Friday, July 17, 2009
Violet is 14 months old. Not a major milestone for most kids, but 14 months is a number that has some significance for me. See, Violet missed my Dad by just 14 months. Had life moved faster for me, or slowed down for Daddy, he might have gotten to meet his first granddaughter. 14 months--just a wrinkle in time, really.
Violet and I spent Friday at my friend Leslie's lakehouse. I hadn't seen her parents for years and it was nice to catch up with them for a bit. Talking to her father, the way he called me "Kiddo," reminded me so much of my own Dad. I suppose Mr. Ryan and my Dad were contemporaries so no surprise they'd use the same lingo. Hearing his voice transported me briefly back in time.
The most fascinating and appealing part of the idea of heaven, at least for me, is the togetherness of everyone. People who missed each other in life, like my Dad and Violet or me and my own Grandfathers, get to overlap in death. Of course, getting to see those who passed on before us is a huge comfort, but it is those initial meetings that really captivate my imagination. The logistics of heaven start to get messy when you think about how many generations of ancestors may be waiting there to say hey, but, I guess with all eternity to play with, I can spend plenty of time with Great-Great-Great Aunt Maude and not worry to much about what else I'm missing. Ahhh, yes, heaven. What a splendid idea!
I feel that heaven is likely an idea created by humans as a salve for the deepest losses we suffer so I can't just rely on Violet meeting up with my Daddy "someday." I have to do what I can during life to make sure Violet and my Dad do overlap. So I've been trying to remember the details of the "Hairy Green Toe" story he told me so I can share it with her. And I've been making sure to call her toenails "sock sabers" and refer to her as "Little V" every now and then. I'll call her Critter and of course Kiddo in case there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. Because if there isn't a heaven where Bill Schroeder and Violet Pierce get to meet each other, part of my job as a Schroeder and a Pierce is to see that she gets some sense of who her Grandpa was and how much he would have loved her.