the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

If I Could Only Bring One Carry-On Luggage to Heaven – What Will Be Inside?

The motto of the “Great Interview Experiment” is “everyone is interesting.”  But let’s be honest.  Half of my readership lives in the suburbs and works in online marketing.  How often do I get to meet a female blogger who drives an OTR truck!  Charming Bitch writes an honest and emotional blog about her life.  She will also chew your ear off in e-mail messages explaining how an OTR truck is different than other trucks.  Did you know truck stops now have wireless?   Since Shannon of Charming Bitch likes to travel, and travel lightly, I was curious about what she would bring to her final destination.    Talk about a difficult question.   But I knew she could handle  it– she’s tough enough to drive a freaking truck!

If I Could Only Bring One Carry-On Luggage to Heaven — What Will Be Inside?  by Charming Bitch

Man, I had exactly no idea what putting myself in Neil’s (capable, firm yet caressing) hands would entail. I initially thought, yes, how exciting! I only recently guest posted for the first time at someone else’s blog and it was a thrill to be asked. This though, this I signed up and volunteered for, nay begged for the opportunity and here I sit trying to post about what would be in my one carry-on to the alleged Heaven. Heavy stuff, for a not-quite-convinced-yet-not-unconvinced believer of anything but the reality of luck and the heavier weight that it is given over good, solid decisions in this life.

So many things to consider, so many things to look over in making a decision as final as packing for this place called Heaven. I am, by nature, a light traveler and I am far too neurotic to ever check a bag so a single carry-on for this last ascent (…or descent) seems appropriate yet still too much somehow. Heaven, it seems to be implied, is like Sandals Resorts and more all-inclusive than ala-carte. What from this world could I bring that would somehow add to the ambiance?  Fart jokes and porn are ruled out just on principle.

Furniture obviously wouldn’t fit in a carry on, even that annoying Swedish build-it-yourself non-sense. Clothes too seem frivolous as from what every movie has ever told me, all in attendance in Heaven adhere to a strict dress code of wings and things much like Star Trek but with less form fitting attire. Make-up too would be unseemly as again, the movies have given me the green light to believe that a rosy glow is included in the package. Electronics wouldn’t be welcome. Somehow I think God would take umbrage at the very idea of me showing up all, ”I am so totally blogging the after-life!”. I mean, I would think that with the Bible being a frillion years old they would welcome some new reading material but even I am not so emboldened as to make that call. I mean, it’s Heaven not the waiting room at Urgent Care, for Christ’s sake. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. Oh, I kill me. I kill me dead until I die from it and go right to Heaven, it seems.

Having eliminated material possessions, I am forced to evaluate the non-tangibles. But how to pack that which you cannot see or fold into neat stacks or cram into little plastic bags. Where would I pack the love I have been fortunate enough to receive in this life? What is the proper compartment to store the lessons learned at the feet of my parents? How will I ever measure for eternal travel the feel of my husband’s hands cupping my face to kiss my forehead? How difficult, exactly, is security to get through the illustrious Pearly Gates?  Will there be a cavity search  for pocket knives and nail-clippers?  Are those Gates  manned by the same TSA  personnel as on this Earth? Will there be additional charges for bringing a surplus of joy or satisfaction? And hope! What of hope? For a good life, for security, for a safer, kinder society? May I bring that with or shall I expect it to be supplied upon registration? So many questions unanswered for a trip that must not be put off any longer.

Finally a decision is made to leave with the bag all the things people forget to put in their pockets daily. Love, passion, compassion, joy, kindness, satisfaction and hope I will abandon in the terminal with wishes that those who need it will find it, like a soul buffing kiosk right in the airport. I won’t need to bring those things where I am going because if you believe the hype and right now I really need to, I will soon be reunited with Jackson and I will have all those things in excess. Plus a really, really cool costume.

Catcha on the flip-side. Maybe.


  1. Rhea

    Sweet! I enjoyed that one. It was philosophical and all.

  2. Finn

    Loved this; beautiful and funny. Thank you!

  3. texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana

    This was pure genius.

  4. sarah g

    That was really beautiful.

  5. DaveX

    Now see, I would have said grilled cheese sandwiches and dogs– as I understand it, neither goes to heaven. With grilled cheese and dogs in my suitcase, I’d be free to negotiate on better terms with St. Peter, upgrade the ol’ wings, etc…

  6. Redsy

    And another that you seem to be especially gifted with: Humor

    This was wonderful….


  7. Marinka

    That was great. I have a feeling that the TSA personnel man the gates of hell. Just a hunch.

  8. CharmingDriver

    You guys are really nice, thanks for the ego stroking and thanks to Neil for letting me visit for the day.

  9. better safe than sorry

    i went over to leave you a comment at your own blog but it’s coming up that your comment section is closed, but this was just lovely.

  10. Edgar

    What a great post!!!!!!

  11. will betheboy

    Very nice choices and very well told.

    Not to turn everything into something about me but way back in the early days of my blog I had a run in with the customer service department in heaven. If you care to look it’s here:

  12. kenju

    I second the genius notion!!

  13. Pamela Detlor

    I love all of the things in your bag! Very uplifting and I should hope we appreciate them on earth. I would probably insist on taking my two cats with me – unless there were someone left behind I could trust to love them as I do. I also want to be reunited with all my family cats from childhood till now! Since you seem to get the gist of heaven – any idea who I talk to in order to arrange pet travel?

    Awesome post!!!

  14. Russ

    Loved your post. This is a blog somewhat in the same spirit… hope you enjoy!

  15. mp

    Very nice..I’m so glad that I didn’t volunteer..I would have said a toothbrush and my dish network..I would So suck at “real blogging”

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