Is a poem about longing, about wishing for something more. "What would it be like if I had heaven enough?" it reads.
Matt Murphy reads these words for the first time at his wife's funeral. After a death shrouded with mystery, it is the first time he learns that she wrote poetry. He and Diva were married for nearly twenty years, yet he did not "know" her. A poet and lover of culinary delights, she is struck by a car and killed instantly—randomly—on the wrong side of town.
When her brother, the "monk," appears for the funeral, Matt is set on an unprecedented course. The two find Diva's computer filled with preparations to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Over 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada...and she was leaving without her husband.
Matt takes it upon himself to hike the trail and sprinkle her ashes along the way. What happens in the first two hours is dumbfounding.
What happens next changes his life forever…
Excerpt from Heaven Enough...
As soon as Matt opened his front door, he realized what a helpful distraction his irritation with Neal had been. The first thing he laid eyes on, the first thing Diva had designed for him to lay eyes on, was that stupid, chalkboard schedule. Diva had hung it on the wall in the entryway just to the right of the opened door. The first thing he saw were the words “Blueberry Cream”. This had once read “Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish.” Diva had written it during one of her late-night musings over what she could add to the restaurant’s new breakfast menu. Matt remembered her the following morning, wide awake though heaven knew how after getting only a couple hours of sleep, repeating like a mantra, “Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish. Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish. I can’t wait to tell Annias about the Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish. Doesn’t that just sound smashing?”
That was Diva. She grew up in Irvine and still used words like “smashing.”
After Matt had learned of his wife’s death, he had taken a rag to the chalkboard. He had wiped away the words “Independence Day—Catalina?” He had cleaned off “BBQ @ Castoro on 6/14!” And when it came to Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish, he had carelessly removed nearly the whole thing before it struck him that he was wiping away the last remnants of the woman he loved. She would never be there to replace those words with other inspirations, other dates, other moments the two could share. There wouldn’t be any more of those moments. All that remained of Mini Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Danish were the words “Blueberry Cream”.
And Matt knew it would have to be enough.
About the author:
Author and playwright, Ken La Salle’s passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue collar roots, which have given his writing a progressive and environmentalist view. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.
You can also read him on the following blogs and sites of e-lightenment:
Life and other issues of the day: http://twolivesonepath.blogspot.com/
On writing and being a writer: http://kenlasalle.blogspot.com/
And for insights on pursuing your dreams, check out his monthly blog at http://www.recoveringself.com/category/ken-la-salle
Why I wrote Heaven Enough...
Somewhere off of Highway 79 in Southern California, just outside of the little town of Warner Springs, you'll find an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. From this intersection, you can hike south-east through lovely, rolling hills under the bows of huge, California oaks until you reach the massive collection of rocks and boulders that has been well-named as Eagle Rock.
When my wife and I took this hike, I had long been considering my own Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) voyage. This consideration had all been in my head, however. The PCT is not a journey taken lightly or without considerable planning but I was in love with the PCT before I'd ever walked on it. I had interviewed a PCT thru-hiker named Mindy Dunham for my podcast, So Dream Something. I had followed the YouTube videos of folks who had attempted the journey. I even planned out my own PCT trek, which will come together when I have the time and the money in April of 2017.
One of the perks of being a writer is that even if I couldn't take the trip myself I could write about others taking it. And I knew just who I wanted to go. It was a character based on a question my friend Sean and I had debated years ago. Sean had lost his wife to leukemia (which I talk about at some length in my forthcoming book, Climbing Maya) and I had lost mine to divorce. Those who lose their spouse to death are expected to mourn but those who divorce are expected to make the best of it. What is the proper response to loss, anyway?
And so, I put a man on the PCT who had lost his wife to a death he could not accept. I had him meet a woman named Heather, who had also lost so much. I put these two, lost souls out in the middle of nowhere in the hopes of finding some humanity in the desert - and was heartbroken by how they found love.
The resulting novel, I titled Heaven Enough. I took the name from a poem I'd written. The first line reads, "What would it be like if I had heaven enough?" I believe that's what most of us are looking for, not all of heaven, not the most expensive things or the most amazing adventures. When you suffer the loss of someone you love, sometimes you find yourself satisfied simply by heaven enough.
And, as it turns out, heaven enough is still heaven attained.
I hope you'll pick up and enjoy a copy of Heaven Enough, available in ebook and paperback from Limitless Publishing.