We had the conversation the other day.
I looked up at the calendar in the kitchen and realized--then said casually out loud--oh, it’s the second anniversary of Buster going to heaven.
What’s heaven, Mama?
Looking at her little face, I found myself confronted with one of the most interesting little perplexed looks I’ve seen on her in awhile. She wanted to know. She was determined to know. I wasn’t sure I could do this, but took a deep breath and dived right in:
It’s where Buster is now, enjoying lots of snacks and playing with squirrels, I said.
So they have lots of treats for doggies?
And flowers? And houses with front and back porches?
Yes, all kinds of beautiful things, Isabella.
A pause. Can we go there?
Well, no, not for a long time, I think. And it’s very far away.
Can we go there by plane?
No, Isabella, no, it’s too far for that! And you can only go there one time--you can’t come back. (I was already laughing a little inside, and at this point I was just outright giggling.)
This was cause for another little break in her curly head. You can’t come back? Why?
At this point I explained to her with an idea we’ve been batting about. How she sometimes misses our old place, or her daycare giver Julia’s old house. She said, yes, sometimes. Well, I said, our new place and Ms. Julia’s new place are pretty cool, right? You like them, right?
Well, heaven will be like what we love about the new place; we’ll miss the old one a little, but we really enjoy the new. It’s a good place to be, right?
She seemed happy with this, to some degree, and we went though it all over again when Papa came home and asked her about her day and she created a flurry flood of explanation about cupcakes and treats and houses with front and back porches and lots of squirrels for Buster. Which made us tear up a bit. And made me think of our lost little one, and all those we have lost over the years, souls we miss. I wanted to be more child-like, like her, and realized I was, to some degree. Because I do believe, maybe not with the same readiness of a child, and I am inquisitive, always. I’ll keep striving, I guess, even if my metaphors are on crooked and chaos reigns (and it always does).
Blessed are the pure of heart. They remind us where we came from, and where we’re headed.