Monday, October 03, 2011

"Out of My Heart"

Yesterday Ashley, my three-year old granddaughter, asked me where my mommy and daddy were. She has been working at understanding family relationships and just recently Ashley and her mom had put together a family tree.

I think she was quite surprised to discover that her much beloved "Unca Boo" was actually her daddy's brother. One family meal around the dining room table usually makes that resemblance quite clear.

But now as we were drawing together (okay, one eye was peeking at the Chiefs game) she inquired about my parents. I told her that my mom and dad were no longer with us, that they lived a long and good life and had died a few years ago, even before you were born.

I saw a little ripple of concern cross her forehead. She lifted those beautiful eyes of hers. I looked right at them and saw deep waters stirring in there. Her eyes moved to the living room and I knew she was making sure that her mommy and daddy were in view.

"But they are still here, aren't they?" she asked, now coming back to me.

"Yes, they are," I replied, but not too quickly. "They are always right here in my heart," I said, touching that spot in E.T. fashion.

She was quiet for a few moments, putting the pieces together. Then she said, somewhat softly but with assurance, "My mommy and daddy are out of my heart."

Then she picked up a blue pencil and returned to her drawing.

It took me a little longer.