is in the midst of making a journey
from this world
to the next.
my heart aches.
and soon i will process it all
but right now
my absolute devistation
all mix like watercolors on a page
and i am not ready to sort through them.
and as we move through this veil
i have had to have some very honest
with my bug
to prepare her
for the loss of a man
that she has come to love
and i don't want to forget them
these pocketed conversations
because it is through her eyes
that i am able to process my grief
at his loss
and my joy
in his life.
* * *
i was home with my bug
on the day following his stroke
helping her to nurse a fever.
we had talked about pappy being sick.
we had made him a card.
and then my phone rang.
after the call to say
that the damage was beyond
what any of us imagined
i sunk to the floor of the bathroom
and sobbed into my hands.
my bug peeked around the corner
clad in a t-shirt and mardi gras beads
and touched my shoulder.
mama, are you sick?
no, baby, i'm not sick.
well, i am.
yes baby, i know.
i'm sick and so is pappy.
yes, bug, pappy is very sick.
do you want my throw up bucket?
wait here. i will go get you a toy.
i listened to her pad down the hallway
while i wiped my tears.
and as quickly as she left
with more beads in hand.
here, mama. i brought you this. it will make you feel better.
yes, baby, it will.
see? (touching my cheek). i will always take good care of you.
* * *
my mother called
and asked if we wanted
to say our good-byes.
bug has wanted desperately
to talk to her pappy on the phone
certain that this would make him feel better.
before the phone rang
from 300 miles away
i pulled my sweet girl onto my lap
with tears in my eyes
and explained i had something very serious
to discuss with her.
bug, do you want to talk to pappy on the phone?
okay. but i need to tell you. when you talk to pappy this time, he is not going to talk back.
because he is sick, right?
yes baby, very sick. but he will hear your voice.
and that will make him better, right?
it will make him happy, baby, but pappy is not going to get better.
but i want him to.
i know baby, i do too. but i think pappy is ready to go to heaven.
to live with sammy?
yes, to live with sammy.
and in my heart?
yes baby, always in your heart.
so do you understand?
yes. i will talk to pappy on the phone but he will not talk back but it will make him happy.
god love this child.
* * *
tonight was hard.
because the waiting has started.
the machines are all gone
and now we just wait for the time
when he will go to be with my nanny
the love of his life
his eternal buddy.
and after a day of waiting
i sat in the rocking chair with my girl
who looked up at me with sleepy eyes
i want to pray.
and so we did.
we prayed for sleep
our souls to keep
and for pappy to be held
in god's strong arms.
and after our 'amens'
she looked at me and said
where is heaven?
well, heaven is far, far away.
in the clouds?
yes, way up in the clouds.
and in my tummy?
well, in your heart, yes.
she paused and absorbed this and then said
is heaven on the street?
no, baby. you can't drive to heaven. it's too far away.
but i want to go to heaven with pappy.
oh baby, it's not time for us to go. we have to stay here and wait for a long time before we go to heaven.
and with that
her bottom lip began to quiver
and her eyes well up with tears
and she buried her head into the nook of my arm
and cried at the realization of it all.
but i want to go with pappy.
oh baby, don't be sad. he will always be in your heart.
* * *
in so many ways
my little girl
is helping me process it all.
as we've moved through these last few days
trying to prepare her
for what is coming
the last verse
to this song
keeps running through my head
and i only hope
that i can help her