Monday, November 22, 2010

Heaven Only Knows

"Grammy, do you think I will go to Heaven," Sydney asked.

It never ceases to amaze me when random comments escape my granddaughters' lips. An essential grandparent skill is that of quick thinking. A good reason to take vitamin B complex.

"Honey, you will go to Heaven," I answer.

"Really, Grammy. I'm so happy," she leaps into my arms. "Who do you think we'll see in Heaven?"

She continued on quickly, "I know I'll see Odie and Sadie....". She continues on naming off all of the animals who passed through her life.

"I know," I added. "I look forward seeing Sadie, too. I believe we will see them. I want to see my mother and daddy again. I will get to see all of my family."

We talked more of Heaven.

What was it that brought Heaven to her mind? I remember as a child worrying about losing my parents someday. I cried many nights remembering a pet who had died. The losses were small in my young life, but they were very big to a child.

"I believe that Heaven is more wonderful than we can imagine. I believe that God is saving a big surprise for us."

"I see it as all white. What about you?"

"I see all different colors. I like to think the birds and trees will go along with us. No one knows. It is something no way to describe, Honey."

The children grow up hearing talk of a myriad of things they do not understand. We pass by the conversations giving little thought to them, to our words. What does the child retain? What words hide for another time?

I try to give the girls answers that will encourage them to find their own. To think. I want them to take what they learn and come to their own conclusions. As a child of the 60's, I rebelled against what my parents believed, wanting to find my own way. I wasn't given the tools or freedom to explore my thoughts at school, at church or at home. I didn't know how to give myself the freedom to express myself or the adult guides to ask me the questions that encouraged me to find my own answers.

I have no idea what Heaven is like. I have my own ideas, my own beliefs. But, mine should not be hers. She just might discover something that I didn't know. She might in turn be my teacher. We are on a journey together, you, me, billions of other people. None of us have all the answers. All of the answers are answered when we open ourselves to learn and listen to one another.

Hm. Maybe then we all find Heaven.

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