Pinnies in Heaven
There is a salient reality to living in heaven. There are so many people (or more
correctly souls) that abound in utter delight. Delight of each other, of themselves, and of the prescient force that draws
One can walk, float, or fly for endless days marvelling at the wonder of the place.
Stepping down every now and then to engage in conversation or to accost someone from your past life for a catch up on how
things are going with yours and their descendants.
The marvellous thing above all else is the sheer weight of good people that manifest
the place. A number of times I have run across friends from school and work and social circles that have made it here. And
the staggering number from family circles. I knew I had a family that was intrinsically good, but to see that almost all of
them were here was so awe inspiring. It boded well for my descendants to see such numbers.
Let me introduce myself. I am Shane Walker, or was in the physical life, a former
commercial pilot, father, husband (twice) and finally author. I physically lived until the age of 62, whereby my contract
with physicality ceased. I have one son and one daughter from my first marriage, and adopted three sons and two daughters
in my second marriage.
My first wife, Sarina, left me in my mid forties after twenty years of marriage,
a friendly separation mutually agreed upon due to our differing views and the fact that our love for each other had run out.
After a period of 14 months, I met my second wife, Zoe, and we married after a short courtship. We were together until she
died of cancer when she was 59. Ironically, Sarina also died the same year, of cancer also. Suddenly, aged 60, I was father
to seven children again, as Sarina had never remarried.
Although nearly all the children were now out in the world doing their own thing,
my only son Adam, from my marriage to Sarina, and Siobhan, Zoes youngest were both handicapped, and therefore were both living
with me until I died. Thankfully, Charity, Zoes eldest girl, had suggested that when I go that both Adam and Siobhan could
live with her, as she was a social worker, had no intentions of getting married and having children, being a lesbian, and
had a genuine love for both her sibling and her stepbrother.
My life had been full, with plenty in it to ensure that I not reach heaven, but having
faced up to the realities of life, and repented before the eyes of the Maker, I had changed to take on the responsibilities
destined me. Although my notion of love was somewhat romantic, I tended to display my love through practical application and
affection, and through the works undertaken in my authorship. I thanked everyone for the life I had been given, and didnt
begrudge anyone for pain I may have put them through at times, and the consequences of that pain. But in the end it helped
me grow as a person, and to mature as a man and a father.
When my time for death came, as I knew it would, I was prepared. I couldnt have been
any more prepared. When I had my breakdown before Sarina left me, I had a premonition of my life laid out before me. A destiny
and a road I would tread regardless. In that premonition was a time stamp to my expiry date, and all my efforts after coming
back into reality, were directed to follow that road. Part of the premonition was my separation with Sarina, so even though
it happened, and was and still is, terribly painful, it wasnt unexpected. I had been prepared and had been given another chance
to redeem myself. So when my expiry date approached, without my two wives to guide me, and Charity havingaccepted her responsibilities,
I knew that I could leave this planet with good things in mind.
Yes, nagging doubts. I had those aplenty, but in retrospect, there were only a few.
As the date approached, I began to rerun my life and to think on the decisions I had made that may have serious repercussions
when I ascended to heaven. I would often sit and ponder three in particular. The others, although serious in their own right,
I had confessed to God and to the people involved. The decisions that had been made by each had been accepted and learnt from.
But the others were grey areas I hadnt had a chance to address, as they were only matters that I alone knew about, my dark
secrets that had no bearing on physical actualities.
The first one is my own private pact I have with nature. I am an avid conservationist
and naturalist. I cant bear to see native creatures and plants being killed or destroyed to the whim of mans needs. Often,
when flying my 747-400B into either Auckland or Wellington Airports, I would see hillsides and mangrove areas being destroyed
to make way for airport developments, and on rare occasions, native fauna running or flying across the runways and being certainly
maimed or killed by the self same aircraft I flew. Would God welcome me to heaven considering the hypocrisy of my actions?
The second case reflected also on my time as an airline pilot. On many occasions,
I had been handed memorabilia, artefacts, and airline products to be given to my children as presents. Many of these items
were gained by nefarious means but due to the quality of the people donating them, I had never thought that what I might be
doing was entirely illegal. That it burned on my mind indicated some guilt, and as I hadnt confessed any of this to anyone,
was I for the high jump when the time of reckoning came? As I had lovingly passed them onto people I loved or cherished, I
hoped not, but that doubt was always there.
The third act, and in my mind, the hardest to disclose, was a matter of burial. It
affected two deceased people I loved, my mother and father. My mother, Emma, died of cancer (I know, everyone I love dies
of cancer) when she was 54, followed 9 years later by my father Gerry (of a heart attack). Mum was buried in a little east
coast cemetery in a shady quiescent grove. The scene, when everyone sees it, is perfect, and a perfect place for Mum. As far
as everyone was aware, it was a double plot, and that when Dads turn came, he would be buried with her. Unfortunately, when
Dad did pass away, there were comments coming from family members from both Mum and Dads side, giving conflicting burial details.
As there was no indication from Dad in writing, it was up to me to make a decision. In fact I will rewrite that. I took it
on my shoulders to decide that Dad would be buried with Mum.
Although the decision was made, there were those who disagreed with it, due to the
years of misery Dad had given to Mum, the factors involved leading to her sad passing. I knew, deeply, how Mum felt about
Dad. I had talked her out of divorcing him, another decision that could have been seen as disastrous. But in the end, for
whatever reason, she stayed with him. I think that her inherent caring nature couldnt let him go. Even though they were married,
in distress individually, and not really in love with each other anymore, they were destined to lead out their lives with
This weighed my decision to have them buried together. Even though some argued against,
and some argued for, it would be their destiny to be reunited, for better or worse.
My biggest fear, wasnt so much the idea that god would disapprove, but the reaction
I was going to get when I got to join them. I know that what I did not only came from the mind but also from the heart. As
a Libran, I believe in balance, and Yin and Yang. Whatever the struggle, there is always a sense of balance at play. When
the scales of that balance is tipped, sure as eggs is eggs, theyll tip back the other way and eventually even up.
What would Emma and Gerry think?
Love Conquers All.
Well folks, God gave me the benefit of the doubt on the first two charges and said
that my intentions and recognition of guilt proved that there was love in the thoughts. His profound comment that your children
had been passed on that knowledge through your teaching and were now conducting themselves accordingly is suitable affirmation
that your intent has been passed on.
On the third matter, things went better than I had anticipated. I must interject
here at this point and thank the lord I made it to heaven. Anyway, after being here for some days (they dont really have days
here, but you get the drift) I finally ran across Mum and Dad, sitting on a cloud (one of many) over Ao-te-a-roa (New Zealand
for you foreigners) admiring all their grandchildren at work and play. I stood for a while admiring them, arm in arm with
beatific smiles on their faces. For the first time in years, they looked utterly happy. Sitting next to them, but alone, was
a lean hard figure I immediately recognised. Roger, Sarinas father, was also admiring the view below. All were passing small
talk, occasionally rejoicing in merriment at some action or other their loved ones were taking.
Eventually, Mum turned toward me, and on seeing me, tugging Dads sleeve to gain his
attention. I walked over as he and Roger turned and waved to me to come over. I bent down and gave Mum a peck on the cheek,
and gave Dad and Roger a charitable hug. No one said anything for a while. The moment didnt need it. Then Roger got up, gave
me a wink, and left saying that we needed sometime together to catch up on things.
But before I could voice anything, Mum said to me Dont worry anymore Shane, you did
the right things.
Dad smiled too, the first time I had seen that smile since before his breakdown in
the 70s. Then, for the first time since being here, I noticed that I didnt need medication anymore. I no longer had a mental
disorder. Dad winked then, and said Me neither.
It was only when I saw my nearest and dearest that I suddenly realised that everyone
hear was no longer unwell! Mum had all her natural colour back and the joy in her face hinted that pain was a thing of the
long distant past.
We sat a chatted for ages, but I had two questions I had to ask them, one for each
of them. These stemmed from situations that had occurred in my life and that would help me to close my understanding of my
destiny. I also had one question for Dad that pertained to his father.
But before I could even frame the questions, Mum stood up and gave me a hug and said
that yes, she had been present when little Adam was in hospital when he was there for nine months, and that she had also been
present several other occasions later, when his life was close to expiring. That was his destiny. And yes, your father helped
you through your breakdown and was in you when his brothers came to visit that time. Thats why you felt like you were talking
to them as their older brother, and that is why they were frightened. However, Shane, do not raise the other question with
your father, ever. His saddest moment has been the sudden realisation that his father is not in heaven. Suicide victims and
murderers do not come here.
I was shaken and ecstatic at the same time. Mum had answered as she always had. Poor
Dad, having to live with the fact that he will never see his father again. But what of his mother? There is plenty of time
and I am sure Dad will speak his mind when he is ready.
Mum asked me if I had spoken to Sarina and Zoe yet. I said I hadnt and had been trying
to find them all over the place. She suggested I try looking on the clouds over Barbados, theyve probably taken time out from
New Zealand and the kids to look after their own pastimes. She told me (as she always did) to toddle off and go and find them.
I bade farewell to both of them, and to Roger who was returning to the cloud. He gave me a wan smile, and asked me to get
Sarina to come and see him sometime, with Zoe and myself, for a little chat. I asked how Conny was getting on as she must
be all of 84 by now. He laughed heartily, saying nothing changes with her and is currently annoying the heck out of her new
neighbours. And before you ask, Nan and Arvie are still alive and badgering each other in the Selwyn Village Rest Home, in
fact Nan just celebrated her 108th birthday and still doesnt look like pegging out.
I thanked him for the information and caught a transcendental meditation soul carrier
to Barbados to meet the last of my destiny.
Oh, Im Going To Barbados.
The transportation was swift up here and in a matter of moments I reached the clouds
geo-stationary located over Barbados. The cloud was densely populated with souls, many thousands mingling in a potpourri of
colour. Suddenly the enormity of souls struck me as odd. Everywhere I had been so far, had been heavily populated for sure,
but usually there was room aplenty to travel through. But here, the crowd of souls was tightly packed together, as if in a
rock concert. I managed to start squirming my way through the throng, each soul moving aside as I entered the throng. Everyone
was euphorically calm, and then the reason started to enter my mind. Barbados was the perennial home away from home workplace
of one Roger Waters. I also knew that a good deal of famous West Indian cricketers came from there as well, but West Indian
cricket wasnt as highly regarded as Mr Waters.
Scratching my memory cells, I realised that Roger had died 2 years after Sarina.
It was highly likely he had chosen Barbados as his eternal dwelling space, as the two albums that brought him critical world-wide
acclaim, "Ca Ira" and "What Do You Think" were both record and produced there.
It also stood to reason that Sarina and Zoe would be here. Both were avid fans, as
I was, but their avidness far outweighed mine. Theirs bordered on devotion to the man. Mine was linked to his inspiration
for creativity. Being a writer, which was first ignited by the Roger Waters BBS where I posted as TheCummersCream, I knew
how inspirational he could be. I yearned to write as he wrote in his songs. My two former wives simply loved him as a demigod.
My measured pace into the throng started to slow as the centre of attention drew
near. Suddenly, the throng parted and I walked out into a small space a few metres across. The strains of Pigs on the Wing
thrown out by a raspy velvety voice located directly in front of me. I stopped and looked about me, noting the faces in close
proximity all smiling. I then saw across the ring the two I sought. Both saw me at the same time and waved me over, but before
I could, the singing ceased and a voice replaced it.
"Whao, haul it back in,
TheCummersCream committed no sin,
See for yourself folks,
The bard of the board,
See he too comes
To the strings without chords,
See he too comes
cause he likes my words.
So Cummer, What do you think?"
I looked around embarrassingly, then turned back to Roger and said,
"Thanks Roger, well met. If you dont mind, Ill catch you later maybe. I need to talk
to both my wives over there."
As I pointed towards them, Roger mumbled "good on ya" and carried on singing. Both
Sarina and Zoe started edging around the circle of souls, joy and elation on their faces. (Was that for Roger, or me I thought)
But as I remember, everyone in heaven is happy so it didnt matter. As we closed each other, I smiled towards both of them,
an apologetic smile if truth were known. God only knows they died before I did so I got the most out of life on earth, but
they got the best.
We formed a circle on meeting, hugging each other warmingly. Platitudes passed and
soon I suggested we go somewhere and renew our old acquaintances and chat awhile. Zoe agreed, with the proviso that it was
over Auckland, which Sarina readily agreed to, so we could see what the kids were doing. We all set off through the crowd,
now parting more readily due to the frontal visible approach, and very soon were sitting on cloud nine over Auckland, Ao-te-a-roa.
Life Goes On.
And it does! All the kids are doing really well. Sure they are having their struggles
and every now and then divine intervention is required (which really is fun for an angel). The lessons taught are being followed,
the mistakes made, learnt from. Up in heaven, we do our best. I now have a little crowd on my cloud, listening to stories
and poetry I come up with from time to time. Every now and then, young Adam gets some inspiration from his Dad, and his writing
is really taking shape. Young Siobhan, through her mother Zoe, has also been receiving inspirations for her poetry.
Sarina keeps busy, with the kids, Roger, Zoe, and myself, as well as my Mum.
Zoe, keeps up with everyone. Shes that sort of gal.
Heaven really is so cool. Thank Roger Waters