Monday, October 31, 2011

Heaven


Heaven had better be:

Better than any stinkin' Youth Group costume party…


And being trapped inside a Lego Factory over a long weekend with plenty of Cheez-its and Dr. Pepper.

And the buzzy feeling you get when the person you have a crush on crushes on you back.

And sledding down a huge hill with your best friends until it’s cocoa time.

And a wonderful, fumbly first kiss.

And skiing black diamonds with your dad in Colorado.

And a high school debate trip to New York City with fun but slightly lax chaperones.

And praising God at a retreat and finally getting how much He loves you.

And sitting around with your friends at college laughing until your stomach hurts.

And falling in love.

And watching in person as the Yankees win the World Series…again!

And surprising your little sister by flying in for her college graduation.

And doing work that fulfills you and honors God.

And dancing with your mom at your wedding.

And holding your newborn baby-- staring at your wife thinking, “We made this?

And giving that baby a bath and zipping him up in footy pajamas.

Oh yeah, and sex.

Heaven had better be more wonderful than sex.

Okay, God? Good.

91 comments:

Laura said...

I've been reading silently for so long. I'm not the type to leave comments on blogs when I don't know the person who writes it, but I just can't not. I'm so sorry. I know that's inadequate and ultimately useless, but I am.

Jessica said...

so beautiful. I bet its all those and better!

Anonymous said...

I hope so too, Anna.

-Dayna

Kate Coveny Hood said...

It must be. In this case it just has to.

Reccewife said...

it just absolutely must be.

Anonymous said...

it is

Kirsten said...

It absolutely has to.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I.T. H.A.S. T.O. B.E.!!! Why else would we have to live through this kind of pain. ((HUGS))

L said...

It absolutely, positively has to be. I love you.

Lexilooo said...

so lovely, and so true!

The Green Family said...

I believe it's all those things and MORE. Thinking of you today. ♥

Leah C said...

Oh how heavenly Heaven would be if it's better than all those things...and it simply must be:) Hugs & prayers, dear Anna.

MaryBeth said...

It's going to be way better, right Jack?

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i think heaven is better than any conception of it we could possibly have, so i think God's got it- good!

Eliza said...

It must be. It simply must be greater than we can even imagine.

Lindsay said...

it has to be! I'm not sure we can even begin to fathom its awesomeness! praying for you all, especially tonight.

meghan said...

This just made me sob. Of course this is what you are thinking about...these are the moments that define our lives. I am praying for you right now, with tears in my eyes.

Kara said...

I'm with you. It had better be.



I'm sure it is.

mia said...

Anna, I am certain it is!!! Hugs and prayers for you tonight!!

Brenda said...

It is. You are still in my prayers every day. Thank you for continuing to share your heart here.

The Empress said...

You heard what Steve Jobs last words were, right?

According to his wife: "Oh, wow. WOW. Oh, wow."

PeachPrenni said...

It IS Anna!! I promise it is; I just know it. It is 100 times better than all these things. It is a joy and peace like we have never known. Jack is surrounded by love and he is happier than happy. And he is still with you...
xoxo
Annie P.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

It is....and then some!

many prayers...

Lou Cinda

Ann Imig said...

Amen.

Meredith Self said...

Exuberant. Exuberant. Wow.

Love you.

Sherri said...

I am counting on it for your boy...

Anne said...

Anna, I only visit your blog sporadically. Last night I was looking for a DIY project, and spent two hours floating between shock and crying my eyes out. I cannot even fathom what you must be going through. I think of Margaret, and how much her life will be defined by this. "Life before" and "life after". It truly makes you realize how precious and fleeting life is. It can be taken so quickly.
As I began to realize that Jack will now be forever frozen at 12 years old, I think of Annelle's speech in Steel Magnolias:
So he went to on to a place where he could be a guardian angel. He will always be young. He will always be beautiful. And I personally feel much safer knowing he’s up there on my side. I know some people might think that sounds real simple and stupid… and maybe I am. But that’s how I get through things like this.
Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Jules said...

It is all those things and more. I have worked with Hospice patients...& have sat with many that have left. Each of them, EACH of them...witnessed something beautiful & moving & fearless.

Jack is surrounded by more love than he could have ever received here...and I am reminded of a wonderful quote...‎"Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour." ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Jack is right where his Father wants and needs him. And it is BEAUTIFUL for him there!

Lisa said...

I know it HAS to be better. Just has to be...

Mrs. E said...

I read somewhere that when a parent loses a child, that they never fear dying again--knowing that they will be reunited with not only their God, but their child. When I read what you write, I can believe that.

Cindy said...

It just has to be all that and more. Some day we will know, but right now the mirror is so dim.

Anonymous said...

It is - it has to be. Praying for you and your family and thinking about your beautiful boy today and everyday. xxoo

OSMA said...

My grandfather, an Agnostic, asked me several times one week before he passed, "Don't you hear that, it's so loud!" I'd listen and listen hard. I couldn't hear anything. He shook his head, finally smiling and said, "Well I'll be damned, this chorus is singing just for me then. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard, I can't believe this is all just for me."

So yeah, heaven is more amazing than what we can imagine in this life.

xoxo

Anonymous said...

He now *gets* how much God loves him - and maybe heaven is something like an "O" of the soul.

Aimee said...

:) Love it!!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I sure hope so Anna!

New Mom said...

"In my Father's house are many rooms... I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2-3) You better believe Jack has an awesome Lego room! And I bet you feel like you have one foot in heaven too - waiting to be reunited with your sweet son. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Julie said...

It has to be. It's the only reason we breathe in and out each day. I take comfort in Steve Jobs last words.

"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

Bless you.

Kim said...

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a silent reader of your blog. I'm a firm believer that Heaven is so much more than our human brains can comprehend.

I read this the other day and I immediately thought of Jack and your family...

You are an explorer.
Your mission is to document and observe the world around you as if you’ve never seen it before.
Take notes.
Collect things you find on your travels.
Document your findings.
Notice patterns. Copy. Trace.
Focus on one thing at a time. Record what you are drawn to.

We are all visitors to this time, this place – we are just passing through. Our purpose is to observe, learn, grow and love. And then, we return home.

Praying for peace and joy for you and your family... always.

Mara said...

I believe Heaven must be even more amazing than the list of things Jack won't get to do, but it doesn't make it much easier to be here without him. Thanks for grieving here with us, Anna.

Mara said...

I believe it's even more amazing than this list of things Jack won't get to do. It doesn't make being here without him much easier. Thank you for grieving with us.

Lady Jennie said...

But of COURSE it is!

I once heard a preacher say that trying to understand heaven is like a kid trying to understand marriage (with all its perks).

"Is it as good as Disney World?"

"It's Better than Disney World!"

"How could anything be better than Disney World?"

Renee said...

Heaven will be much more than that...Jack will make it so. Only a Mom can understand and write these words. Thank you for this.

Scary Mommy said...

I hope so, too.

And I was thinking of you last night.

Vodka Mom said...

and today my sister had a shot of joy, as her daughter had a little boy.


And you, yes you, will know what this means to her.



God is wrapping us all in hope.

luv2run said...

I really am starting to believe it!!!

luv2run

Formerly known as Frau said...

Oh Anna I hope it is I really do...
((hugs))

ella said...

I believe if we knew just how awesome Heaven is, we'd all be in a big fat rush to get there.
Your family has officially entered my subconscious - I had such vivid dreams last night....of a bridge I've never seen, people I've never met, and the inside of a church I've never stepped into. Jack is on my mind this morning more than usual.

I hope you were able to get through last night with at least a few smiles.

Hugs.

Julia said...

hug

Anonymous said...

This made me cry. Your writing is extraordinary. Your faith is so genuine and your relationship with the Lord so honest. How precious your Jack is--his open heart and love of God and family reminds me so much of my son. I do not understand why a parent EVER has to outlive a child. But, I am certain of this--heaven is a glorious place where Jack is cherished and happy and having more fun than he ever imagined he could have. It is for you, Tim, and Margaret that my heart aches. May you feel God holding you all in the palm of His hand--every moment of every day.

Anonymous said...

Of all your posts, this is the one that brought me to tears. All your hopes will be realized and more. I imagine that Heaven is even beyond these milestones. I imagine all the things that Jack will bring to you and your family's life now as he watches over you. From reading all of the comments these past weeks, imagine how happy is heart is that he is bringing so much joy and perspective to many, many peoples' lives. I hope there is some really good beer in Heaven too :)

Marinka said...

It has to be.

Leslie said...

Yeah. Better be, God. For Jack's sake, it better be.

Ultimately, I loved what Ella wrote above: "I believe if we knew just how awesome Heaven is, we'd all be in a big fat rush to get there."

Vintage Junky said...

I believe it is.
xo~

Sasha said...

It must be. It has to be.

Ingrid said...

Oh Dear Anna,
I ache for your loss.

Peg said...

As we go through the second anniversary of my sister and her husband's death I've hoped for the same things. I hope it's better than missing out on raising their little girls, holding their future grandchildren, growing old together, meeting their new niece being born this week, and seeing all of the cousines love and take care of each other. I am so sorry for your loss.

Theresa O said...

Oh Anna, my heart aches for you each and every day - but I do believe that Heaven is all that we dream it is!!! And that Jack is smiling his gorgeous smile even bigger than he did here on earth.
Thanks for sharing all your beautiful words and pictures.

Beth C said...

Knowing that Jack isn't missing these things since he didn't know what he was missing, and after I cried for YOUR loss of all these things, and YOUR loss of Jack's future, and prayed about it, and shed some more tears, I was left with...

It's so hard to stay in the present and not think of our children as their FUTURE selves (or the futures we have planned for them), but their PRESENT selves. What if we thought about our children each day as the culmination of their lives? What if we thought about ourselves that way, and stopped planning for our future selves all the time? A good lesson for me.

I bet Jack had some pretty perfect days on this earth, that he also got to experience with the pure joy and clarity and PRESENCE of childhood. We should all be so lucky!

Caroline & Cameron said...

For some reason this made me cry the hardest. Thanks for the renewed expectation and excitement for Heaven. The things you've listed that I've done are pretty great, which means Heaven must be AWESOME. And the baby thing? Pretty sure (even though I haven't done that) THAT makes Heaven absolutely unbelievable to be better than that. One day we hope to also know....

Cindy S said...

Anna, I have a STRONG lead on Bieber via People Magazine. Please send me your contact info ASAP so that JB's reps can contact you.

Cindy Schieffer
theschieffers@mac.com or
(781) 631-1606

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

Surely more grand than we could ever imagine here on earth!

Lynn said...

You are quite the writer, you know.

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Anna ~ I am a believer that Heaven is all that and so, so, so, much more! Praying for you and your family!

RottenMom said...

All of it.
And every time you write, I am is in awe of your faith and your strength.

Anonymous said...

Well, when you put it THAT way, yes, it had better F-ing be!

You have hit the grieving nail on the head with this one, Anna dearest.

love,
jbhat

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that I continue to think of you, your family, and most of all, sweet Jack every day.

We've never met, but like so many others here, I now hold you in my heart. I continue to send you strength, hugs, love and prayers.

Keep writing, and we'll keep reading. xoxo

mgh said...

I am absolutely counting on it.
Still praying for you every day.

Lilia said...

I wanted to let you know that you have been a blessing towards my healing. Everytime I read your blog I can cry a little more and continue grieving for awhile, and then I feel better. I mostly cry for you because I understand your pain. I am praying for you and your family and lifting you and your family up to our Father in Heave. Blessings -L

Anonymous said...

I think of you and your family daily and am trying to send you love and peace. Hope you can feel it. ~Shanna

gina said...

Amen!

vegan eden said...

It is the at end of the rainbow
it is nirvana,
it is peace
and it is all the special moments a million fold…

Susan said...

It had better be.
He deserves that and more your sweet Jack.

Misty - A Crooked Kind of Perfect said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Misty said...

Have you read "Heaven is for real" by Todd Burpo? You should..

I agree. It damn well better be all that and more!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, and I totally, totally believe it. I know I don't know you, but I want you to know how much hearing Jack's story has touched me. He seems like a remarkable kid who's already touching so many lives. And re: Heaven ... my mom passed away last year, and I had a dream that she and I had a convo last night, and I asked her how it was going up there. And the answer? It's pretty amazing, and none of the stuff that I thought mattered in my "real" life (stupid, petty fights and things like that) were important. Bottom line: I woke up knowing that my mom's looking out for me, and I know Jack's looking out for you, and I imagine he'll be watching and guiding your fam through this time.

Also, this is one of my favorite scenes from Angels in America. I watch it when I'm missing my mom. If you have a chance, take a look—you don't need to have seen the rest of the movie to understand it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og70dU7TP-Y

xo, another Anna

Clare said...

I agree, it better be! Hugs today and always from just across town. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I don't even know if I believe in heaven (sorry if my comment doesn't belong here then... please delete if so!) but I just wanted to say that this post made me cry and had me hoping with all my heart that you are right, and that heaven is better than all of those things. That there is something of a meaning or a reason.

Tears, and hope for you all.

Julia said...

Faith. Blind faith. That's all we got.

Heaven better be full of the most awesome Legos for Jack. And Heaven better be a great audience for Jack's humor.

Anna, I'm proud of you for getting this stuff down in writing but it's heart aching.

xoxo, Julia

Jenny said...

Continuing to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I honestly don't think I would have the grace and honesty that you have. I feel weird posting as I have never met you but you have just touched me so much. Hoping that all of the tweets will work for little Margaret. Also, there is a wonderful organization in Richmond that you may want to check out for Margaret. Camp Comfort Zone. It is a camp for those who have lost a dear one. They do wonderful, wonderful things and really do help.

xoxo

Anonymous said...

i believe it will be more than we could ever imagine but in your case the reunion of you and your baby boy will be heaven! lots of prayers and love for you and your family...

Rach said...

You know Heaven has got to be all that and more. I can't wait to get there and be with my girl again. You know. :o)

Hugs and prayers!
Rach

Chrisy said...

You move me. xo

Melanie said...

Anna,

I love, love how you share your heart.

So I'm thinking heaven is better and that Jack's having a ball right now. He gets to have a front row seat with God. Can't get any better than that, huh? Lucky boy.

Heidi said...

What Ann said and Kate said. Amen to it all.

Jen said...

Oh, Ana, I'm in tears once again. Heaven IS all those things and more. I firmly believe that heaven and the presence of God FAR outweighs any earthly experience. I hope your faith in that helps on the hardest days, just a little.

Lisa said...

So eloquent. So insightful. So raw. So refined. So heart wrenching. So incredible. I continue to pray for you and your family, Anna. Your entries are so touching. Thank you for your willingness to share.

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

It's something we probably can't even fathom. We don't have the context to even understand the awesomeness. Death was described to my sister as another birth we must go through. We were so happy in our mother's wombs, it was warm, safe and lovely. None of us wanted to leave. Then much to our dislike we had to be born, and we experienced this amazing world. The next step must be just as awesome and we just don't have any idea. I thought it was a great analogy. I know it still doesn't make the missing any easier.... All three of my daughters, ages 8, 11 and 16 read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. It has given them such peace.

Dana

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

AMEN!!! xoxo

for a different kind of girl said...

Dear God, I hope it is, too. So much. Lately, there's been a lot of talk with some church friends about heaven and loss and so many people tell me they know, they just KNOW, that the people we've lost recently absolutely wouldn't want to come back here with us, regardless of how much we might wish it, because heaven is so amazing and...well, I hope it is. I hope it's all that and more. It doesn't make it better, but God, I hope it really is.