My name is Sally.
I died surrounded by my loved ones. My husband George held my right hand, and my sons Chad and Todd, held my left hand in our beautiful two-story 4,000-square-foot home that bordered a golf course. My twin labradoodles, Chuck and Buck, licked my face. The light faded, and I passed peacefully.
It was so beautiful.
I had a good life, and I’m looking forward to heaven.
I’ve not made it in there yet. But I’m a shoe-in. I’ve lived a good life. I recycled and ate cage-free eggs. No stray friend of Chad or Todd ever suffered for a Hot Pocket when they came over after school. I always voted my conscience. Dogs loved me. I always rounded up for whatever charity they were collecting for at the cash register.
The pearly gates are truly awe-inspiring. They are just like what you see in the movies — clouds, angels flying to and fro. Adult contemporary music being played at a reasonable volume. A soft wind caresses my face. I smell lavender and honeysuckle. I’m wearing a white robe that must be 900 thread count Egyptian cotton. I remember because I had some sheets made out of —
“Sally,” inquired a cherubic angel holding a golden clipboard.
“Why yes,” I said enthusiastically.
“Come with me,” the genderless angel said, his or her face breaking into a friendly smile. “You are meeting St. Peter for final judgement.”
“Sounds wonderful,” I chirped. “Let me tell you, I’m not worried at all. I’ve lived a good life. My husband and I provided for my family. I’m ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”
“Great,” the angel said, his or her smile unwavering. “Follow me.”
I stood in line for what felt like an eternity, but I didn’t grow impatient, not even for a moment. Eternal glory was just on the other side of that tall, beautiful golden gate. I wondered what would it be like? Would I see all my dead relatives? Would I get any food I wanted?
“Sally,” said a bearded, but still genderless, angel. “I’m St. Peter. How are you today?”
“I’m wonderful, St. Peter.”
“That’s great to hear,” he or she said. “Did you get yourself some nachos?”
“There are nachos?”
“They are wonderful. Look, we will get you some on your way down.”
“Yes, hell is down.”
My heart fluttered.
“But why am I going to hell? I thought I was a shoe-in for heaven.”
“Well you lived a fairly decent life, but you took your dogs, Chuck and Buck, to shit on the yard of the apartment complex down the street, several times it a week, in fact.”
“But that doesn’t count! They weren’t really a part of the neighborhood, and I didn’t want to ruin my grass. Surely, you can’t be serious.”
“Surely, you don’t think we let just anyone in here, Sally,” St. Peter said and pulled a lever.
A trap door opened and I fell into a fiery pit. Truly, I never thought letting my dogs shit on someone else’s yard was a big deal.
Now I have eternity to think about how wrong I was.