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The door to heaven 

Jacob has been struggling with his relationship with God lately. I think it’s partly his age, partly the grief of losing his grandpa, and partly learning religion in his Catholic school when he’s been raised Anglican/Lutheran. 

Yesterday we stood in the parking lot of Save On, looking at the sunset, and talking about it looking like the door to heaven opening. On the way home I had my own personal confirmation from the heavens that I was on the right path. Little did I know last night when I went to sleep that our sunset miracles were far from finished. 

Jacob woke up this morning as bright eyed as he’s been in ages. He told me that he hadn’t prayed in a long time, but before he went to sleep he had prayed for two things. He prayed to be able to talk to his grandpa one more time, and he prayed for proof that God was real. 

He said last night he had a dream that he walked over to my parents’ house and my dad was waiting there for him. They hugged and then Jacob asked his grandpa a bunch of questions about how he was doing, what it was like and other things. This alone makes me happy as my dad came to me once in a dream not too long after he died, and all I did was yell at him that if he could appear in a dream I wanted him back in real life. 

I’ve  had Jacob tell me the whole story several times today and every time it’s the same thing with the same small details. Like how God has a calm and gentle voice that makes everyone who hears him lose all their stress and worry. Or how his grandpa lives in a house exactly like his old one here and he still sees all the alive people in the house. 

There was a lot more, Jacob walked around the house with grandpa who explained to him how he was able to be there and not be there at the same time. He talked to him about heaven and about God. Jacob is in the process of writing all this down and I will let him tell his story in it’s entirety when he’s finished. 

On the way into school Jacob was once again telling me  his dream and he said I had my prayers answered.  I got to talk to grandpa again, and I now know for absolute certainty that God is real. 

  

What a miracle. I’m still processing it all. 

My happiness moment was watching The Book of Life this evening with the kids. We didn’t know what it was about, but it actually tied in nicely with Jacobs dream and celebrating the memory of those who have passed on. The kids both really enjoyed it, and I love hearing those belly laughs. 

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Unanswered Questions

I suppose from now until the end of my time on Earth I will have unanswered questions. But they seem to be popping up more and more in the last three weeks. I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since Dad died. It feels like forever, and yet I still can’t believe most of the time that it’s actually happened. Often I’m walking along like life is normal and then I get this weird feeling that something is dreadfully wrong, and then it hits me in the gut (or heart) that something is in fact dreadfully wrong.

Lately on top of those terrible gut (heart) feelings are the number of unanswered questions that are starting to pile up. Things I wish I’d asked Dad, things I wish I’d listened more closely to when he talked to me. I so wish there was a phone line to the other side so I could ask him the things I need to know. Little things like what kind of flower is that again? and big things like what is heaven like, are you happy there? Accepting that these are conversations I will never have with him is a difficult thing to do.

Already so many things have happened and I have thought I can’t wait to tell Dad about this and then I realize…. I can’t. Countless times Dad and I have headed out for a walk along the ridge and shared our spiritual journeys with each other. It seems impossible to me that I can’t have any more of those walks. Although…. I can still feel it when I go out for my own walks. It’s not the same, but I can still feel it.

I wish I had paid more attention to what he had to say. I tried to, but it seems that so many things have been forgotten. Even near the end, somehow I thought I would have more time. And now, I’m left with these unanswered questions.

Happiness moment: after spending a couple of hours driving around town doing errands the kids and I ended up being hangry so we went out for supper. It  was beautiful out so  we sat on outside and played rock, paper, scissors and played eye spy. Life happens in these little moments and I find most of my true happiness comes during these times. I am so thankful I have these truly fun little people to hang out with and I am even more thankful that they like hanging out with me. 

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Ashes to ashes 

We picked up Dad’s ashes today. I am discovering that there are a lot of things about cremation I hadn’t thought through. But here we are, and we will hold hands and walk together through this part as well. 

I spent some time trying to figure out where to put the ashes in the car. Do I buckle them into the front seat? That felt weird. I decided on the trunk. Weird but hopefully safer. I felt kind of bad putting the ashes in the trunk of the car, and worried I’d get in an accident….. I’ve watched way too many bad sitcoms making fun of cremation mishaps I suppose. We made it home safely I’m happy to announce and I avoided any of those awkward moments. 

Even though I was completely pro-cremation and had been certain it was what I would want for myself, the reality of it is turning out to be much more emotionally difficult than I would have thought. I understand we are not of the body. I understand that the Dad part of Dad left the building way back at the hospice. However, the reality that the body now is also gone seems to be a little much. Like he was just erased or something. 

I don’t know, I suppose I will work that through in my heart at some point. It does interfere with my heart’s strong denial that Dad is anywhere but out for a walk, or out in the garden. Alive. 

Dad’s ashes had to stay at my place for the afternoon. It wasn’t until after supper that I packed up my laundry and the ashes and headed over to Mom’s place. I was standing in my yard – laundry on one hip, urn balanced on the other side – looking behind the barn where they were chasing cows, and then looked up at the sky and said just so you know Dad, this tops the list of the weirdest things I have done. Then I walked over to the house talking to him the whole way. It was weird and nice all at once. 

Today my happiness moments were served to me three ways: physical, emotional, and spiritual. 

When we came home from school I lay down on the couch to rest for a minute and ended up studying my eyelids for an hour and a half. Not only have we had an exhaustingly emotional few weeks, but I don’t  have blinds on our windows yet and it’s only dark from 11pm to 4:30am. Not enough sleep time. The nap brought me physical happiness. 

After supper I went for a walk along the ridge. It’s where Dad used to love to walk. Not only did I feel closer to him, but I had some awesome walking companions. My emotional happiness: 

   

The view from the ridge. 

 

When I got back from my walk Jenna had done some chalk art expressing her feelings about her Grandpa’s death. It gave me spiritual happiness.   

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My bleeding heart (plant)

The most beautiful moment of the day happened when I walked around the corner of my parent’s house this morning. My sister was kneeling beside my dad’s bed singing the most beautiful spiritual song to him. Her voice was filled with love and it very much was a moment where emotions and time were both suspended and very intense. It was all blurred together in a way that is difficult to describe. My heart needed me to just stop and be in that space. 

The happiness moment came later this afternoon at my house. Jenna and I finally got around to planting our pansies and our bleeding heart plant.  

There’s a bleeding heart plant at my parents’ place and as kids we would stand on the driveway and tell the story of the bleeding heart over and over. Although the same plant is still there it’s kind of cool now that we can tell the same stories at our house. 

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