Trixie Goforth Has Died and Gone to Heaven

It’s true what y’all heard: I died last night. I'm old. Y'all knew it was coming.

I was standing at the sink washing up the supper dishes, when I fell to the floor. All of sudden I was sucked down a tunnel toward a white light, and I remember thinking, “I hope it’s not a train!”

Soon I found myself standing short as a gnome in front of the mile-high gates of gleaming pearl leading into Heaven.

By the gate St. Peter sat on a high-back chair, with a cone on his head like the Pope, holding a scepter, showing an angel boy something on his laptop.

Now, it occurred to me I’d not yet cut back enough on my cussing, so if they saw me, they might not let me in.

So, noticing a little Trixie-sized crack in the gate, I stepped on through, but the angel saw me, nudged St. Peter, jumped up and pointed, and St. Peter hollered, “Come back here!”

I let a fly an ugly word, and quick put my hand to my mouth.

St. Peter ran up to me, the angel at his heels, and Peter said, “What did you say?!”

I called forth my squeaky little mouse voice. “All I said was, ‘For Pete’s sake! Where am I?'"

“Who are you?!” he bellowed. “What do you think you’re doing here?”

And I crossed my hands over my chest and smiled and caused my face to beam and said, “My name is Mrs. Trixie Goforth, and I feel like I’ve died and went to Heaven.”

“Hmm. I recognize the name. You’re the one who faked a gall bladder attack at that Oral Roberts tent meeting back in the 1930s."

And he started punching buttons on his Blackberry and said, ”I’m not sure you’re one of the elect. I think you are predestined to go back and sin some more.”

“Why, St. Peter, you’re a Presbyterian? Half my friends are Presbyterian! Can you find it in your heart to forgive me for thinking you were a Catholic?”

But about that time, he found my name on his Blackberry. “Go back! It’s not your time yet.”

And I worked up a cry and said, “St. Peter, you can’t mean that! You mean that I, Trixie Goforth, who has stored up food in my pantry so those left behind in the Rapture won’t starve to death, am not bound for Heaven? Tell me that old Cloris Bell didn’t make it! She who ran with the men, stole money from the cash register when she worked at the Picadilly Cafeteria, and hogged all the food at the church suppers, and joined the church right before she died just so she’d have a preacher to do her funeral."

"You're talking about the one you murdered by smacking her on the head with a fried chicken leg from Bojangles?" And he looked again at his Blackberry and said, “I think she is not one of the elect. If I remember right, I believe she went to Hell.”

“Well! Thank Heaven!”

“No, no. I was wrong. She’s here.”

“Well, dam*!”

“See there, Mrs. Goforth? That filthy mouth of yours! Your name is written in the Book of Life. You will come back here someday, but you’ve got some sinning left to do."

“Yeah!” the angel piped in, “You’ve got to go back and work off some bad karma!”

At which point St. Peter walloped him on the head with his scepter. “Shut your mouth! We don’t appreciate that New Age crap here!”

And I hastened to inform them both that they were both full of barn yuck. I was raised a Baptist and believed in free will, and to prove it, I took off running through the gates, my eyes afire and firmly fixed upon that Shining City on the Hill.

… (to be continued)...