On Birthdays and Heaven

My grandmother used to bake wedding cakes, and she baked the best birthday cakes ever. This is one of mine.

My grandmother used to bake wedding cakes, and she baked the best birthday cakes ever. This is one of mine.

On Thursday I will have another birthday, if all goes according to plan (my plan anyway). When you get to the age where you start getting AARP invites, it makes you reflect and think about your life. How did I get here? How did I get so old? Where’d I put my glasses?

Mostly, I think I got here by a series of fortunate events and unfortunate ones as well. The fortunate ones have won out over the unfortunate ones because I am still here and able to find a reason to smile most days. The funny thing about getting older is that internally, in my heart and soul, I don’t feel old at all. Outwardly, I am no spring chicken anymore, though I don’t think I look too ancient. I still have only a couple of well-hidden slightly gray hairs and not too many wrinkles, though my flaws are pretty obvious so no need to mention them here.

For many years, I have said that age isn’t so terribly important when you are destined to live forever. Now, I know that not everyone I love believes in this thing called eternal life, so forgive me, but I do. I always have and always will – eternally. 😉 I am a smart aleck, aren’t I? I have never been convinced that this is all there is to life. My childhood, which I feel was sort of taken from me by circumstances beyond my control, can not be all the childhood I will get. My child’s life here, confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or sit or feed herself cannot be all that she got, as happy as I tried to make her. If so, life’s a gyp and I want a refund.

But, I am not writing here to argue about theology. Ugh. I would rather watch Miley Cyrus’ VMA award gyrations on an endless loop than do that. So, just bear with me and let me hope and dream a bit, I beg you.

First of all, since Amber left I think about heaven a heck of a lot, more than once a day. I never know when a thought about heaven will enter my mind, but when it does, it is always pleasant. Awhile back, I remember talking to God about it, and because he is my friend, besides being in charge of everything, I felt I could relax with Him and just laugh about what heaven might be like and what I wanted to do there.

I have read that we will have meaningful jobs to do there, things we will love, because, contrary to the picture that we will always be worshipping forever (and to many that means chanting or singing or something), worship takes many forms. I worship God doing laundry sometimes. So, I dare say that heaven will be a lot more interesting than just one long church service. At least I hope so.

So, as we were chatting, I told God I would like the job of feeding the horses. I’ve always loved horses, since I was a kid. We had ponies for a couple of years when I was little, but then had to give them to a farmer when we moved into town. And, since then I have longed for a horse, and for some reason, since Amber’s death, I have felt this longing to spend some healing time with a horse. For some reason I am certain that touching one, maybe even riding, would heal me somewhere in my broken heart. There have been times, especially since Amber’s death, that I have seen horses on TV and just wept, wishing I could be there with them. There’s something so free about the way they run, and there is also something comforting about their presence.

So, I’ve put my request in to management and we will see how it goes. That may sound irreverent, and I hope it doesn’t, but, I know God understands what I mean and doesn’t take offense. But then today, as I was waiting for someone in a parking lot, listening to music and singing, I realized that I really love singing.

I may not be the best at it, though I don’t think I’m bad at it. I have a nice voice, but, I am not trained in singing except for choir practice and that is amateur at best. But, that doesn’t matter. I get great joy from singing either by myself at home while I’m cleaning, while I’m driving, showering, or with the choir at church. It invigorates my spirit and I feel very connected to God, to heaven and even to Amber. So, I thought, that idea of singing praises to God for eternity actually doesn’t sound too bad at all to me. So, I might try to join that heavenly choir and if I get that chance I will really appreciate it, because in heaven, I believe my voice will never get tired, my throat will never hurt, and I might even never hit a wrong note. One can only hope.

I may not know everything about heaven. I doubt anyone but God does, but it is still a lot of fun to think about when my brain needs a vacation from this old place, or when I’m feeling old because I remember that when you live forever, 54 years is not such a long time at all.

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