Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dorothy Heinemann passed on to the next realm on March 31st, 2011. She is loved by everyone who has ever known her. Enthusiastic in life, a true adventurer, she had a great joy in all that she did and a fabulous sense of humor. I am posting a recent story that she wrote in tribute to her beautiful soul. Lovingly, her daughter Judith heinemann. She will be greatly missed.


I went to Heaven last night. In my dreams. I hadn't planned to go there, and as a matter of fact, I had been thinking about Paris, hoping to dream about the little rooftops and sidewalk cafes. But the first thing I knew, there I was at the Pearly Gates. Lest I lead the reader astray, they weren't pearly. They were of a sort of weathered wood and the walls were a kind of dried mud composition. Over the gate it said "Paradise", and underneath in smaller letters various words, such as Heaven, Allah, Happy Hunting Grounds, and so on.. But there was the gate, closed and locked of course, and St. Peter was there, sitting on a stone bench wearing a loin cloth. I guess my expression was one of amazement, because St. Peter said "We don't wear long robes up here. Too much maintenance. We simplified a couple of centuries ago. Now it's strictly come as you are.. You might find some of the occupants stark naked. Why are you here? I thought you weren't due up here for a long time."

"I want to see my mother," I said, thinking fast. "She should be up here someplace."

St. Peter scratched his beard, plucked something out of it, and thought a moment. "I suppose she must be up here. There's no place else she could have gone to. You know there's no Hell. That's just what they used to say to scare people."

"O.K.", I said. "Do I need a passport, or should I say a prayer, or something to get in?"

"Not at all," St. Peter said, but still not getting up. "Do you still want to go in?"

"I don't know," I said. "Does everyone who is ever born get to come up here?"

He gave me a look of scorn. "You only get in if you believe in Paradise.
If you don't believe, when you die, you simply cease to exist." He snapped his fingers. "Just like that! Poof! You are gone."

"But what about reincarnation?" I asked.

St. Peter flew into an unholy rage. "Reincarnation?" he shrieked "Don't talk to me about reincarnation. If you wanted to come back as a cat or something, you should have thought about that before you died." He banged his long cane against the rock and I thought he was going to strike me.
"Now," he said calming down a little. "Do you want to go in or not
You're holding up the whole line. We've got a traffic jam here."

"I'll go in," I said. "I'll try anything once."

St. Peter stood up and went to open the gate. I saw that his beard had grown clear down to his knees. I noticed, too, that he was in great shape for a man his age. He opened the gate a couple of feet, grabbed me by the arm and shoved me inside. He laughed like a maniac as he slammed the big gate shut.

My heart sank when I saw what was printed on the inside of the gate.
There, in big black letters, were the words:


and in smaller letters "Sorry about that."

I was scared speechless. I looked around but to my amazement I was all alone. There wasn't another soul as far as I could see in every direction. There was, however, a large angel reclining on a cloud, covered with her or his wings, and strumming lazily on a harp. I floated over and stood respectfully before this shining creature. It looked up at me with luminous blue eyes and asked in a melodious voice, "Are you being served?"

"I do have some questions," I answered, regaining my voice. "Why am I all alone up here? I thought I would see millions of souls up here. This is spooky."

"Oh, you can see them if you want to," answered the Angel. "You can't see them when you first come in because it's all so overwhelming. Do you want to see them?"

I nodded and there appeared before me a million, a billion celestial beings, walking, running, dancing, standing as if in a daze, curled up sleeping., doing things I never thought I would see them do. It was horrible. "Please!" I cried, cringing and covering my eyes. "I made a mistake. I don't want to see them. Take them away."

"It's O.K. They're gone. " said the Angel. "I've never had a single new arrival who wanted to go through that more than once. Just relax. Do you want to read the rules? There are only three and they are easy."

She unrolled a large scroll, upon which were printed three lines in Geneva type, 18 size print, black ink.

Rule 1: Be happy. Don't Worry.

Rule 2: Heaven is whatever you want it to be.

Rule 3: Practice patience. You have plenty of time.

Underneath someone had written a line of graffiti: Be all that you
can be.
Underneath that someone else had scrawled: Don't ask, don't tell.

The Angel hastily held one wing over the last two lines. "I'll have to erase that. Forget you ever saw those lines. They are meaningless. Do you have any questions?"

I had a lot of questions but when I started to speak, the Angel raised its hand and said thoughtfully, "Actually, I can read your mind. I think we can save time if I answer some of them without you asking. First of all, I have always been here. All I do is answer questions. That is my sole purpose in life. I have been here since the beginning of time. I am part of the establishment. I am a charter member. Now, let's get down to business. You have read the rules. Rule 2 means exactly what it says. You can eat what you want up here, dress however you like, and live whatever lifestyle suits you. If you have ever been in California you know what I mean. Rule 1 and 3 are self-explanatory. They are suggestions only. I wish I could let you see your mother, but that would mean you had to see all of the others too, and we don't want that. I can assure you that she is happy. She is a great one for following rules."

The Angel ruffled its feathers and stretched out a bare foot and wiggled its toes. Then it stretched out its other foot and flexed its arch. Then it stood up and stretched, and bent forward and took my hand. "Nice to have
met you" it said politely. "I'm glad we had this little chat. Now I have
to buzz off." and it flapped away, hanging on to its halo with one hand. It left the harp leaning up against the cloud. I watched it until it was out of sight.

I hadn't the slightest idea what to do next. I thought of the rules again.

Rule 2 was a good rule. I thought of California, and my little house on the hill above Austin Creek, with the redwoods growing all around. I could see the flowers blooming beside the path, and the pretty redwood deck my husband had built. I saw my little black cat sunning itself in a pool of sunshine. Strangely enough, I could smell the heavenly aroma of freshly perked coffee and hear the faint clink of dishes being taken out of the dishwasher. Then the doorbell rang and I could hear my little neighbor telling my husband that her cat had come home after all. I opened my eyes and sunlight was streaming into my bedroom and I realized that I was back on solid ground, in my own house, in my own bed, in California. I hadn't been in heaven after all. It had all been just a dream. I think.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Much better

Hi once again. I am much better tonight, and had a pleasant visit from my physical therapist. I am walking with a cane,, and have no pain whatsoever. Managed to cook a very tasty soup for dinner, and ate quite a lot, so I am making progress.
We have been having very pleasant weather, although a little chilly. I understand that it is cold in the North, down to 35 below in some places. Glad we live here in sunny California.
This will be short, just wanted to let all know that I am just about recovered from my most recent episode, hopefully the last!
Take care and keep in touch. Bye all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Slowly but surely

Hi all. Time is flying by, and I am getting better, although more slowly than I would wish. I still limp around with my walker, and have not yet recovered from my cold, but t;he physical therapist is very encouraging, so I am optimistic as well.
We had a very tasty beef stew for dinner and have plenty left over for another meal.
It has been so cold up here that we had to order another load of wood for the wood stove. The electric heaters were not adequate to keep the house heated, but the wood burner does a great job.
Well, just a short blog tonight. Slumber calls and i will answer shortly. Bye and keep in touch.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Feeling much better

:How nice to be able to sit in front of my computer and keep in touch with all of you. I am continuing to improve and with care can get around with a cane - quite an improvement. I managed to take a shower this evening, with the assistance of my husband, and feel much better. My house is not in its usual order, but we will tidy up tomorrow. My husband has installed hand bars for going in and out of the living room into the family room, and with the help of my physical therapists, I will soon be as good as new.
We are having cold weather here right now, but with a fire in the stove, we are as cozy as can be. Happy New Year, yet again. Keep well and keep in touch.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What next?

Greetings! with great joy I am blogging from my computer in my own house once again. I had fallen again and have just spent three weeks in a convalescent hospital, the most depressing place in the world. I saw sights there that I will never forget, and though the staff is kind enough, it is truly the place of the living dead. But I am home again, able to walk with a walker, and by the grace of God I am not falling again! My house has been made safe by rolling up the rugs, installing hand rails and so on, and I am SETTLED IN!
What next, you may well ask. Only time will tell. A late Merry Christmas to all, sorry I wasn't able to send cards, but a New year is coming along, and i wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gather Ye rosebuds while you may

I can't believe so much time has passed me by! I have been lazy mainly because I now have a gizmo that lets me download books from the Talking Book Library, and we spend a lot of time listening to them. We have a list of 15,000 books to choose from and now that I know how to do it, we listen to a couple a day.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We went down to my daughter's house where they had prepared a magnificence feast and we enjoyed a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal. It is just a short walk but it was somewhat of an adventure because it was pitch dark when we came back, and we were guided only by the light of a flashlight. But we made it O.K.
Once again time has flown by. But to our amazement, we are still here. How about that?
I will try to do better in future. In meantime, take care and keep in touch.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A big parade

Well,, we watched the parade in San Francisco, and I was thankful that I was watching from the comfort of my sofa,, with my snacks at hand. I was able to knit and watch, which made it all the more satisfactory. Once upon a time, i did rush off to attend such events, and felt deprived if I missed them, but now it would take a great deal to drag me off to watch even the small parades in Guerneville. Such is the result of the passage of time!
This was my husband's birthday, but we are celebrating on Saturday, when everyone can be here. It will be a do-it-yourself affair, since I am in a lazy mode. But it will be fun.
My knitting is coming along, and the result is soft and warm. It will be either a shawl or blanket, depending on how the yarn holds out. I look for excuses to sit down and knit.
Time is rushing by. I am reminded of the poem "Gather ye roses while ye may, For time it is a-afleeting." Too true.
Bye all, and keep in touch.