For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the one and only Jake Appleton, from Appleton, WI — he’s a pretty fantastic guy. I have personally met him only three times. The first time being Owen’s funeral. While his face was one of hundreds that day, I still remember him approaching Doug and I, still dressed in his full suit from work, with his sister-in-law Sarah by his side. (Sarah is one of my best friends.) Jake, Tina (his fabulous wife), Violet (Jaden’s fiance) and Sam (Jaden’s future sister-in-law) were at my parents for a cook out just after the funeral. Jake and I exchanged a few words. But again, I had no idea the impression I had created on this man.
He wrote a blog about our encounter that made me blush. He gives me way more credit than I deserve! That leads me to our third encounter. My sister’s birthday party. It was this meeting that I feel Jake and I had a quality conversation. We talked about what we did in life, where our passions lie and what makes us blog. Yes folks, he’s another blogger. And a HILARIOUS blogger at that. He can make anyone crack a smile.
Just recently he wrote a ‘blug” (read on) about Owen and his possible experience in heaven. It made me cry a little and mostly made me smile. With his permission, I want to share what he wrote. It’s beautiful.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011
I was praying for baby Owen on a recent crisp spring night, when all of a sudden God appeared in front of me. He said, “Another person praying for Owen? Sheesh…kid just got here and he already owns the Place.”
“What do you mean?” I wondered aloud.
“In due time, my son. In due time.” With a snap of his fingers, I was whisked away from my bedroom, and into a fishing boat. As my eyes adjusted to the glaring sunlight, I looked around, quickly realizing I was on Princess Lake in Ontario, Canada, my favorite fishing spot.
“This, my son, is your Heaven.” God said no more for at least an hour, and he didn’t really have to. I immediately knew that in my version of Heaven, I was a solid fisherman. All of the inadequacies I possessed on Earth disappeared in the Afterlife.
As God looked on, I noticed a great fishing spot: perfect depth, little bit of weed growth, a fish’s dream. My cast was on the money, and something massive bit almost immediately. I set the hook, but missed him.
“What the…?” I caught myself before saying a curse word in front of God. “In my version of Heaven, I still miss fish?”
God responded, “What can I say? You boned it.”
Huh…so God does have a sense of humor. After fishing for a few hours in Heaven, and catching some absolute monsters, God snapped his fingers with a bang, and the next thing I knew, I was in another version of Heaven. It was somewhat stereotypical. Clouds, harps, angels…the whole shebang. But something was vastly different than what I had pictured. Instead of a heavy white color scheme, the predominant color I noticed was orange.
“What’s with the orange?” I asked God.
“Ahhh, yes…the orange. Come with me.” We walked through a crowd of people clad in orange tones and headed towards a crib. There were beautiful women doting over the baby inside. God politely waved his hand, and they stepped a few feet back. Inside the crib was a very giggly Owen, chunky as ever. He was wearing a onesie that said “Got Orange?”, and was munching on, what else…mandarin oranges.
God began by saying, “About 3 weeks ago, Owen showed up on my doorstep, wearing this clever onesie. Before I could even finish his entrance paperwork, people started coming over to see the new arrival.”
“Is that unusual?” I asked.
“Unusual? It’s unheard of. Fact is, I needed Owen here more than he was needed on Earth. He is going to be my Children’s Angel.”
“Owen will be with the kids in Children’s Hospitals across the globe. Obviously, he can’t be with all children at all times, but he will get my most urgent cases, because he’s the right angel for the job.”
“So, why did all the people come to meet him before you let him into Heaven?”
“Well, apparently, Owen’s mother writes something called a “Blug,” and his story spanned the Living World and the Afterlife before I could even get the kid in here.”
“Do you mean a blog?” I asked.
“Did you just correct God?” God responded.
“Did you just answer a question with a question?” I retorted.
God stopped, having been bested by yet another blogger. He went on…”OK, a BLOG. Anyways, Owen’s story touched thousands of people. I understand his mother is keeping a big map and putting up orange thumbtacks to show the furthest reaches of ‘Orange for Owen.’ Little does she know that last night I placed an orange thumbtack on the ceiling of Owen’s old bedroom.”
“Why did you do that?” I wondered.
“To signify the fact that ‘Orange for Owen’ has affected all of us up here in Heaven. I’m normally pretty unaffected by stories like this, but even I find myself wrapped up in Owen’s parade.”
As I looked on in amazement, God pulled apart his robe to reveal an orange t-shirt, which read, “Once you go orange…” I also noticed Him wearing an orange “Chunky Monkey” bracelet.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed baby Owen had finished his mandarin oranges, and was standing up in his crib, sticky hands and all, looking to God for instruction. God simply nodded his head, and with that, Owen spread his wings and was off.
God looked me in the eye and said, “You have many things left to accomplish in the Living World, Jake. Go Forth…there’s a spot waiting for you one day.
Just before he snapped his fingers for the final time, I heard him say, “Oh, and tell Owen’s mom to keep writing that Blug of hers…”