Flooding Susie’s Inbox

October 21, 2010

For Mr. Cunningham

Filed under: Writing — sashyjane @ 12:24 pm

I wrote this for my Tumblr but it isn’t terribly funny so I’m posting it here for those of you who enjoy Happy Days and/or endearing stories.

 
 

I can't be the only one who thinks Richie Cunningham is a total fox.

 Photo from here.

Tom began moving towards the bright light he saw in front of him. He’d always heard it would be white but instead, it shone a rich, beautiful gold. At first he was afraid, “Am I dying now? Am I already dead? Who will take care of my wife Patricia? Will my kids and grandkids be alright without me? What will God be like?”

But then he realized he no longer felt pain. He felt relieved, comfortable, even happy. The pain in his chest was no longer there. That bum knee wasn’t aching and he felt lighter, younger, more fit, as if the heaviness of living was no longer weighing on his body. The light grew brighter and more intense, soon he was no longer able to look directly at it.

“TOM BOSLEY,” someone proclaimed loudly. Tom tried to shield his eyes but was strangely drawn by this powerful yet kind voice.

“Yes?”

“WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”

“Are you St. Peter? Isn’t he like the welcoming committee or something?” Tom chuckled to himself.

“I AM THAT I AM.”

“God?! Wow!! I can’t believe it! Ain’t this a kick in the head? So, this is heaven, huh? Just a bright, comforting golden light? What about the streets of gold, the crystal sea? You know, I’ve got a lot of questions for you. For starters, what ever happened to Chuck on Happy Da-“

“FOLLOW ME.”

“Oh, okay, I guess we’ll chew the fat later. You probably need to write my name in the Book of Life or get me registered or whatever anyway. We’ve got all of eternity for me to ask questions, am I right?!” Tom laughed nervously as he followed the warm, inviting light.

He didn’t notice anything but the golden aura so he was surprised when he heard other voices. They entered a beautiful banquet hall with marble floors the likes of which Tom had never seen. The alabaster ceiling was so delicate, the stars shone straight through. There in front of him was a carved, mahogany table set with gold plates, silver chargers, platinum silverware and crystal glasses, he’d never seen anything on earth that could compare. The table stretched farther than Tom could see, as if it never ended.

Tom looked down the table, scanning for a familiar face. Somehow he knew he was among friends but he didn’t recognize anyone in particular. The light gently led him along again. As they passed the diners, each one smiled at Tom as if to welcome him into their party.

Above each plate was a placecard made of the finest linen paper and written on it was a name in calligraphy so beautiful, each card could have been framed and sold at auction. Barbara Billingsley, Art Linkletter, Dixie Carter, Dennis Hopper, Lena Horne, Lynn Redgrave, Peter Graves, Jerry Orbach, Tony Curtis, Rue McClanahan. One by one, he read the names of old friends, acquaintances and colleagues. And then, he saw her, she looked so familiar but he couldn’t quite place her. She was beautiful, even lovelier than the faint memory he was struggling to find. She looked rested, younger, sweeter.

“Jane?” Tom reached out to her, calling the name of his first wife who had been taken from him too soon. He checked her placecard, it read Jane Eliot. “Janie, it IS you!” He wanted to cry when he took his first love in his arms but no tears would come. He held her for what seemed like only a second before the light beckoned for him to continue on.

“COME. I HAVE PREPARED A PLACE FOR YOU.”

The light led Tom to an empty place in the center of the table. He read the names of the two men on either side, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.

“TOM BOSLEY,” God boomed, loud and clear, “THIS IS YOUR CHAIR. SO SIT ON IT!

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