I can't believe that it's been a little over two weeks since my dad passed away. In some ways, it still doesn't feel like it really happened. Other times, though, I still feel the pain just as strongly as I did the moment Daniel told me what had happened. And then there are the times when I think of everything that has happened since and can't believe that it's only been two weeks. Sometimes I can take things one day at a time and sometimes I have to take it a moment at a time. It's really weird the things that get to me and the things that don't.
I have been really cautious about listening to the radio the last couple of weeks, but at the same time really drawn to it. I was so afraid of what I would feel the first time I heard a song that we had used in the service. It finally happened tonight on my way home from work. Just as I knew it would, the whole scene came back, right down to the smell of the flowers. But, surprisingly, it was not bad at all for me to hear. I just sang along in the car and remembered and tried to burn those images into my mind to keep forever.
This morning, though, was different. I went in to visit the doctor this morning and was filling out the new patient paperwork while I waited. When I got to the question where it asks for marital status, I saw the word "widowed". I thought about my mom who will now have to check that box and nearly lost it right there in the waiting room. Out of the blue.
My kids have each had their own way of dealing with their loss. Dakota, the oldest, initially took it the hardest. Since the day of the funeral, she hasn't really said a lot but I can tell she's still thinking about it sometimes. She gets real quiet when someone brings up his name or when she sees a picture of him. She has a stuffed alligator that he gave her when she was born that she has become really attached to.
Cheyenne has been sad off and on. She handled the viewing and the funeral pretty well and was really curious about things. She likes to talk about him and things that she remembers.
Sierra hasn't said much of anything at all. But, it's not in her nature to be sad. She has still been her smiley self through it all, which has been a blessing because I don't think any of us could have taken it to see her without that smile on her face.
Landon has been the most verbal of the four. At least once a day, he asks me "why did Pawpaw die?" I tell him that Pawpaw was just too sick or that his heart was sick and he says "but I want him". He crawls up in my lap for a minute or two and cries and hugs me and then he's ready to go. I've been kind of surprised by how much he really seems to understand what has happened.
Today when he brought it up, we were in the van driving the girls to school. He was in the back and I was driving, so I couldn't do much to help him. To my surprise, Cheyenne stepped in and they had the most beautiful conversation I've ever witnessed between two children:
Landon-Why did Pawpaw died?
Me-Well, honey, he was just very sick.
Landon-But, why? I want him!
Me-I know, so do I.
Landon-But I want to see him right now.
Cheyenne-Well, Buddy, I'm sorry but you can't see him right now. Pawpaw had a heart attack and he died so now he's gone to Heaven and you can't see him until you die and go to Heaven too.
Cheyenne-Because the Lord went there to prepare a place for us. And now Pawpaw's in a much beautifuler place than this and he's with Jesus. And if we are Christians and follow Jesus we will get to go there to the place he's preparing for us and be with him and see Pawpaw too.
Landon-But it's going to take a long time for me to go there.
Cheyenne-yep, buddy, I truly do hope it takes a long time before you go there. Did you know that Jesus is going to have a mansion for you when you get there? But you can only get there if you decide to be a Christian and follow Jesus. So, what do you think you'll want to do?
Landon-be a "tristian"
Cheyenne-okay, so when you get older you'll understand and you can pray to Jesus and be a Christian. And, you'll get to see the streets of gold there. I bet Pawpaw has seen them already. You know what I'm gonna do tomorrow? I'm gonna bring my Bible in the van so I can read it to you and Sierra on the way to school and you can learn about God and Jesus.
I know I'm leaving out some things they said, but you get the idea. It was such a blessing to hear. I was in awe of the maturity and knowledge that Cheyenne had when she was talking about heaven. If you look at things from her perspective, we have no reason to be sad. Heaven's going to be such a wonderful place! I am so thankful for the comfort that God has given Cheyenne in the knowledge of what He has waiting for us.
Lord, help me to learn from her example and to find comfort in knowing that I will see him again in that beautiful place that you have prepared for us!