Merry Christmas From Heaven

Dad died in April, 2001.  That year at Christmas?  Mom felt compelled to give us each a special gift…  to help us cope with the loss over the holidays.  i find it every year as i drag out the decorations.  Thought i’d share it…

Hangin' with Jeebus...

Hangin' with Jeebus...

The ornament says “Merry Christmas from Heaven” around the periphery, with a nicely rhymed poem in the center:

I love you all dearly
Now don’t shed a tear,
I’m spending my Christmas
With Jesus this year.

Accompanying the ornament?  A longer poem, which also rhymes smartly*.

I still hear the  music
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I’ll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don’t have to be
perfect all the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I’m still close beside you
In a new special way.

I love you all dearly
now don’t shed a tear
Cause I’m spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.

She meant well.  i know she did.  But if my daughter were an atheist, i’d like to think i’d know it.  And i sure as hell wouldn’t be dropping this kinda shit on her for Christmas…  How did my family respond?  My next oldest sister, T?  Probably lost it in an airport trashcan before she hopped a plane for home.  Brother?  i bet he has it around the house… somewhere…  Oldest sister, S?  She was delighted with it – perhaps shed a tear.  Certain to be prominently displayed on her tree.  i’m glad it gave her some comfort.  i just wish it were that easy for me…

Reminds me of a favorite Kurt Vonnegut story.  Mr. Vonnegut, a well known humanist**, was asked to eulogize his friend Isaac Asimov, also a well known humanist.  He opened the eulogy with “Isaac’s in heaven now” and was delighted to be hit with a blast of thunderous laughter.  As he later recounted “It was quite awhile before order could be restored. Humanists were rolling in the aisles”.

So i guess Dad’s in heaven now.  Hangin’ with Jeebus…. not to mention Kurt and Isaac….



* The rhyming of “cares” and “prayers”, as well as “proud” and “crowd”?  Literary genius!  i mean, they aren’t even spelled the same way!

** Humanists reject superstition, and the supernatural and do not believe in (nor waste time thinking about, or praying to) a supreme being.  Humans can fix their own problems, and there is no heaven – dead is dead.  We just need to look out for each other while we’re here… be kind and all that…. Kurt Vonnegut and Isaac Asimov were both honorary presidents of the American Humanist Association at different times… Those are the wonderful folks who are bringing the international ad campaign – “Why believe in god?  Be good for goodness sakes!” –  to the US…