I watched that movie “Heaven is for Real” last night and it got me thinking.
If you believe in Heaven, you are probably looking forward to everlasting life in paradise. We are promised no illnesses, no bad memories and no hunger. Everything is supposed to be just peachy.
I have entertained the idea of going to Heaven since I was a just a little sprout. I had visions of wearing a long, white flowing robe, walking down streets paved with gold and having all the milk I could possibly want.
The idea of going to Hell terrified me. Hot, glowing fires everywhere and the devil sitting on a throne with snakes for a staff and razor-sharp teeth sinking into my charred flesh, scared me to death. My granny told me that I would never die in Hell. I would just wish I had.
The idea of cremation always seemed so barbaric and it terrified me, too. It was like going to Hell. I heard once that if you were cremated, you could never “come back.” Not that I would particularly want to perpetuate the vicious, cyclic torture chamber that has always been my life.
Now? I really don’t give a shit. I figure cremation is the way to go. My daddy was cremated. So was my mama and she still has her place of honor in the trunk of my car. Does that mean they can’t come back?
I don’t know about my daddy. I kind of liked him but I’m not sure I’d want to run into my mama again.
So, here’s the question. Would I want to go to Heaven or would I just go ahead and opt for Hell?
The way I see it, you can abuse and all but destroy somebody but if you drop the magical phrase “God forgive me,” presto! You’re standing at the pearly gates. No penalty. No retribution. No penance. Just a hearty welcome from the big man Himself. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and all acts will be washed away like loose dirt on a tilted piece of glass.”
I’m re-thinking this Heaven thing. There are people I would never want to meet there. Here are six of them and they are in no particular order as far as importance.
1. My ex-FIL. A spineless, yellow-bellied, lily-livered coward who sat silently while the matriarch of the family ruled the roost and spewed out her vile crap like Regan spewed out green vomit on the Exorcist. I imagine telling me that he loved me while on his deathbed, gave him absolution and a quick assent up the ladder.
2. My ex-MIL. An abusive, drunken, snuff-dipping, tramp-endorsing, trailer-trash acting “thing” who bought me dildos as presents and being entitled, thought it entirely acceptable to wipe her ass with my facecloths after she used the bathroom. A real class act. I’m sure she’ll be up there. Having once said “I don’t have any bad memories” will insure her a spot. Given that she spent her entire life being drunk and pleading amnesia, how could she be denied?
3. My Preacher Uncle. A hell-fire and brimstone preaching man who wanted me to go to Florida with him so he could “take care of me.” The man who screwed other women, got them pregnant, divorced my aunt and then married her again after his offspring were born. Didn’t God say “be fruitful and multiply?” I imagine he’ll be up there, having thumped his Bible and uttered the appropriate words just before he died.
4. My Other Uncle. The youngest son of my grandparents. The man who “fought for me in the war” and thought that the world owed him something when he came back. The man who destroyed one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. The man who used and abused alcohol and drugs and still lived at home until my grandparents died. The man who sold the house and its contents they left him for booze. The man who called me a prostitute when I told my grandparents he kept coming into my room at night. He was, as my grandma said, “pitiful.” That’ll do it. Let all the pitiful ones in because they’re…..pitiful.
5. Loser and his WTC. Like father, like son. A chip off the old block. Another spineless, yellow-bellied, lily-livered coward, Jr. He says he prayed for me every night. I wondered if he prayed for me before or after he fucked whatever tramp was in his bed, but…God likes prayers. The one thing he wanted from me was my forgiveness. When it wasn’t given, he probably decided Gods’ forgiveness held far more esteem and settled for that, as well as His understanding. After all, he is the man who once called himself “God” and said God “understood.” Entrance would never be denied to the Deity himself, so it’s a given that he will be holding court up there, letting everybody know that he’s the smartest person in the gilded room.
That WTC who tearfully told Loser that she thought I hated her and really wished I didn’t. That WTC who warned Loser that I had better not come to “her territory.” I imagine she prays as well. “Please God. Let Laurel not hate me. Please God. Let her youngest daughter not hate me. Please God. Let all of her children be on my side. Since I have found my meal ticket, I promise I will never commit adultery again and I will be good to Loser (as long as he keeps paying for everything, that is.”) Deal. As long as you’re good to the Loser “God,” you will be welcome right along with him.
6. My Mama. The woman who asked me what in this round world I had ever done to make anybody love me. The woman who said the only reason she didn’t kill me was because she didn’t want to go to jail. The woman who gave me my first black eye when I was six years old. Unlike my ex-MIL, who said “I don’t have any bad memories,” mama said “I don’t want to have any bad memories.” That’ll do it! Decide that you don’t want to remember anything you said or did and God will call you home, give you a pat on the back and say “good to see you, sister.”
This just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not an angel. I would never win my fucking wings. I have no illusions of ever making it into Heaven because I don’t hide my hatred and resentment. I don’t pretend to be a good person. I don’t go to church, try to look like the sweetest person to ever sashay my ass down the middle of the big road and then go home, get drunk and abuse people.
If I still chatted with God, I would ask Him about this shit but I don’t chat with Him anymore. I also know the Bible teaches us that we are not to question Him or His motives. Even if I did still have a talk with Him, it would be the same result that has tortured me all of my life. No answers.
So, all I can say is if those people make it in….I think I’d opt for Hell.