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Monday, May 10, 2010

Balloons For Kevin

I’m slowly beginning to be able to write this stuff down without going all completely kablooey. Eventually, I will put down something more substantial that really gives you the sense of what took place in our lives last month. I just can’t do it right now. However, because I am the unbelievable prick that I am and I know that my wife and her family can appreciate my sense of humor, even in the saddest of times, I feel I can at least share how I managed to cope with a pretty emotional event. More on that later.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Wow, thanks Captain Obvious. And I usually find an opportunity to at least visit if not spend the evening with my own mother. This year was a different. My wife just lost her mother the week after Easter and it’s been pretty rough. I’m not going to go into the whole back story, but my regular 4.2 readers know of what I speak. So, I took the munchkin up to see my mother on Friday night for a little Grammy Time. Then on Sunday we visited with her other Grammy, who is no longer here.

Now, I am nowhere near what you would call a churchgoer but for the sake of my daughter I talk the talk in order to kind of help with explaining what exactly has happened. She’s very smart and we would rather be upfront with what happened.

If we tell her that Grammy is sleeping but will never wake up she might be afraid to go to sleep at night. If we say Grammy had to go away and never come back, she might be afraid of us going anywhere without her. So, we were honest and told her that “Grammy had a boo boo that the doctors could not fix and she died. Her body is buried at the cemetery but the part of her that made her your Grammy is heaven now and that’s why we are sad because we can’t see her anymore.” She surprisingly gets it and understands completely what happened. But I don’t think she quite understands the feeling of loss and sadness she feels.

However, the kid is so her father’s daughter. On the way to the hospital to say goodbye to my mother-in-law we began to explain where Grammy was going. “Now, we are going to go say goodbye to Grammy. She is going to go live with Jesus now.” My daughter then looked up at my wife and asked, “Well, is Jesus friendly?” At this point I began to tear up because I knew that this was it. “Oh, yes,” my wife said, “He’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet.” My daughter then deadpanned, “Good, because I’ll kick him in the balls.” Both my wife and I were simultaneously crying and laughing at honesty my daughter had with her intentions. She’s not even three yet. Now, this isn’t the first time she’s made that statement and for the life of me, I can’t figure out where she got it. My wife wanted to blame me but I live in a house with her and our daughter along with four cats, three of which are female and the one boy was neutered before we got him. Who the hell am saying “I’ll kick you in the balls” to?

We can always count on our daughter to provide a little perspective to the situation. And that’s why Sunday was another opportunity to smile through the pain. We had been planning for three weeks to go to the cemetery on Mother’s Day and release balloons with little notes attached. We were going to “Send them to Grammy.” Now, we prefaced Mother’s Day with ample amount of warning to my daughter that these balloons were going to be let go to fly up to heaven. She’s a balloon junkie and is very adamant about getting balloons. So, we figured there might be some resistance on finally letting the balloons go. But she did good. She even kept asking my wife if it was Mother’s Day yet because she wanted to “Send balloons to Kevin.”

At first we didn’t get it. Who the hell was Kevin? Of course, this malapropism was her thinking that heaven was Kevin but where she learned the name Kevin, I don’t know. But we kind of went with it and said “We’re going to go send balloons to Kevin, now.” So, as we stood there and released the balloons I found it hard not to find some humor in this moment. I thought about putting an email address on the cards attached to the balloons. Since they were made of Mylar they would probably last a lot longer than traditional latex ones, even at a higher altitude. I suspect they won’t make it very far and will end up no more than a twenty or thirty miles away before they hit something and end up tangled in a tree. But it would have been nice if the person who found these notes attached to balloons were to send a message. So, in that vein my sister-in-law said. “Who is going to write you, Jesus? Do you think he has the email address,” I said, “Of course, but the bastard will probably try to sell me Viagara.” “Yeah, I got spammed by Jesus. Oh, and now he wants to be friend on Facebook. Hey, everybody. I just poked Jesus. That and he keeps asking me to join his mafia.” Like I said, I can be a prick, but at least the humor can be appreciated. Now, if you excuse me, there is a lightning bolt coming towards me from the direction of Kevin’s. Avenge me, daughter. Go kick Kevin in the balls.

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