We buried my brother with his dreams. On colored scraps of paper my young son, Teddy, and I scrawled all the fantasies Abe never achieved for lack of trying: hero, quarterback, singer, actor and more and crammed them in the satin folds of his coffin along with his favorite bottle of Jack and a pack of Camels. Teddy, a budding artist, sketched Abe throwing a football.
“Can you imagine Uncle Abe throwing long on a cloud?” Teddy asked as he gingerly dropped in the drawing.
“Might piss off the angels if he gets too rowdy,” I shrugged. “Same goes for showing off his bravery or acting like he’s better than all the other souls.”
“Everyone sings in heaven. He can sing, huh?” Teddy pressed.
“Not off-key. God has sensitive ears.”
“So, Uncle Abe doesn’t get to live his dreams after all? That sucks,” Teddy gathered his crayons and paper, sat on the floor of the funeral parlor and begin drawing in earnest.
“What the hell are you doing, Teddy?”
Teddy put a finishing flourish on a portrait of himself painting.
“Going for my dreams while I can just in case I run out of time and end up in heaven.”