By Alexis, In Her Own Words


            It’s probably a little early to talk about “the milestones in my life” —I mean, everybody’s been measuring my “life” first in weeks, and then in months, ever since I’ve been here on Earth— but it’s pretty undeniable that I’m about to hit one of those Big Event markers.

Yep: I’m about to be a one-year-old. Twelve months; fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-six days (apparently, because I arrived in time for something called a “leap” year there was an extra day involved. Sounds pretty arbitrary to me, but everybody here seems to accept it… and “when in Rome,” right?).

It’s kinda odd, nobody counting all the time I spent Up There waiting my turn to be born. I guess that’s why it’s called “the timelessness of Eternity.” But that’s human beings for you: nothing seems to really count until a human or two is directly involved.

I tend to think that’s a little self-centered, and certainly shortsighted for a species whose individual lifespan is not even one full tick of the Celestial Clock. But what do I know, really? I’m still getting used to seeing toes at the end of my feet. (They are, you have to admit, pretty fascinating.)

So here I am, about to celebrate my first birthday. (Question: why is it not my second birthday? I mean, there was already a day on which I was actually “birthed.”

It can be so confusing, trying to sort out these human conventions…)

Anyway, I do have to admit it’s been a pretty busy year. You might be interested in a few of the things I’ve learned, experienced, or just had happened to me.


My Uncle Sam…And Texas?

            So far in my life here, I’ve only met kind people. Ladies will stop my Mom in stores, or at Church —gosh, just about anywhere— and will lean over me smiling. Some of them make noises that don’t sound like words (at least, no words I’ve ever heard), more than a few of them will pat my head, or stroke my cheek, or tickle my belly. But uniformly, they’ve been quite nice people.

But I suspect there are folks I haven’t met that may not be. For instance, a couple of weeks ago Grandpa was constantly talking about his Uncle Sam.

Time to pay Uncle Sam again,” he’d say, to anybody who was listening. Or “Uncle Sam wants his money again,” or “You have to pay Uncle Sam or he’ll come knocking. Knocking what?”

Now, I don’t know this Uncle Sam guy. Maybe he lives somewhere else and hasn’t had time to visit since I’ve been around. Fine with me: to tell the truth, I’m not too eager to meet him. He sounds a little mean, and more than a little scary. What if he demands money from me? I sure don’t have any, (at least none that I know about) and I’m guessing that might make him pretty mad.

Nope, not looking forward to hearing from Uncle Sam. Not even a bit.

From what I can gather, it seems that nobody is overly happy about Texas, either. Like Uncle Sam, you have to pay Texas every year too. I also heard this from Grandpa, who occasionally mutters (to nobody in particular) “Everybody’s got Texas to pay,” or “the only sure things in life are Death and Texas.”

I think Texas is a place. Back in heaven, there was a new arrival who wore a big-brimmed hat and kept asking everybody “Where do they keep the horses?” One of the angels patiently pointed the way to the Celestial Stables. After he rushed off, the angel looked at me and smiled. “Another cowboy from Texas. They all look for the horses here.”

The Texas guy didn’t seem all that bad to me, but maybe he had already been paid back in Texas. Wherever it is, there must be some really rich cowboys out there.

Barney-saurus, and other Beasts

            I think I’ve mentioned that, as I learn new stuff down here, my memories of my previous life in Heaven seem to fade away. Someday, I’ll probably not remember anything except what I’ve seen, done or heard about here on Earth.

But right now, I still can recall some heavenly things. For example, there’s a section Up There where everything the Big Guy has created has a place; it’s kind of a heavenly zoo, or a living museum. 

Ancient animals, for one; you have all manner of beasts that are now extinct down here, or nearly so, still roaming around, up there. I once saw a huge sabretooth tiger sprint over to a little wooly lamb-mouflon and snatch it up in his jaws. On Earth, you’d assume it was the start of some “circle of life” -tragedy. Not so in heaven. The sabretooth tossed the little guy gently in the air, caught him, and trotted around— both laughing like crazy. Up there, tigers and lions and bears will even lie in the grass together after a rousing bit of playtime.

And there is also a section where dinosaurs roam— some of them huge as walking mountains, others with sharp fangs and long, curved claws. Some have scaly skin, though a surprising number of them are also covered with feathers. One gamekeeper angel once told me the latter were created on a day when God was feeling a little humorous, but I never heard God say that.

Anyway, I thought I knew about dinosaurs, a bit. Fact is, I considered myself sort of an expert on dinosaurs.

But I never saw a purple one until recently, when somebody put a “Barney-saurus” in my crib. It was a stuffed toy, of course; nobody sane would put a real dinosaur in a kid’s bed. Still, a purple Thunder Lizard was one more new experience for me, proving once more that Unknown Wonders abounded in both heaven and Earth.

It was a humbling experience, for sure.


Finally, My Latest Milestone:  I Am Now Mobile!

            Ever since I arrived down here, I’ve been a little surprised to find that I had to be carried, or wheeled, everywhere I went. It was more than a little frustrating, since I had been used to a more independent lifestyle before I was born. When you hear about folks Up There “walking with God,” they’re not kidding— we all really walked with Him, as well as with various other heavenly beings and residents. It’s kind of a Big Thing up there; even those who have actual wings seem to prefer using their feet to get from Point A to B.

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered my newly born body was utterly unequipped to handle even that simple task. Walk? Heck, for what seemed the longest time, just rolling over to my stomach was a Herculean task.

Joy of joys! Just the other day, something clicked: not only did I roll off my back… but I winched myself up on my hands and knees! And then I started to crawl!

Sadly, about a month ago I seemed to be stuck in reverse. I could go backward, but forward motion remained an elusive goal. But I was determined to keep working on it, since continuously bottom-bumping into the furniture gets old real fast.

I’m happy to report currently that I have achieved a mild form of success. This body has now for some unknown reason found a forward gear. Now I find my other end bumping into that same furniture.

Okay— I’m not gong to win any foot-races or races of any kind for a while. But as they say in heaven, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination,” right? For me, that journey will be year two.

So, clear the way back there behind me and up front too: I’m coming through! Right after my nap. Being human is exhausting.

— end —

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Alexis and her musings will return to these pages in future editions. but right now: once again, it's naptime.)