We were running errands when my 5 year old asked me if we could call Nana.
I answered “No, we can’t call her. She does not have a phone,” to which he said, “Oh, that’s not fair.”
He never really knew his Nana, she passed away when he was 6 months old. After a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, she slowly died. She suffered for seven years before she died, although she forgot who we were long before she passed.
She never “knew” my 5 year old, but that does not stop him from asking the most amazing and insightful questions.
One day at school drop-off as we were waiting, he asked me if I missed my mom. I told him very much and then as our sweet Mrs. B. opened the car door to let him out, he looked back at me and said, “I miss her, too.” Tears streaming down my face, Mrs. B. looked at me inquiring if I was ok, so I told her what he had said and she said she feels the same way about her dad who has passed away.
This sweet little soul asks about my mom all the time. Out of the blue, he will ask me what she was like or what her non-Nana name was. He will want to know who she was married to and what did she do for a job.
He asks me if I was in her tummy and how old she would be if she hadn’t died. He asks what her favorite color was and wants to know if she liked chocolate milk.
While shopping for school clothes, he asked me if I was going to get Nana a sweater. I told him that Nana didn’t need a sweater, she was in heaven and there was no need for a new sweater. The answer seemed to satisfy him.
I know death and heaven are concepts that children cannot comprehend until much older than 5, but he keeps asking and I keep answering him.
So on this day, when he said, “Can we call Nana?” I sure wish I could have said “Yes.” She would have loved to hear his little voice and would have loved to know just how far he has come in his speech and, oh, his laugh, she would have been so tickled to hear him laugh.
The questions have become a comfort for me and an opportunity to tell my son all about his sweet Nana since she doesn’t have a phone in heaven. And I agree, it is unfair. I wish I could call her up and tell her just how much I miss her.