...when Max said "I want to go to Heaven."
Recently we were at a stoplight in front of a church in our neighborhood that has white crosses displayed in rows. Each cross represents one of the children or women who needlessly lost their lives at the school shooting in Newtown, CT.
Max was looking out the window for a minute as we were waiting for the light to turn green and asked me, "What are all those "x's" for?"
I said, "They're crosses...in memory of people who have gone to Heaven."
"What's in Heaven?" he asked me.
"God is in Heaven." I said, giving the most basic response I could think of.
Max replied enthusiastically, "Oh...I want to go to Heaven!!"
"I'm certain you will someday." I told him.
Max doesn't like the idea of waiting or being patient, so he said, defiantly,
"But I want to go to Heaven NOW!"
I looked back at him quickly. "DON'T SAY THAT!!" I said too loudly without even thinking.
Max's eyes were wide and worried.
I reached back and put my hand on his knee and tried again..."What I meant to say is that you will go there one day. Hopefully when you have lived a long time and are very old. And by then momma will already be there."
"You'll wait for me there?" he asked quietly.
"Yes, baby, I'll wait for you." I told him, trying hard to hold back tears.
The senseless act of violence that took place two weeks ago (along with many others recently) has left me feeling so emotionally thin. And I don't even know exactly how to write about it, which is what I normally do to process my feelings.
I decided to try another outlet instead. Creating something. Something simple and pure...like a snowflake. I saw this post on another blog and decided it was a small thing we could do to express our wishes for hope and healing in Newtown while giving the children of Sandy Hook a new start -- Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.
The only thing Max knows is that there are some people at a school who need to be cheered up. I asked him to help me think of words that would help someone who is very sad or scared. We wrote the words we came up with on the snowflakes...Peace, Comfort, Light, Healing, Hope.
We'll ship them to the Connecticuit PTSA so they can be hung up in the new school when the children return to class in mid-January. Their goal is to turn the temporary school into a winter wonderland.
It's all still difficult to grasp, but in a small way this helped me move forward and hope for a better future for all of us.