Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Big Questions

This morning I went to the garage for something and Miriam followed me out. The casket is out there and we had explained to Miriam that Grandpa's body would go in there when he died but we had also explained that he would go to heaven to be with Jesus. She asked me "How we get Grandpa's box to heaven?" You could almost see the wheels of her mind turning, contemplating the lack of wings and jet engines. So I explained that while his body would go in there, Grandpa's soul would go to heaven.

How do you explain a soul to a three-year-old?

I tried.

I failed.

She nodded and humored me anyway.

Tonight Mim asked to snuggle and so cuddled on the couch between my girls she asks "How we get Grandpa's soul to heaven?"

Wow. In this day filled with playing outside, cartoons, painting, play-dough and dolly birthday parties her little mind had been turning around the conversation of this morning; trying to figure out what it all meant.

How does a soul get to heaven? I don't know. Do any of us really know?

I told her that Jesus would come and take it to heaven. That sounds reasonable.

How can someone so small ask questions so big?


Friday, November 20, 2009

Today I built my dad's casket

Two weeks ago the surgeon stepped into the waiting room and told mom and I that dad was dying and there was nothing more that could be done. A week ago dad returned home from the hospital with help from hospice services. Paul arrived, Sean arrived, and Anna checked in through video chat. We spent a day looking at old slides and reliving times past. Smiles, laughter, tears together.

These are dad's last days here with us. A few more at the most. Time is very short.

Dad's patience, kindness, and selflessness have always moved me. And all the more now. Each time I visit he is weaker, and yet his warm love still shines through the broken body - it is not a false veneer, it is true and it does not break even in his weakest state. He is a Godly man like no other I have met. I will miss him dearly and will look forward to seeing him again when my own time comes.

Today I had the honor of helping build my father's casket. Craftsman Nate Currier expertly led the project, I followed along the process as best I could. My son David also joined in. It is a day that I will remember the rest of my life, and I am thankful to have been able to help create this token for my father.

- Adriel