Who’ll Coach the Eagles in Heaven?

And a few other thoughts about life, the afterlife, and really missing my mother

“We’ll meet again. Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”

Those are the lyrics of an old World War II hit sung by a British songstress named Vera Lynn. I highly recommend you catch it on YouTube to get the full effect of this piece. It’s REALLY over the top and incredibly corny and sentimental.

And I love it. So did my mother. She sang it all the time while she was ironing. The lyric of the song was originally intended to be about women singing these words to their men as they marched off to war. “Don’t worry, honey, this war will be over some day and we’ll meet again, some sunny day.” [SIGNUP]

But a funny thing happened on the way back to the Isle. The soldiers started dying in record numbers, and many never returned home. So the entire meaning of the lyric was altered forever. For many, it became a song that truly meant that “yes, we’ll meet again, but in HEAVEN.” In other words, we’re gonna knock back a pint or two and have a romp in the sack when I die and I meet you at the pearly gates since you already have had your head blown off in a foxhole.

Now I’m not sure where my mother stood on this interpretation. I believe she simply thought it was a pretty tune. But for me? No doubt where I stand on the meaning of it. I keep my iPod on shuffle most of the time, and the other day “We’ll Meet Again” came on for the first time since my mother died in March.

About midway through the song (thank god I was in the car), the first tear rolled down my cheek. By the end of the tune, I was openly weeping like a man who had bet the Colts in last year’s Super Bowl. I REALLY MISS MY MOM.

I miss singing Beatle songs with her. I miss looking at her sitting in her parlor chair reading and doing crossword puzzles. I miss our times at the beach. I MISS HER. HORRIBLY.

But I’m in no hurry to meet her. She’ll wait, right? I’ve got a wife and two daughters and a dog that I think would miss me. I wanna see Eric kill the King of Mississippi on True Blood. There’s a lot of prime rib still to eat (with ketchup). I want to be around for the next Sixer championship. OK, maybe that’s pushing it.

I’ve had a recent bout with a serious illness, so maybe that had a factor in me being so upset by this song. I’m not even sure if I believe in an afterlife.

However, it dawned on me, that if there is another level we all go to, I wonder if we are going to have a say in who we meet up with. Sure, I would want to see my mother, but there was a lot of uncomfortable unfinished business between me and my dad. Not sure how I would handle that.

Would the Lawrence Welk Show be running 24/7? What if Joe Kuharich is the head coach of the Dead Eagles team? Ouch. Is Yul Brynner gonna be blowing cigarette smoke in my face everywhere I sit? What if the only way I can see my mom is by the 36 trolley? That LITERALLY could take an eternity.

So relax. Take it slow if you can. Who knows who’s waiting for you up there?