Longing for Heaven

Longing for heavenMy grandma used to say how much she longed for heaven
And I would look at her with wide eyes while thinking of all the possibilities my life held
But then my neighbor and classmate died of a brain tumor in third grade
And I thought that was unfair – he was so much fun
And another friend got shot by a crazy family member
Life doesn’t get worse than that
My dad used to say how much he longed for heaven
And then he got cancer (three kinds) and so did my aunt
And much later so did my little son
All three beat the cancer but it left scars that are inside and out
And show themselves when least expected
My maid-of-honor and college roommate told me how she longed for heaven
And I looked at her with wide eyes while hugging her goodbye
knowing we would never see each other again on this earth
Because cancer gobbled up her every reserve
I miss her giggle and visit her grave before my school reunions
I’ve shared with my students how much I long for heaven
And they look at me with wide eyes while thinking of all their plans
But I’ve stood at some gravesides of students—all way too young to already be gone
Remembering their plans and their smiles
And thinking this is not the life God had planned for us
I tell my kids I long for heaven.
And they look at me with wide eyes while wondering about their possibilities
And thinking they will never be old enough to yearn in such a way
And I pray they are right
I long for heaven
So that this next generation doesn’t have to understand why.

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