"I had no idea what I was going to say to her.
She really loved her grandmother," she said.
"It's always difficult to explain death even to an adult, but trying
to tell a child . . . now that is a challenge," I replied.
We stood there quietly watching her play.
"So, what did you tell her?" I asked.
She shook her head as a gentle smile took the place of a quivering, mournful look she had when we first said hello.
It was why I felt obligated to speak with her.
I can never pass up a chance to offer a few words, even to a stranger, when one appears to have lost touch with life.
"My mother had her way with children. She was excellent at speaking with them on their level.
She would always make every effort to physically get down to speak . . . "speak with them, not to them,"
as she would say.
"Did your daughter know her grandmother was dying or did this all come as a shock to everyone?"
"No, this was no surprise. We all talked about it over the last few months. Well, the adults did."
She looked down at where we were standing, shuffled her feet nervously back and forth, then pointed toward where her daughter was playing.
I could see tears welling up in her eyes and wanted desperately to hug her. She had no idea who I was or even why she was telling me all of this. We were as God created us to be, human but spiritually connected. Not at odds, but as one.
"So, how did this all unfold?" I asked.
Still pointing to her daughter she said, "When I sat down after coming home from the hospital, I called for her to join me."
I just started to speak when she said, "I know Mom." I was shocked. I asked her, "you know what?" She replied, "Grandma is gone."
The woman now is smiling through her tears as she continues her story.
"She then sat down next to me and said, "Grandma had to go to Heaven because there was a hole in the sky that needed to be filled. It was shaped just like her . . . she told me that when that day came, just look up in the sky and you'll see me there."
We both smiled. What a wonderful explanation.
"Every morning when she gets up, she runs to the window and waves toward the heavens."
We said goodbye and I sat for awhile longer thinking about all of this.
First, I believe that the world is like a big puzzle.
You not only fit perfectly into the "you shaped" piece in God's plan, but without you, the world as God created it would be incomplete.
Second, I can relate to the hole in the sky.
I have often times gone looking for something, someone that I expected to be right where I wanted to find them and felt empty in their absence.
A measure of how important you are in the scheme of things can easily be understood if you could possibly see the world without you in it.
I want you there, my friend, because there would certainly be a "hole in the sky" without you.