But it seems this type of discussion always happens whenever we get around family.
At some point on Saturday night, after we had gone to church and had dinner and tucked the children in to bed, we were enjoying our
It was determined that my sister-in-law, Kathy, a certified teacher would help us with homeschooling. And Steve a professional contractor, could help up with anything home improvement oriented. Or, he could just serve at the cool Uncle that always gives shoulder rides through Costco.
Late in to the evening we discussed our future plans while we created Easter baskets for the children. And then, just when we felt our steam start to wear off, we opened another bottle of wine and watched an "On Demand" movie.
(Ghost Town . I highly recommend it.)
Alas, it seemed like we had just gone to bed and the sun had barely crossed the plane of the horizon on Sunday morning, when there were four rambunctious children in our bedroom and three of them were announcing loudly that the EASTER BUNNY had come to visit. And LOOK! he had brought CANDY!!!
The kids were giddy with excitement and there was absolutely no way we could bribe them to go back to bed for 10 minutes. Or two hours.
At one point, Carolyn took a break from jumping on the bed and telling us what a WONDERFUL day it was, to notice that there were two empty bottles of wine on Charlie's dresser (that he was hanging on to so he could order more of this particular label) and she asked, "Daddy! Did the Easter Bunny bring you that?"
My husband groggily replied, "No, Love. The Easter Bunny didn't bring empty bottles of wine. But thankfully, he did bring some Extra Strength Excedrin."
(And thankfully ... they worked.)
Tonight when the children were tucked in to bed and cuddling with the beautiful hand-crocheted animals their extremely talented Aunt Kathy made them for Easter, I reminded the children that the wool yarn Aunt Kathy used to make these little animals, had actually come from their Daddy's mother, Grandma Jeanne.
Charlie's mother, Jeanne, was an outstanding crafter. She sewed her own wedding dress, knit sweaters for her grandchildren, crocheted gorgeous blankets and wove shawls and rugs. When she passed away in 1992, Kathy collected all of her left over yarn and has been using it to make creations for people within the family. Which I think is an extremely creative gesture to help the memory of Jeanne live on in a beautiful way.
That's how Kathy operates. She is extremely creative and has a heart of gold.
So tonight when I was telling the kids that the triceratops that Aunt Kathy made for William was made from Grandma Jeanne's wool, as were the owl for Henry, giraffe for Gracie and the lion for Elizabeth, the children sweetly asked, "Where is Grandma Jeanne?"
I gently explained that Grandma Jeanne was Daddy's mommy and she was living with God. And although we couldn't see her anymore, she was in our heart. Then while I rubbed their backs, I continued that Grandma Jeanne was alive in each one of them because she was a part of who they are. She was a part of their arms, legs, feet, belly, ears, nose and eyes.
After pondering this for a moment, Elizabeth sat up and taking my hands said, "Mom, I think that I need to go back in to your belly and then, I need to go in to your heart and I need to take Molly and Grandma Jeanne out and bring them here, so we can see them and hug them. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?"
It breaks my heart because I wish so much that my children could have had the opportunity to meet their paternal grandmother. Or perhaps even more so, I wish that Grandma Jeanne could have had the opportunity to meet her youngest son's children.
I just know she would have just adored them.
Because ... who in their right mind wouldn't?
While I sat on the edge of their bed, I took a deep breath and continued, "It makes me a little sad that Grandma Jeanne isn't right here with us. And although we could be sad about the things that we don't have, we need to think about and focus on those things that we do have." Everyone was quiet for a moment before I asked the children, "So, what are you thankful for?"
Carolyn answered first and smiling brightly, hugged her new giraffe and said, "My giraffe. I love him!" Elizabeth answered next by holding up her beloved bunny and flashing me a grin around the thumb that was stuck in her mouth.
When it was William's turn, he closed his eyes for a moment in deep thought, before opening them and responding, "I'm really thankful for my Easter basket and all the candy that was in it. Because Mom? I looove candy!"
Then he looked up at the ceiling and giving a thumbs up shouted, "Thank you Jesus for my jelly beans!"
I'm beginning to think that if I could take him on a preschool comedy tour, I'd have his college tuition paid in full.