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On Saturday, we shoved my atheist father between two jumbo car seats in the back of our Jeep and headed to my husband’s parents’ house for a boisterous Passover seder.

Best Moment of the Seder: Singing “There’s No Seder Like Our Seder” to the tune of “There’s no business Like Show Business.”

Worst Moment: “When a 4 1/2 year-old instructed me how to pronounce, “Haggadah.” Look, if I went to Hebrew School, I would so know too. Plus, she jumped in so damn quickly. I’m sure I would have figured it out.

On the way home, my daughters, Dylan and Summer, drifted off somewhere near exit 6 on the Jersey Turnpike and the conversation turned to the light and breezy topic of GOD.

I asked my father if he believes in God or a Higher Power. He does not.

I asked him if he believes in reincarnation. He does not.

I asked him if believes we reconnect with our loved ones in some kind of afterlife. He does not.

He feels that we have one life and then that’s IT. DONE. And he’s actually comforted by this thought. He’s satisfied to play his minuscule part in the history of evolution.

Jeez Dad, way to bum a girl out.

Wait… I’ve got it! What about the white light? People, who have near death experiences, always talk about that comforting, peaceful white light. That must signify a heaven, an afterlife, the path to enlightenment… something!

“Maybe it’s just peaceful and comforting to die, ” my dad responds.

It’s kind of dark out on this highway and this guy is really spooking me out.

I respect his opinion but I just can’t accept it. We are such emotional, connected beings. We love so intensely. We feel so much. We are so draw to certain people in our lives. I just believe that someday my soul (minus the poochy, saggy post babies’ belly and forehead wrinkles) will reconnect with the souls of my loved ones.

In future spiritual realms, will my soul be hanging with my bitter, curmudgeon building superintendent Kent who believes every apartment problem can be fixed with some tinfoil and a McDonalds’ plastic tray? No way.

Will I be swaying, like I’m in some kind of Corona Lite ad, on an eternal hammock by the ocean with my husband? I hope so.

Will I be googling ex-boyfriends, 3-thousand years from now, just to see what they’re up to and if they still have hair? I’m so sure.

I really hope they have cafe mochas and google in the afterlife. And sushi. And Project Runway. On Bravo or Lifetime. I’m flexible like that.

Later that night, we returned to New York City and put the girls to bed.

My dad, who was staying the night, came over to me and said, “You know, I really hope you’re right.”

Me too Dad. Me too.

mama bird notes

When you think of a Higher Power, do you think of Land’s End? No? Ok, me neither. But they do have some cute kid’s stuff. Click on drooling over this to read more.

Do you have a Blackberry baby? If yes, click on NYC Moms Blog to read about my “youngest child.”

Finally, Valerie is the winner of the The ART:archives giveaway. Congratulations Valerie!

32 Responses to dear god, it’s me kelcey

  • Cat says:

    I'm all for the reunification of souls thing, sometimes I'm pretty sure it's happening to me in this life, so why not the past or future?

    PS your building superintendent isn't Kent Finne by any chance?

  • Lulu says:

    First off, you make me laugh – your title is classic.

    I sympathize with you and your dad – my husband and I are in the same boat – he's the way your dad is. He thinks it's simply 'lights out.'

    I disagree, but … we'll just have to see, won't we?

    Great post.

  • Jordana says:

    I LOVE that the Folbaums have a "No Seder Like Our Seder" song – did they make it up? I want details!!! BTW, at our seder Sunday night Ava went Dayanu crazy – just saying it over and over again! Enough ( :

  • misty says:

    It makes me sad too when people don't believe in something. I just think a life without that sort of hope is, well, hopeless. (profound, I know….)

  • Becky says:

    You're Dad seems very sweet. But I'm with you! Although you forgot to mention pedicure in the Afterlife – along with Google and Lifetime. I can't go eternity with bad heels!

  • Queen Goob says:

    Sounds like you gave your dad a bit of hope…..I hope you're right, too.

    And I am SO all about the hammock, the tropics, a laptop covering my post-baby tummy, Google, and margaritas served to me by Cocoa my pool boy. If that ain't heaven…..

  • Erin says:

    I am like you, I believe there's more to life after we die. Wouldn't it be depressing if all we had was this earthly life. I want to go where I am loved simply and unconditionaly. Oh, and some Corona and hammock would be awesome. Maybe there is a Starbucks in Heaven!

  • Susan says:

    Deeply touched by the intimacy of this mamabird and it was a unique moment of connectedness as I love and respect deeply all those tucked snugly into the car and those waiting in NJ!

    A prayer emerged from my heart as I read…"May we all use our "not knowing" and our finiteness to fully live in the present moment knowing that it is the only moment and a most precious one regardless of what went on before or might happen in the future. When I remember to ask my higher power for guidance, particularly when faced with confusion and fear, he/she/my inner soul gently removes my ego from the situation and guides me to respond (sometimes!) with love, compassion, kindness and acceptance, I can almost be "the kind of person my dog thinks I am"! xoxo momala

  • Bitsy says:

    You are right that there is something more. We all have some faith (or hope) and some doubt. I keep going back to this:

    "I do believe, help my unbelief". Mark 9:24

  • Tully's Mama says:

    Gosh, Kelcey, I don't know what to say. What a post. Thank you for that insight! On a more heathenist level, did you check out the new steamy Gossip Girl ads? Those kids need to get to temple, or to mass, or wherever they can to pray for their sorry souls. I'm no prudie but those ads totally offend me on so many levels. I'm not sure about you, but when I was their age I never threw back my head in ecstasy. I still don't but that's for another blog.

  • mp says:

    Everything about this post was brilliant..this is material that should be published somewhere. I want everyone to read this. It's funny, thought provoking..snarky…it has everything.

    I used to have 100% faith, hope and trust..now…I'm kinda with your dad..I hope you are right…

  • holli says:

    Believing the people I love are waiting for me in heaven is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. Faith is our greatest source of strength, regardless of the specific religion… sometimes hope is the first step.

    I loved this post.

  • Valerie says:

    Well some higher power was looking out for me and my piles of kid artwork that I cannot part with and helped me win the prize! Thanks Kelcey!

  • Memarie Lane says:

    I have a tough time with that one too. I believe in God and consider myself a Christian, but there are many things about Christianity I can't quite come to terms with. And I very much want to believe in an afterlife, the thought of there not being one terrifies me. At the same time I have a hard time swallowing the possibility that there could be one too.

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    With all due respect to Rachel, Jacki, Jessi, and Bitsy, none of us "know" what lies ahead; we simply have beliefs. My beliefs leave me not at all depressed or hopeless, in fact, just the opposite, with great calm, wonder, and pleasure at my infinitesimally small but immensely important (depending on how I choose to live my life) part in the absolute splendor and magnificence of the ongoing evolution of the universe and all of the life forms within it.

  • Shay says:

    There's just no way to know for sure for sure but I'm about as sure as I can be that I'm going to be with the Lord when I pass on…and my loved ones too…I'm not sure I could face the world we live in right now without this hope!

    Okay enough with the heavy…I'm pretty sure there'll be sushi BUT no Project Runway…sorry lol. Oh and dogs! There have to be dogs!

  • susiej says:

    What a sweet, lovely post. I know… I know there's a God, and when I explain it all, I look hopelessly stupid, so I try not say much to get the atheist all the ammunition they need.

    Interesting though, I have read that most med students go into the field as atheist. After a few years as a doctor, they become believers.

  • I'm with your Dad. :o) I'm not sure why people think that not believing in a higher power automatically makes your life hopeless and/or depressing. This 'earthly life' is amazing and fulfilling and I know what a genetic lottery I won to even *exist.* I am loved by so many and I love them back. And, that is enough for this girl.

  • Milena says:

    While I totally respect and understand your father's point of view, I'm of the mind that there is too much perfection in this world for the existence of what can only be deemed as miraculous, to have been something haphazard and unplanned. Of all the arguments for a higher power, nothing sways me to the degree of belief in its existence as this rationale does. I guess that by the same token, I also belief in the afterlife, a place for which this, our earthly life, is just an antechamber and practice. I can only hope like you that it is full of goodness and everything dear. What could be more perfect than that? Lovely post Kelcey. Touching, funny and thoughtful. As always, a Kelcey way of wrapping things up.

  • dear sir madam/
    dear sir or madam\RE\APPLICATION FOR SLEEPNGS MY LIFE ISSUE DAYS AND NIGHTS FOR MY SLEEPING NESS PROBLEMS OCCOURS IN MY BRAINS AND MY HEALTHS/SYSTEMS IN THE BODIES\iam the above mentioned named ibrahim abdi hassan\fromakenyan and born in to mandera/in north eastern parts of provance/in adistricts of mdr/iam apilots staff goverment worker/insides and outsides in the countries/with alongs distance transpots/withs havings abrain acancer diseases/or in some things else iwaws been accuasually done by some things issue to be athreatenings to be kills in apolitics in alifes in olds and afassion days and nights in over killings agroups of tribes and goverments aparts of ajoinings togethers/its not my first times and not for my last times to be arepeats/they always to be appointed me withs madra in politiccs killings my my lifes of interdependents/of my knowleges to be alosts and alongs of my my lifes/sinceality speakings and generally speakings iam wth out through knowlede ness of adrivings apilots and adrivings avehcles/iwas so rich and richest\with havings alots of companies vehcles and garovas/and buildings houses/ships and eroplaines/with matters issues/icant say this my wealths to day/its apeoples who to be aused by force and by force\since some ayears and ago\iam the poorest person to day and ihave no rights to say that this is for my wealths one especially is dokow teranspoters\ company vehcles\and inter pells and samad lodges/icant have to meantioned for my wealths kenya somalia and etiopia if iam not wrongs iam throughly sayings the facts issue they have totally done to me and up sented mindeds\untill i become achocks \they wishes to transphere my heads to afeack head to amishine opperaters maps\withs with no keys of knowleges to understands/my childrens and my wifes and houses\and all my properties of my wealths/its means iam the only al shabab to fights in the all countries/because of my forsings of my wealths/iworked/iam because of in securities issue/icant have to apass in the roads one is havings for me agun and one is havings fo me aknives and rungu to akills me/iam in and out of informings my problems exceps ibelieves in my god and my allah who greated me from this worlds/since iborn and i believes him his abook of bimillahi and his ungles and gur an/and his five good prayers/ of islam and his fastings\and to assist his needy muslims\and ibuilt alots of mosgues\believes to conform from allah whats ihave and what iwas been done if iam wrongs and if they at all wrongs if in difficults condion in to be adeaths iam in apetience and directs medical petients/ tahnks to assist me

  • kindly attach my application and thanks to arecieve my alletter ineed to have in travelling nrb to mombassa and assist me with my transportation and will be appreciated’if yu helps me iam stayings with my mother at tawakal in mandera and assitings animals and birds in my home trees/with shares them the smalls foods that iam eatings in my daily breads\and water/its even in difficults to gets our daily breads since from my richenest/ihave no any authorities to say this is my properties/its from the three boarders counytries/hw ever one persons to be kills/in goverments and tribes no have and idears to areports to any ones excepts my god/and my allmighty of allah\ibelieve first to helps me with my sleepings cease of an idears to be akillings me in aforest of hidings\in majorities of tribes and goverments of of apolites keep kowaitings\iwas from one pertson to choice and to be agiven\avissa and apassports from tawakal in mandera to be adepature in auropes of estates/ kindly solve my issuesof adates to dates

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kelcey kintner