A Very Short Story
She wondered was she really ready for the trip.
She could recall from time to time, that she’d spent a great many years getting ready for this trip, but couldn’t really remember exactly what she did to prepare her for such a journey.
For the moment, she was distracted from thinking any more about it all.
“Hmmm,” she said. “I really love potato chips,” taking a bite of the chip in her hand.
“But I really shouldn’t have too many. I have to be mindful of my waistline.”
She was thinking of David, her husband now deceased five years ago.
“I can’t remember if David like potato chips. But you know, it doesn’t really matter, for he’s in heaven waiting for me, probably eating that damn popcorn he loved so much.”
Worried that eating too many potato chips might expand her waistline, she was satisfied with the two chips she ate, drifting off to sleep for a spell.
She dreamed every time she slept these days, and could remember every dream upon waking.
“You know we’re ready for you, don’t you?” she remembered the voice telling her in the dream.
“But I have so much preparation still to do,” she answered.
“Our consensus up here is that 93 years is long enough. But we respectfully wait for the soul to let go. We won’t bring a soul in your state here until you give us permission.”
“I still have many confessions to give,” she answered. “I still get angry with those strangers I live with. I shouldn’t, I know…but they are just sometimes mean, and I don’t want to leave, knowing that I was unkind to someone, and then suffer an eternity of torment.”
The voice chuckled. “Dear Joan…an eternity of torment exists for those souls who have heaped evil, discord, duplicity, lies and murder upon innocents. Your 93 years have not brought a hint of such evil.”
She shook her head a bit upon waking from the dream.
Her daughter then entered her room and asked how she was doing this day.
“I’m awfully tired…but I just spoke to Jesus – he’s sitting right there in the chair next to you. And he told me that they’re ready for me.”
A brief pause, she reflected for a few seconds, asking, “Are you one of my daughters?” And Cara, her oldest daughter, said yes, she was.
Comforted that she was speaking with one she loved so deeply, she looked into Cara’s eyes and asked:
“Do you know if I need to pack a suitcase to go to heaven?”
Tonight’s musical offering:
Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet Suite: Friar Laurence · Riccardo Muti