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Your Carriage to Heaven

Ms. Inglish has been a professional writer and critic of films, books, music and theater for over 20 years.

What Destination Will You Choose?

Many people have made up their minds about where they will go or not go after they complete their time on Earth. Others have never considered the question or are afraid to face it. Have you given it any thought?

A white horse may be your ride into the afterlife.

A white horse may be your ride into the afterlife.

Robin Williams' film What Dreams May Come (1998) offered the suggestion that we make our own afterlife and choose the location of it. Some individuals believe that and enjoy the sense of autonomy the idea gives. Readers find much of this in the stories within the Carriage Driver Trilogy.

In Robin's film, his character searches for his wife Annie in the afterlife, determined to spend eternity with her. Coincidentally, the story "An Appointment With Annie" in Carriage Driver³ is my favorite. It features our state's beloved astronaut John Glenn as he waits in the beyond for his Annie to join him.

Some folks believe only in a Heaven and Hell based in scripture. Some people have been to one or the other of them and returned after accidents and visions.

As the Christian pastor played by Matthew McConaughey in the film Contact (1997) indicated, no one has any foundation for discrediting another person's beliefs - traveling to outer space is just as credible as traveling to Heaven.

Whether options available to us for our eternal destinies exist, the stories of Mike Friedman offer magical alternatives that are comforting. Many resonate with readers.

You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.

— John 20:29. New Living Translation.

The Eternal Journey Begins

Nuelle, a white mare that served in the American Civil War pulls a beautiful highly-polished carriage driven by her human partner. Together, they are serving others long-term before choosing their own destinies in the beyond.

The pair have an appointment book and help a diversity of people to find their place in the universe. Many of the stories occur in Boston, Massachusetts.

The first stop for the carriage us often a grand castle where the sojourner can relax, eat, and refresh himself or herself before traveling to a more permanent location. I have actually heard this before. In a talk given by Reverend Jesse Duplantis I heard of such a place.

The evangelist had decided to take a short nap before a church service one evening and as his head hit the pillow, he felt he was transported to Heaven. There, he saw angels ministering to some individuals as they sat around a tree outside the gateway. The angels were feeding the people to give them greater strength in order to pass through the gates and experience the Kingdom of God.

The stories of the horse and carriage may reflect unearthly realities. Jesse came "back to earth" to share a lot of heart-warming stories with the congregation that night.

At least once, Nuelle has wings.

At least once, Nuelle has wings.

As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.

— 2 Kings: 2-11. New Living Translation

Places to Go

The third book of stories includes one about an old man who wants to go back to his grandmother's basement.

During the Great Depression, the basement was warm all year long, its shelves filled with canned goods produced by the women of a large family in a large house. They shared with everyone who was in need. In the basement, the young man slept by the boiler or sat and read great novels from boxes left by one of the family friends who had gone to the Great Beyond. Sunshine lit the windows and aromas of various pies always filled the air.

It was a time when people banded together to survive hard times and found good times unexpected in the process.

And the witnesses heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched them.

— Revelation 11:12. New International Version.

I don't recall anyone being transfigured in The Carriage Driver³, but I remember another young man who met with a guru in the afterlife and heard about the seven cities of heaven. The youngster delightedly chose one and hoped to spend time in them all.

Would it not be joyous to find seven good cities where we would not have to endure school shootings, back alley shootings, and shootings in our own home, combined with pipe bombs all over Texas? I think it would be perfect.

Some faiths speak of seven levels of Heaven. We may get to see for ourselves one day.

Transfiguration of Jesus.

Transfiguration of Jesus.

In the carriage driven by Union Army Captain Griffin Chaffey, each fare makes choices of what to see and where to go. It is all up to each fare, each name in the book. In the third book of the series, over thirty journeys are described to us.

Some stories make us ask questions at the end. One narrative in particular features an elderly woman who escaped with her family from France during the Nazi invasions to live in America. She kept the apartment in France, though, for decades and sent the rent payment each month. We wonder what stories that apartment might tell us.

Some stories include animals. "Zoey" features a faithful dog shared by an old man and a young boy - or it could be two young boys by the end of the story.

your-carriage-to-heaven

Some journeys are longer than others, like the one in the song A Horse With No Name. A long journey may be the one you want.

Several of the carriage stories feature music and musical instruments. The third volume embraces visions of a great rock concert in the sky that includes musicians welcoming Chuck Berry.

You will read about men, women, children; musicians, Vietnam Veterans, and animals - at least a dog and a cat. A forty-six hour shootout happens as well, but someone still reaches a happy afterlife. All sorts of things happen in this book - one lady asks to go to Emerald Wells, the setting of another of Mike Friedman's comforting books.

The stories of the carriage rides are all uplifting and pay homage to various thoughts about life, fulfillment, and death as a transition. I hope you like many of them.

I'll Meet You On God's Golden Shore

Untold Stories

Even through this is the last installment of a book trilogy, I would like to hear some stories on recently departed persons. Maybe someone will write them.

The world recently lost four aged men that people wondered about when they were alive: Billy Graham, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Hefner, and Stephen Hawking.

We hear that in the next life, we will be given worlds over which to rule. What worlds would be given to Billy Graham?

Would Jerry Lewis be making movies in Heaven with the techniques he invented during life? At least he would no longer have diabetes.

It is difficult to imagine Hugh Hefner with a Playboy Castle in the afterlife.

Professor Hawking said that he felt Heaven to be a fairy tale. I hope he changed his mind or found the delight of a fairy tale.

Everybody talkin' about Heaven ain't goin' there...

— Walk All Over God's Heaven

Sources

  • Hendrix, S. Columbus homicides hit record-high in 2017. The Lantern. January 2018. www.thelantern.com/2018/01/columbus-homicides-hit-record-high-in-2017/ Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  • Inglish, P. 1001 Mansions in Heaven, From a Different Kind of Writer. January 2017.
  • Friedman, M. The Carriage Driver. 2016.
  • Friedman, M. The Carriage Driver³. 2017.
  • Friedman, M. Emerald Wells Cafe and Pear Blossom Lane. 2013.
  • McLaughlin, E.C. 5 bombs in 19 days have Texas police, federal agents scrambling for answers. www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/us/austin-explosions-bomb-timeline/index.html Retrieved March 19, 2018.

© 2018 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 21, 2021:

Hi Lori - I'm glad you read this article. Lots to think about, much of it pleasant I think!

Lori from Wisconsin on August 21, 2021:

Thank you, Patty, I never really gave it much thought that the afterlife could possibly be created. It gives me something to ponder.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 02, 2019:

Thank you Madeleine! I needed to be reminded of the same things today, so God bless you for your comment. Let's look forward to Heaven - I think we'll have some awesone surprises!

Madeleine Clays on June 02, 2019:

I needed to be reminded of heaven today. I needed to remember that this life is passing and that I must live each day with Jesus as my carriage driver. Thank you for this beautiful and uplifting article. May God bless you.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 06, 2018:

How wonderful for you to address these four!

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 06, 2018:

Hi Patti - Billy Graham, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Hefner, and Stephen Hawking. Three of these are now written. I hope you enjoy them.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on May 06, 2018:

What a fascinating topic. The idea that we can each make our own Heaven is incredibly comforting. It makes the idea of death a little less scary. Thanks for a well written and interesting article.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 29, 2018:

RedElf! - It is good to see you again; it's been too long since we and our HubNuggets group had such fun every week. I have faith that you will find stories you like among Mike's collections. Thanks for the nice comments and I hope things are lovely in Canada!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 29, 2018:

@Martie Coetser - Thanks for your thoughtful comment and I agree that the stories are comforting. At the end of a bad day, they make a good sense of uplift.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 29, 2018:

@Peggy Woods: You remind me of a statement Terry Irwin made in an interview after Steve's death - that there was so much personality and caring for others (animals and humans) that she believes that she will see him again, that this must be so.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 28, 2018:

@Peg Cole - Mike does a lot of good writing, doesn't he? One of the things I like about this book trilogy is that the stories within it often sound as if they might be true. Some of them hit upon details connected to concepts heard in church, but the tales were not meant to do so, per se. That's serendipity for you.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 28, 2018:

@Rachel L Alba - Heaven truly sounds like an infinite universe with many places to go. We may never see it all, but I want to try.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 28, 2018:

@Eric Dierker - I like your ideas about an individual as well as a shared community of Heaven. I know I will be looking for a lot of people there - mostly those relatives I never met while on Earth. There are a lot of them! Thanks for the nice comment!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 28, 2018:

@Mary Norton - I hope you enjoy this series, because it is full of stories you might like. Many sound as if they are about people we know.

RedElf from Canada on March 28, 2018:

The intriguing title drew me here, and the beautiful image. Haven't been around for a while, but it's good to see some things never change - you still write some of the best articles here. Well, now I have to go and read Mike's trilogy. Simply based on your most excellent article. Thanks, Patty

Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 22, 2018:

Patty, this is a very interesting and profound review on the Carriage Driver Trilogy by Mike Friedman. I find this trilogy to be extremely comforting, not to mention the fact that all episodes are very well-written by a master in the art of writing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 21, 2018:

I have really enjoyed Michael Friedman's stories and also enjoyed reading your post regarding the same subject of life after death. I have read many such books and truly believe that our spirits (souls) live on after we shed these mortal bodies of ours.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 21, 2018:

Enchanting recap of this fabulous book by our own Michael Friedman or Mckbirdbks as we know him here. You've done a great job highlighting the incredible stories in The Carriage Driver, Patty. I absolutely love this book.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on March 21, 2018:

Hi Patty, I enjoyed reading your scripture choices. In the Bible Jesus also said that where He was going there are many mansions and He would prepare a place for His disciples. It also means for those of us who believe and love Him now. That sounds like a wonderful and Heavenly thing for me. Thank you for this subject matter.

Blessings to you.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 21, 2018:

I have always thought of the idea of heaven as both individual and communal. But I have this vision where I still have challenges and competition all without sin. Overcoming challenges and loving nature are two of my favorite things. Of course there would be no apathy or hate or power.

The literary works you speak of sound great, I will get to them.

Another stellar hub by a stellar lady.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 21, 2018:

I don't think I have read this series so I will go and read it but your review made me think of this question that has been in minds of peoples for centuries. I wish someone will come back and tell us but I also like to dream of a place where everything that makes me happy are there especially people I love.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 20, 2018:

@Shyron - I know you will be up there interceding for those still down here. I hope you meet a lot of people you want to find there! It should be a grand time!

Peace and blessings of Heaven to you.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 20, 2018:

@Maria - I do like all of those selections! A Horse With No Name always reminded me of having time to oneself for a long ride after the conflicts of Earth are over.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 20, 2018:

@Mike - Garrison Keillor published two books of poetry collections of well known writers and called them "Good Poems for Hard Times." I think your carriage driver stories do the same job of giving us something more positive to look at among the growing chaos of the world.

Thanks for giving us some more background of the stories and their effects. Since this is the Lent and Easter season, it all seems appropriate.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on March 20, 2018:

Hi Patty – Let me lead with a simple thank you. It is nice to get a review, once you have self-published a book. The Carriage Driver stories have been so well received by those that followed along as I made my Hubpage contributions. The series took on an aura that surprised me. People would make suggestions, as you have done here. It seemed that many were touched. Many in our circle here lost loved ones while the series ran, and in many instances sending The Carriage Driver felt right.

All of us, both religious and skeptical have questions about what comes next. To me it would be remarkable if nothing comes next. Even preposterous; our lives must have a purpose. Well, that is where my over imaginative mind leads. In the western world, our collective experience leaves us with little doubt that there is an afterlife.

The Carriage Drive series, (hard for me to talk about a single volume) shied away from quoting scriptures. The stories address the question of what is a good life and what would heaven look like to those that found that their names were entered into the book.

Like you, I have my favorites. The John Glen story is one of them. He, by every measure, led a good life and one that many envied. Not everyone gets a full dose of courage and the luck to survive that courage. He is now patiently waiting for Annie.

At the moment I am sure I am not going to publish another volume. Having said that, I really like your suggestions, and several others received to try and jump start my muse. So, we will see what happens. My plate seems to be overflowing with challenges at the moment.

You found some excellent pictures of Nuelle. Had I seen those, I would have selected them as well.

Patty thank you. Your review means a lot to me.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 20, 2018:

A stellar review of Mike's series, Patty - your musical selections are well chosen.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 20, 2018:

Patty, I love how Mike's carriage riders were woven into your article, I plan to go to Heaven, and hopefully to become an angel who watches over loved ones on earth.

Blessings my friend.

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