I was sorry to hear about the unexpected death of my neighbor Carl. I knew it would be difficult for his wife Marion. They’d recently celebrated forty-five years of marriage and in recent months they were inseparable—well almost. Marion was totally committed—devoted even––to keeping Carl healthy so he’d be around for a long time. She couldn’t imagine life without him. And I could see why. He was tall and still good-looking for seventy-nine years and he was a fix-it man besides. There was nothing Carl couldn’t do around the house and yard. Maybe Marion had an ulterior motive for serving her hubby seaweed and wheat germ!

I have to admit, though, sometimes it was a real drag to be with them, especially at community potlucks or holiday buffets. Marion was a broken record (make that a CD) on the subject of healthy eating. She prepared lots of veggies, bran muffins from scratch, raw fruit at every meal, and plenty of fresh, purified water. And whether or not you wanted her advice on how to renew your energy, you got it.

Carl went along with the plan because he loved her and he wasn’t the kind to make waves in a calm sea, but I could see the mischief in his eyes when she wasn’t looking. His friends saw it too.

Henry, who lived in the house behind Carl and Marion, once told me that when he and Carl met for lunch on the days Marion played golf, Carl indulged himself in all the no-no’s like chocolate cake (sometimes two big slices), hot fudge sundaes, eggs cooked in bacon grease, and a double portion of pure whipped cream on his apple pie.  He loved them all. Figured it didn’t hurt to have a little fun once in awhile as long as he was being ‘good’ most of the time.

Carl used to joke about what it would be like in heaven. He could imagine St. Peter ushering him through the pearly gates and then pointing for miles around at the huge buffet tables filled with all the goodies Carl loved. And best of all, they wouldn’t be forbidden in heaven. Surely God wouldn’t post a list of healthy and unhealthy foods. New creatures in Christ wouldn’t have to worry about counting calories anymore.

“There will be no more tears and no more pain in heaven,” he said chuckling at the prospect, “so I won’t have to watch what I eat. No cholesterol to check either!”

Henry said now that Carl was gone, he could picture his dear friend looking down on him and shouting, “Henry, it’s great up here. No diets, no exercise regimes, no restrictions, no bran muffins. If I’d have known all this ahead of time, I’d have come a lot sooner.”

Heaven does sound heavenly at this point in life. There are still so many things to deal with on this side of eternity. Sometimes I ache for the time when I won’t forget where I laid my glasses, whether or not I brushed my teeth, what my own phone number is. But then I stop and realize it’s wrong to wish my life away. God will bring me ‘home’ soon enough.

Meanwhile, pass the bran muffins!



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It’s GREAT Up Here! — 10 Comments

  1. Karen, I just loved this one! I even giggled to myself when I imagined Norm up there asking for pickled pig’s feet. I hope there will be plenty dark chocolates with almonds.I hope you hang around for a long time; your writing is helping so many people.

    • Thanks, Marie. I’m chuckling with you. I like dark chocolate with almonds too–but no to pigs’ feet!!

  2. Thank you do this reminder that we will be truly free in heaven. I, too, am saddened by the loss of precious brothers and sisters in Christ over the past year. Reading this, I could picture them at heavenly the buffet table. So many of our get-togethers were shared meals.

    • It will be wonderful to reconnect with friends and family on the other side. Like you, I hope we all share a huge banquet with Christ at the head of the table.

  3. Loved this, Karen! I look forward to heaven when I don’t have to watch everything that goes in my mouth. In the meantime, I’ll take care of myself the best I can and pray I stay healthy for a long time.

    • Thanks, Sherry. God has us covered here and in heaven. We are so blessed.

  4. Karen,

    I enjoyed this. A good reminder that this life isn’t all there is and to trust the promise of no more tears or pains. But, in the mean time we should do the best we can with the time we are given here. Thank you for sharing your humor and insights with us through you writing and mentoring.

    Blessings, Ann

    • Thanks, Ann. I enjoy your comments and appreciate your reading my writing and supporting me.

  5. We are only here on Earth fora few years and in eternity for, well — eternity. It is a daily job preparing for that stint in heaven. How glorious that will be when we get there. Keep writing Karen (as if us writers could stop, eh.) LOL.

    • Thanks, Jim. Glad you like what I have to say. I will keep writing and hope you will too!

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