About heaven ...

The last of our Christmas cards were mailed today. And the last of my Christmas shopping was finished tonight.

Not before I saw my car’s life flash before my eyes … My car and I were parked behind an SUV, waiting patiently for a turn at the drive-up ATM. The young woman in the SUV finished her transaction AND THEN STARTED BACKING UP!

“Hey! Hey! Hey!” I yelled (as if she could hear me) and started punching my horn.

To no avail. She kept backing up until we both heard that deflating crunch of car hitting car.

My jaw dropped. And SHE began to pull away. … And it appeared as though she would escape, until I laid on my horn again, and she stopped just short of the parking lot exit. Rolled down her window and stuck her head out the window, looking at me blankly.

I went to the front of my car, inspected it. And found no damage. If only there were words -- but I didn’t have any. I shook my head in disgust at SUV Woman and waved her off.

“Uh, sorry,” she said, and drove off faster than you can say … well, whatever you would say.

* * *
Tonight, I arrived home (I’m a bachelor for the next 24 hours … Kates is spending the night with her mom), parked myself in the living room, flipped on the tube and watched ‘According to Jim’ (HA-larious as always! … but also quite heart-warming tonight … ) while enjoying a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger …

I wrapped presents…

And I took a trip to ‘Heaven.’

Of course, fascinating and interesting are the easiest ways to describe tonight’s Barbara Walters special: ‘Heaven -- Where Is It? How Do We Get There?’ For all the over-hyped and hollow special reports that appear on TV these days I was leery going in, but this one delivered -- I thought -- by presenting an array of opinions, perspectives and observations without shoving a specific belief down the audience’s throat.

Phone calls and chores distracted me from focusing on much of the second half of the show, but it’s an awesome feeling to imagine, as one interviewee said, fishing with Hemingway or learning to paint from Michelangelo. Or looking the way we want to look. Or roaming from place to place without fear or worry. And reuniting with the lost loved ones who I think of almost daily.

For me, the special inspired me to wonder even harder, and even more comfortably, about heaven. And be even more committed to living ‘a decent’ and full life.

… kind of like a quote (from a source I can’t seem to find) I came across yesterday: “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WOO HOO what a ride!’”

A few of the reviews I found worth reading ...
a NY Daily News: Walters looks to stars for 'Heaven'
a Barbara Walters embarks on a spiritual journey in 'Heaven'
a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Walters' quest falls a bit short of heaven
a NY Times: What to Expect When Expecting Heaven
a And obscenely cynical, but an entertaining read nonetheless for the wide-open-minded, from the Sun-Times: Where is heaven? In the jeans ... er, genes

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