Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heaven is for Optimists

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?"
- Robert Browning, Poet


Three nights ago, my daughter was yelling from the backseat for me to look at something. She was really beside herself. She kept shouting, “Can you see it. It’s following our car.” I really couldn’t understand her three year old babble shrieks.  By the time we got home and settled, she explained it to me slowly. She said, “Heaven followed us home.” 
I asked her what Heaven looked like and she said it was the Moon. Every time she looked out the window, the moon was right next to us. I think I said something to the effect that she is right, the moon is part of Heaven.  Conversation changed and almost forgotten.
Yesterday, the pregnant woman working at the carwash handed me a ticket and I noticed her name tag said Heaven. I had to ask how she got her name. With a huge smile, she said that she was a miracle baby that wasn’t supposed to be born.
Than today out of the blue, my daughter said, “The Sun is Heaven too” and as if pausing for dramatic effect she said “and Heaven is in our hearts.
We are Christmas and Easter regulars at church, far from theologians. I may have had the conversation that God made everything that is alive and God is in each of us at some point. But she reasoned this Heaven thing all on her own.
My husband grew up believing there are only two choices in the afterlife. He takes comfort in the simplicity and absoluteness of that belief. I am okay not knowing. Sometimes I think heaven is a state of mind where we reside in our accomplishments and our loving relationships. If I have to look at it as a destination for eternity, I would choose the Delano Hotel in South Beach after dark. It is timeless, elegant, romantic and full of beautiful people.
Recently, I asked a question on this blog about what gives you comfort and hope. For me, it is writing. My favorite aunt, who has been battling cancer for years, responded “Heaven.”
I leave you with this question for today: Can Heaven be the sun, the moon, our hearts, the girl at the carwash and the place we go when we leave this life all at the same time?

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