I told David recently that sometimes my idea of a heaven–a true heaven, entirely imagined but wholly a real place where we go when we die and live forever and ever, amen–would be the chance to relive our lives, exactly how they were, just without all the mistakes: none of the yelling. None of the gossiping. No fights, no personal cold wars, no shunned friends or hurt family members or crying children. It would be a chance to live our lives exactly how they’re supposed to be lived, in Ideal Land, where the children know they’re loved and you’ve never hurt anyone and you never go to bed at the end of the day cringing over that thing you said or that moment you let slip away. It would be a place where you made sure your neighbor knew you cared, and where you ensured the hungry were fed, and where you never turned away from someone trying to meet your eyes. It’d be a place where, if hurt or offended or upset, we’d get to react or move forward or jump past the pain in a way that was calm and peace-filled and, naturally, impossibly hard to do in Real Life.
That would be my idea of heaven: a redo, a chance to be ourselves exactly how we wish we were, a chance to show people how we truly saw them, instead of how it really is, which is often treating people as a reflection of our own weaknesses.
Also, wine. Heaven would still have wine.
I was thinking about this recently for no real reason: just, in going over what seemed like an okay day, I was thinking of the little spots here and there where I wish I could’ve extended the happy. There are so many times it’s my reactions or words that disrupt the peace, or actually stop the happy. There are the moments where I perpetuate a situation rather than just putting a stop to the discord and letting the happiness come back to the surface. Those are the moments I wish I could smooth over.
I wonder if Jesus told us to turn the other cheek not so much to teach us to humble ourselves but as a simple solution to hurry up and get to the peace part already. Live your best life, he might’ve been urging. Seriously, he’d whisper. Let that s*** go.
Okay, I doubt Jesus swore a whole heck of a lot. That’s my Real Life self talking, see?
Relationships are hard. Parent-child. Husband-wife. Friend-friend. Frozen Yogurt Shop employee who forgot to replenish the gummy bears-me. If heaven could be a place where we could just enjoy each other, that would be enough, I think.
But don’t forget the wine.
And definitely not the gummy bears.