Sunday, April 28, 2013

Maybe Santa can help.

While you get two blog post for the weekend, neither really has much to do with renovating a farmhouse.

This one, is about a conversation with my favorite 4-year old on the topic of death and heaven. I won't be offended if you aren't into reading any further. Come on back when I'm back on my regularly scheduled program.

About 18 months ago, our dog, Marco died. He was a big lunkhead, got into the weirdest stuff (he ate soy sauce - from a jar, and a can of beef broth), but was very protective of his family. He was also very sick when we rescued him. He was nearly blind and thousands of dollars of medication we were able to bring his sight back. A big ol' boy, at 145 pounds, was on predisone for his entire life with us. Just as we were trying to make the tough decision about his quality of life, Marco died at our front door. Marco was the most gentle with the kids, and Jonathan loved him to pieces. He still talks about Marco, how much he misses him, and how he wants him to come back.

Perhaps it's the age, or something he's heard or learned at Sunday school, but Jonathan has talked quite a bit about dying lately. A couple months ago, Genevieve lost a balloon, and Jonathan told her it was OK, that it went to heaven and Jesus had it. And she was cool with that. He's been asking about my mom and Ghon's mom and dad - all who have died.

Today and again tonight before bed, the questions were all about when was he going to die, when was I going to die. How old did you have to be? That he was scared; would I be there with him. Which one of us would die first? I assured him that God and Jesus would take care of him when the time came. And that the time was probably very far away for both of us. It doesn't help that we have a very elderly dog, that probably won't be with us much longer - and he knows that.

The rest of the conversation went kinda like this:

Jonathan: Does heaven have tree houses?
Me: I don't know, but I bet they do.

J: I don't know what Jesus and God look like.
M: No one knows what God looks like.

J: Will God let me bring Spot (stuffed dog)?
M: Maybe. You will have to ask him.

J: How do I talk to God?
M: You say a prayer. Just talk to him, he will hear you.

J: He can hear me?
M: Yep, when you talk to him, he can.

So we pray.

J: My animals will miss me. (his stuffed animals) I hope they do have a tree house.
M: Yep, they might.

J: I'm scared though. What if I start to fall from heaven and come back down?
M: Jesus and God will hold you and not let you fall.

J: Will I see Marco there? Can I send Genevieve her balloon back?
M: You will see Marco. Jesus might want to keep the balloon.

J: Will I die soon?
M: I hope not. You have to get older and find a girl you love and get married and make me and daddy grandparents. We need to be grandma and pop first. (he laughs)

J: But where will you live?
M: Probably at the farm.

J: Where will we live?
M: I don't know. Maybe you live at the farm too, by all of your trees.

J: But there's no house. There's just an old table up there.
M: Maybe you can build a house.

J: But I don't have any materials.
M: You can buy them.

J: I don't know how to build a house. Will you help me?
M: Absolutely.

J: But you don't know how to drive the gator up there to take the materials up.
M: I'll drive a truck.

J: Trucks can get stuck in the mud.
M: I'll learn how to drive the gator before then, OK?
J: OK.

J: Do you ever come back to earth?
M: Well, some people come back as angels. And they watch over you and protect you - but you can't always see them or know they are angels.

Q: But how do I get there? How do God and Jesus get me to heaven when I die if there is a roof in the way?
A: Well, honey, it's sort of magic how it happens.
J: Maybe Santa can help them! Or the Toothfairy!
M: Maybe, Bud. Maybe.

I just love this kid. Even talking to him about death, which I know too much about, or Jesus, God and heaven, which I don't know enough about, he amazes me with things he says. From what sounds like such a serious conversation from a squirming little boy in bed, to God getting a little help from Santa.

So I bring you public service announcement #4: Trust in your faith. Believe in God and He won't let you fall. Even if you both need a little help from Santa on the way.

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