since I do not know and did not know of my Aunt Myrtle until a short time ago, I will have to create her from the part of her family I do know.  She was beautiful and had strength budding in her character. Mrytle was intelligent, kind, enterprising, respectful, active, very energetic, aware, balanced, appreciative, affectionate and authentic.  She had an outgoing personality. She was resourceful. She had dark hair and big brown eyes. She had a twinkle. Her body was shaped like a spirit, soft and delicate and she had an overpowering will. Myrtle rarely cried or whimpered; she got everything she needed by willing it to be. She left this earth, but not our hearts. Now her aged stone is shining in the sun with her family. Her truth is known.