The Road to Farley

The Road to Farley

Monday, February 20, 2012

Heaven is for Real

I finished reading the book "Heaven is for Real" yesterday. If you haven't heard of the book, here's a brief description:
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Of course, my Catholic upbringing taught me about heaven and purgatory and limbo and hell. I don't know...I'm not sure I ever was that convinced about it. But, the story of Colton will make you question your beliefs, while giving you hope of one day seeing your loved ones again. Personally,  I cannot wait to see Grandma Scherrman again, not to mention to finally meet my Grandpa Scherrman.

Today, I also learned that someone I was once very close to died. He was only 55. The obituary said simply that he died at home. I hate that. I understand that it is a private matter for the family. To anyone who knows the person who passed away, you are just left wondering what happened. A whole host of scenarios played out in my mind. Mostly I was wondering why I let 10 years pass without making an effort to reconnect with him. We parted ways for reasons that seem awfully insignificant now. I suppose the mundane dealings of ordinary life and our own self-righteousness got in our way.

Even though we had drifted apart, I'm saddened to hear of his passing. He was a unique spirit, full of life, and ready to share a laugh. We became friends after I moved back to Dubuque as an adult. He was a colorful soul in homogeneous Dubuque. As I reflect on our friendship, though, I sense there was a quiet sadness to him also. It makes me think of the Clown's Prayer, which I recall was read at Chris Farley's funeral (useless trivia, my mind is full of it):

As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,

dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.

And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile."

Rest in Peace, Michael