Mary bent down and touched her toes and then reached for the sky, rocking gently on the balls of her feet. It had been years since she had been able to move even the slightest bit without feeling pain. Dying had been an experience she was glad she didn’t have to repeat, but now that she had left her ailing body behind, life was good again.
She was alive, no doubt about that. She had expected angels playing harps on clouds, but the reality was different – and much better. Heaven was a place where you could pursue your own interests, meet new people, join up with family and friends who had gone on before, and never have to deal with a body that didn’t work properly. Mary, her quirky sense of humor intact, decided that she might just learn to play the harp now that arthritis wasn’t twisting her knuckles into pretzels. As for clouds, well, she’d almost mastered Formulating Clouds 101 – a totally useless skill, of course, but fun.
She checked in on Joe every day. She regretted having to leave him behind, but she knew he was going to be OK until they were reunited. He was surrounded by friends and family, and he gratefully accepted the comfort they offered. He kept busy; it was only in those quiet moments late at night that the loneliness and sorrow overwhelmed him. Mary held him close then, and hoped that he knew she was there.
This morning, Joe sat at the breakfast table, sipping his second cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. He was as content as he was going to be without her sitting across from him. Mary thought for a moment, and then chuckled. She was determined to make him smile, and she knew just what to do. She opened her hands wide and “thought” a football-shaped cloud into being. Stepping back, she punted the ball right into the back of his head.
Joe put down his coffee mug and absently reached up a hand to touch his hair. To his surprise, every hair on his head was standing straight up, Don King style. He went to the bathroom mirror, and found himself smiling at how ridiculous he looked.
Mary laughed and pumped her arms in victory. Life – even if one of you lived in heaven and the other lived on earth – was grand.