|Mom, Christmas 2005|
My mother, Cecilia Roberts Leslie (1924-2006), was one of the wisest people I ever knew, and towards the end of her life I heard her define heaven as, "the place where all the people you love know each other."
I think this is one of the most profound and beautiful things I ever heard, because with a little reflection, I can see how true it is. We are always going through stages of growth and change in our lives. We are born, we grow up, we go to school, we leave home to go to college, we travel in search of a job, we make a home, we have a family of our own, and we grow older. As one stage ends, another begins, and we have to leave the previous stage behind. Yet at each stage we meet people, friends and family, that we come to know, to like, to care for, to cherish, and to love. Wouldn't it be cool if all those people knew each other? Haven't you ever met someone really extraordinary in your life, remembered someone else remarkable you have known, and thought, "I'll bet So-and-So would really like Such-and-Such. I wish they could meet!" If my mother's definition of heaven turns out to be anything close to the truth, all the people we love just might meet one day.