“Do you think we will be able to have more children in heaven?” I ask Tim one afternoon. The idea of a house full of rosy cheeks and dimpled fingers appeals to me, kids running in all directions. Gifts from above.
But I hesitate. If we have another child here, I’ll have to surrender a year of my life to vomiting and bleeding, to fewer connections with my older children to nurture a life within my womb.
I worry: Will I have the energy and space to cultivate deep relationships with my older daughters? Will there be enough hours to love Tim like I want to, to travel ’round the world in his arms and notice as the wrinkles carve wisdom around his eyes? Will I be able to give advice to my little sister, to reach out to the weary new mother with a baby on her hip, to read aloud books to the elderly as their earthly lives shimmer? Will I be able to do this, that, and the other thing?
One of the hardest things about living on earth is the intolerable finiteness. The clock ticks on, unforgiving, unrelenting.
I expect that heaven will be the ability to try a million different things. So, when I die, I think I’ll go to med school. I’ll build a gorgeous library for children – with floor-to-ceiling windows. I’ll sit in a cabin in the woods and write twenty-five novels. I might even put on a tap dance performance and compete in a tennis league. I’ll host a book club and have dinner parties at a long wooden table, with twinkling lights overhead and thornless bouquets of roses scenting the air.
Two weeks ago, I told a friend that I hope heaven will simply be having “all the time in the world.” She smiled back, “That’s exactly what it will be: eternity.” Yes.