Heaven...

  1. It seems as though people thought "Pinky Swear" was something special (for which I thank you so much). Here is something I wrote inspired by my eight year old daughter, who was and is so sad concerning the passing of my dad and her grampa...True story...

    [FONT=Maiandra GD]Mommy," "Do you know the address to heaven?" Her cherubic freckled face looks innocently up to mine as she asks the question that floors me for most of that day. Just when I think I have been asked a little something about everything, my daughter has come up with the most amazing query. And I have no answer.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] I am fully aware that those sensitive blue eyes are watching me for a reaction. Like her I wish there was an address to actually send mail to because I too wish we had access to heaven that didn't involve leaving the present. Momentarily, because I immediately realize this has everything to do with missing grampa, I toy with the notion that a little white fib might be the answer for my inquisitive girl but realize although she is my baby, she is wise far beyond her years and will see right through me. So, I tell her I don't know.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] She is silent and then asks me if I would like to read the note she wrote to grampa. I hope she doesn't sense my heart is hurting for her and for me, and take the blue piece of paper from her little hand.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] "I realy realy realy miss you grampa, and I realy realy realy love you. I think about you evry day and if you could would you please write back?" love you, your sweet girl
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] Though some of the words are misspelled I just know grampa has gotten the message. That's what I tell her. That's what I feel in my heart. That's what I hope. Together my daughter and I devise a plan to make both of us feel better because we both are so much sadder than either one of us can say.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] I put the note in a safe place and think about it here and there. Then one sunny day three or four days afterward, the kids and I take off for a spontaneous day. That is the sort of day where we have nothing planned and anything can happen. I like to think that makes me a cool mom but if the truth be told, it simply means I am a mom with no workable plans. Off we go to the library because it is just too hot to do anything else.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] I am thrilled at the prospect of showing the kids how to use card catalogues to locate books but the joke is on me. There are no card catalogues. There are computers instead. Well, ha, my children already know how to use them....We stay for a couple of hours before each child checks out six books. They have discovered they are allowed to check out thirty books apiece. NOT happening because I could never afford the lost or late fees. After the kids sign their own applications and receive their library cards, some lovely lady elects to give them all one sad looking balloon each. They don't know it but I saw her retrieve them from the outside book fair that just ended. They are thrilled and amazed. If only they would always feel that way with simple pleasures. Off we go to seek something else...
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] As we continue our journey in air conditioned splendor, it occurs to me that we could couple my little girls note to grampa with these balloons we unexpectedly received. I send the idea out among the three little ones. The trouble is that three of them represent what my husband has been known to refer to as the fire triangle. That is, each child represents an element needed to produce fire..air, fuel and ignition...So, knowing this fact to be true, I wrongly assume that no one will agree to giving their respective balloons over for a good cause, namely, the journey of a sweet girls letter to her grampa in heaven. But, I am completely mistaken. Both boys readily hand over their prized balloons to their sister, who is appropriately thankful and happy at their sacrifice. I just happen to have her note in my purse and just like that, our plan is in motion.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] Who knew three small beat up balloons wouldn't lift a piece of notebook paper? Following the tears of not one but three little ones, I suggest we go to the nearest grocery store and buy some mylar balloons to complete our task. Getting the message to grampa in heaven is NOT going to be easy, apparently...We spend twenty two dollars on four huge balloons with sayings such as happy birthday, happy anniversary and we love you. My daughter chooses a huge butterfly one that is of course; pink, because she believes grampa will be absolutely sure it was from her. She is my daughter, after all.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] We attach the entire collection to a card that tells grampa (and dad) how much we love and miss him and sign it from my siblings, our children and our mom (plus various dogs and cats grampa has known) and securely tie the whole thing with flowing ribbon. The kids and I decide that grampa loves the ocean so we will go to a beach and let the thing go. Then, we all become too impatient and decide to release the concoction right where we are in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It immediately becomes entangled on a pole not too far away. It is as if grampa is laughing at us and letting us know that the beach was by far the better idea. That makes us all dissolve in laughter so balloons rescued by mommy and stuffed back inside the van, off we go to Monument beach where I am certain we will probably be arrested for disturbing the peace or littering. Looking into the excited innocent eyes of my three youngest children and knowing the heart of my oldest who would be hanging out with us if he could, I buy all three ice cream cones in memory of grampa, because he definitely was an ice cream connoisseur, and off we go to Monument beach.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] Scanning the marina and sunlight reflecting off the cove, I am brought back to a day even more beautiful when dad and I took a father daughter trip to Martha's Vineyard and proclaimed it to be the most perfect sunny day either of us had ever seen. Each child then recited a special memory as well. One son tearfully recalled the time grampa was well enough to plant flowers. Another mentioned his perfect hugs. My girl kept her memories to herself but smiled at me as we all told grampa we loved him and let the balloons go.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] Up and up and up they went until they were very quickly out of view. The littlest one wanted to know how quickly grampa would get his card. The middle one told him to be patient. We had put our address on the inside of the card in case someone on Earth found it so we would know how far it went. "Do you think it will go to China?" asked my seven year old? "Is China as far away as heaven?" asked the five year old. "Grampa will see it wherever it goes, said my daughter, smiling knowingly at me and her brothers. I smiled back, squeezed her hand and sent them off fully dressed onto the beach and into the sea where we all collected and cared for hermit crabs throughout the afternoon.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD] Later we took our original balloons and went to visit grampa at the National cemetery. We draped them on his stone and each added a penny...Pennies from heaven because grampa used to tell us that each time they found a penny it would be from him in Heaven. We don't want his supply to run out, after all.
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]As we left and the sun was setting, my daughter asked for a sign that grampa knew how much we loved him. Just then, the sun shone brightly and briefly and all of us stopped short to see it. Then, we laughed and hugged and started toward home. I don't know if our note ever got to Heaven or even if it got very far, but that day was made so much more special simply because a beautiful little girl asked,
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]"Mommy, what is the address to heaven." In my world I have to say, heaven is right here on Earth...
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]We love you dad...
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]Written by Martha Crowninshield O'Brien
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]August third 2006
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]Balloon and note release July 29, 2006
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]
    [FONT=Maiandra GD]


    •  
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Justhere
    That was beautiful. I am about in tears. It reminds me also about how much my kids miss their grandpa.
  4. by   misti_z
    That was great, I had the same thoughts when I lost my pawpaw. The love between a grand daughter and grandfather is absolutely amazing and unforgetable.
  5. by   Mermaid4
    {{{}}} to everyone who misses their loved ones and especially their dads and grampas...November 17 will be the one year anniversary of my dad's passing, and the kids and I still talk about him with tears and without....

close