I had a really powerful memory of my girl just now. We were swinging in hammock in our back yard; a present we bought Daddy once. Katie called it ‘hammocking.’ I would lay with her head on my shoulder (always my left shoulder) and I’d push us with my foot. She loved laying there with me. We’d play guessing games and talk.
On this particular day, it was fall – and right after a dear friend shared the news that her son had been placed on hospice care; that there were no more treatment options available for him and his cancer.
I said to her “Katie, this is absolute heaven.” She asked me “what is heaven mommy?” I got completely choked up and couldn’t answer her. I rarely (if ever) cried in front of Kate. It would have upset her tremendously. I tried to be strong and steady for her so had to choke back my tears and rattled off something, not wanting to ignore her question, but not fully being able to answer it either.
We talked about doggie heaven when her pup Conan died last summer. She knew he was happy, in no pain and could run and chase any squirrel or rabbit he wanted but she never knew any person who died.
I’ve always regretted not answering that question more truthfully for her. I’ve regretted not ever having a discussion with her about God, heaven and the like. I never thought I had to…not EVER. I regret it more now than ever, wondering if she had fear when it was her turn.
So, today, after that memory came flooding back, I wonder…what is heaven, Katie?