Our neighbor died this morning.  We woke up and saw three ambulances in the street.  He had cancer.  He was being treated.  We saw him walk to and from treatment.  That is one of the saddest parts.  He had to walk to and from.  That sounds hard to me.  But he was always upbeat.  He said he thought it was going well when it clearly wasn’t.  He reminded me of my maternal grandfather.  Something about his walk and his voice.  If my granddad were African American, he could have been Brady.

Avery knew him and she wanted to know what happens when someone “gets dead.”  Death and the concept of never seeing someone again are hard for a three year old.  But she asked, so we answered.

She wanted to know what type of plane one flies to get to heaven.  Is it a big plane?

She wanted to know if there is a lot of candy in heaven.  Of course there is.  Gumdrops and lollipops.

She wanted to know where he will sleep in heaven.  In a cozy bed?  In his own room?

She thought it was nice that he would meet Grandpa Thomas in heaven.

I know all the athiests out there think it’s silly to tell a child there is a heaven.  Well, I think they are silly for spoiling a child’s vision of a nice place with cozy beds, limitless candy and conversations with Grandpa Thomas.  Especially one where you can get there on a big plane.

We will miss you, Brady.

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