By Nancy Ford

Dear Nancy,

Hi, honey. I’m sorry I left all of you just three days before Christmas. I hated making you and your brothers and sisters cry, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. My old body just didn’t suit me anymore; it was time to trade up.
Dry those eyes, Nancy. You won’t believe the fun I’m having up here. It’s like everything you’ve read about in your Bible (you are still reading your Bible, right?), but even better.
Your dad is so sweet. Very first thing, he met me right at the gate, and has been introducing me to everybody. By the way, that gate isn’t really made of pearls. It’s more like the flashing light you see when you drive under those weird camera stations on the Grand Parkway.
And your grandmother has already made one of her coconut cream pies for me. It was heavenly enough down there on Earth, and up here it’s even better; her meringue is fluffier than a cloud. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe it is a cloud.
And you won’t believe who all I’ve met in the orientation for the heavenly newbies. Remember how I used to sing “ Good morning, good morning, you’ve slept the whole night through” to wake you up when you were a little girl? It was a song Debbie Reynolds sang in Singing in the Rain, one of her old movies. Well, Debbie herself sang it to me the first morning she was here. I could have died! (Ha, just kidding!)
Debbie’s daughter, Carrie Fisher, just arrived here, too. She’s adorable, and so funny! You’d just love her. But don’t get any bright ideas—there’s no need for you to join us just yet.
And I got to meet Doris Roberts—you know, Ray’s mom from Everybody Loves Raymond. She’s much nicer in real after-life than she was in the show.
And Patty Duke stopped by the other day to say hello. I told her how you always loved her show where she played both herself and her cousin, Cathy. She’s much happier now that she no longer has to deal with manic depression. A hot dog still makes her lose control, though.
Of course, Florence Henderson and I had a nice long chat about blended families. I told her how our family was The Brady Bunch long before her show ever went on the air, and that somehow we all managed to get along just fine with only one bathroom and no live-in housekeeper. She was impressed.
You know how your dad always loved his country music? Well, now he is spending a lot of time with Merle Haggard! I wasn’t real crazy about that at first (you know, Merle spent some time in prison), but he has apparently changed his ways. Once you get up here, that’s easy to do.
Nancy Reagan arrived not too long ago, too. Funny—they’re not letting her wear red here.
Remember how I was a Tupperware lady when I was down there on Earth? Well, there’s no need for Tupperware up here—the food never gets stale!
And remember how I told you I used to own a record shop after I graduated from high school? Well, all the kids who used to come to my shop have a dance party up here, every evening right after dinner! And the records never skip!
The best thing is, I can finally re-embrace all those memories that eluded me for years after that Alzheimer’s bug bit me. And get this: I can walk again. In fact, I can fly. There’s something else I learned since I’ve been here, about being upset when I found out that you’re gay, and telling you God would turn his back on you if you didn’t change. I was wrong, and I am so, so sorry. George Michael, Alexis Arquette and all those sweet young people from Orlando sat down with Tim LaHaye, Justice Scalia and me to have a little talk about all that.
Please share this letter with the whole family. Let them know I will always love all of you. And you know that corny little Facebook meme that says something about those of us who pass on will live forever as long as you remember us? Turns out that really is true.
Seriously, don’t waste any more time in mourning. I’ve never been happier. There’s no traffic, everybody’s always in a good mood, the food is excellent and I can eat all I want without gaining a pound. Best of all, there’s absolutely no humidity—every day is a good hair day!
OK, gotta run—Zsa Zsa Gabor wants to teach me how to make Hungarian Goulash. So be a good girl, stay on the straight (ha—just kidding) and narrow path, and I’ll see you soon. Not too soon, though; you still have a lot to accomplish.

All my love,
Mom

PS—Dad sends his love, too, and wants to remind you to take your car into the shop to get your oil changed. Don’t make him come down there, young lady!