Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Cemetary Visit..with children.

My brother and Grandpa share the same birthday.  It has been a tradition in our family to always celebrate their birthdays together.  Their birthday, and Christmas, were the two times each year when my mom's whole family would be together and there were really great times with really great memories.

I love how traditions evolve and one year Grandpa started buying them matching shirts and each year they would wear the same shirt at the party.

The thing about traditions is that they are AMAZING when you have them, but when something changes and you don't have them then it feels like a little piece of you is missing.  Bart and Grandpa were extremely close...for Bart every birthday will be bittersweet.  I think that is why it is so important as our life evolves that we create new traditions to fill some of that void within us.

{Sidenote:  If you happen to be a couple that every year fusses about which family you will spend time with because of this tradition of hers or that tradition of his.  After the heated debate make sure that you reflect on how blessed you both are to come from families that had established traditions that affected each of you so much that you were willing to debate them!}

That all being said, Monday was their birthday and my Aunt Nancy called me to see if I would like to go with her to the cemetary after I picked the kids up...she would bring some they could feed the fish and turtles (there is a pond there).  I agreed and without much thought of conversations that might come up with a 3 and 5 year old in a cemetary we got out of the car.  All they had heard was, "We are visiting Grandpa."

Jay:  "Where's Grandpa?"
Me:  "Honey, he's not here.  You know where Grandpa is."
Jay:  "He's in heaven with God."
Betsy:  "So is this heaven?"
Me (finally clueing in):  "No, this isn't heaven."
Betsy:  "But there is Jesus." (points to statue of Jesus)
Me:  "Yes, that is only statue of Jesus...Jesus is in heaven.  Heaven is not here on Earth.  When you die your spirit, soul, personality, everything that makes up YOU goes to heaven to be with God and your body stays here.  Your body is just a shell for you to use while you are on Earth.  After you die and everything else is gone your body is buried here in the ground to remember you by."
Jay:  "So Grandpa is in the ground?"
Me:  "Yes, right here by Grammie, his wife."
Jay (shrugging his little shoulders):  "Well, let's just dig him up!"
Me (Not sure whethere to laugh or cry...chose to laugh):  "No...I wish it was that easy...Let's go feed the fish!"

I was in no way prepared for this impromptu conversation about death, heaven, burials...but somehow it turned out informative and not too creepy.  (Considering where we were, I like to think that maybe there were a few spirits helping!)


Johanna V. said...

Bent over laughing over here. This story hits every emotion: bittersweet, funny, cute . . . What a great tradition Bart and your grandfather shared---love the matching shirts. I think my favorite part was Jay's can-do attitude---just dig him up! Haha.

Bart said...

I love this Sally! You have put this into words better than I could have. Excellent!