I am so grateful for my grandson, Keaton (because Michael Keaton WAS the best Batman). He is 7 going on 30. I moved to Colorado 5 years ago because I couldn’t stand to only see him twice a year on vacations. Now I get to spend much more time with him. With the holidays coming, we will have 2 two-night sleep overs. We are very excited!
Keaton asks me a lot of questions. Some show his deep thinking and his compassion. I answer him with as honest and forthright answers as I can…
- Keaton: Will you be in that cemetery when they disintegrate you?
- A little back story…My dad died and was cremated when my son was 9. A few months after his death I was driving my son home from swim team practice and he asked me, “Did it hurt Pappy when they burned him up?” I was determined that Keaton would know ahead of time what is going to happen to me and won’t worry about that for months. I have already prepaid for my cremation, and the little “memento box” is in my living room for him to explore.
- Me: No, I won’t be in a cemetery, I will be ashes in that box in my living room.
- Keaton: What happens to the ashes?
- Me: That will be up to you and your Mommy and Daddy. You can keep them in the box, you can take them into the mountains and spread them around so I can always be outside, you can take them to Barr Lake and ask Michelle if you can spread some there. It’s all up to you.
- Keaton: Maybe we will keep some of you…
Keaton loves to be a helper. Sometimes he gets to my house and tells me it is dusty–in Colorado you can dust every day and it’s still dusty–so he gets busy dusting. Usually, the first thing he does is run outside and scoop up dog poop. He says it’s his “chore.” He helps me carry heavy things that I can’t move on my own. He helps me use the apple corer slicer when I can’t get it through the apple–he loves apple crisp, after all, and I’m so slow, and not so strong. He cleans the computer and TV screens–in fact, he goes to his daddy’s office occasionally and cleans all of the screens there. If I need something in one of the upper cabinets, he climbs on the counter to get it. He feeds the dogs and lets them out and in. He holds my hand when I get wobbly walking (which happens a lot because of the neuropathy from chemo). He even raked up the ground this fall where there are bare spots in the grass in the back yard and planted grass seed (and it is growing). The last time he was here for a weekend he was very quiet in the car on the way home–unusual for him. I asked if he was OK, and he asked, “Nana, am I the best helper you have ever had?” I told him I think he is the best helper anyone has ever had!
- Keaton: Nana, do you believe in God?
- Me: Yes
- Keaton: Do you see him?
- Me: No, not like you can see people on earth.
- Keaton: How do you know he is real?
- Me: I look at the beautiful trees, flowers, animals, mountains, and people, and I just can’t believe that this all happened by accident. I see God in everything. I think of God as more of an amazing energy that exists in everything on earth rather than something or someone we can see.
- Keaton: How did God create Eve from a rib from Adam?
- Me: Honestly, I have no idea!!! Look at the hawk up there.
- Keaton: Nana, I’m going to marry you when I’m 16.
- Me: I don’t think you are allowed to get married that young. Besides, I’m your Nana, you can’t marry me.
- Keaton: Why?
- Me: Because I think it’s against the law.
- Keaton: Why?
- Me: Because I’m your Nana.
- Keaton: But, I love you.
- Me: I love you, too. But one day you will want to marry a nice, young, pretty girl–not an old Nana.
- Keaton: But you look a lot younger than my Grandma. You are in 60’s and she’s in 50’s, but she looks so much older than you. She is all wrinkly.
- Me: Thank you kiddo! Want more whipped cream on your hot chocolate? What do you want for breakfast?
Keaton: Does Sue still live in Florida?
- Me: Yes, why?
- Keaton: Because there is a hurricane going there and she needs to evacuate.
- Me: I don’t think they need to evacuate where they live.
- Keaton: I want to call her.
- Me: OK. (I call Sue and tell her that Keaton needs to talk to her.)
- Keaton: Sue, you need to evacuate.
- Keaton: You can get gas in the morning.
- Keaton: You need to evacuate! You can’t stay there because of the hurricane. Just get in your car and leave.
- Me: Keaton, please give me the phone.
- Sue: Laughing so hard she can’t even talk!
- Me: Please let us know that you are OK when the hurricane is gone. Talk to you tomorrow.
- Keaton: Bye, Sue! I love you!
- Me: Time for bed.
I am so thankful for the time we get to spend together. I cherish every moment, and I can’t imagine my life without him. No one knows how much time we have on this earth, so we need to make the most of the time we have. And, it’s important to stay stocked up on hot chocolate and whipped cream!