Family Tree

It was a simple 2nd grade project.  Fill out your family tree and put pictures on the branches of all of your family members.  Audrey worked at the kitchen bar while I finished the dishes.  And  then.... ‘Mommy?’...  What baby?...‘Mommy, we sure do have a lot of dead people on our family tree.   My world shifted.  And the dishes/homework/bedtime express came to a screeching halt.  How do you respond to a comment like that?  Because her words were painfully true.  Her daddy died 6 years ago when she was two.  Her Mimi went to heaven last June.     And her family tree is looking a little sparse.
  Added to the drama was the fact that we needed pictures of family members for this project.   Not just the family members who are living and breathing, but all of the family members who had gone to heaven as well.  So we spent the next hour sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by shoeboxes, sorting through hundreds of pictures of happy family memories.  There was laughter in the midst of the tears.  Pictures of Dave with a laundry basket on his head, and of Mimi lying next to Goofy on the Disney cruise.   And in between the sniffles we told stories. I love that Audrey’s teacher reinforced to the kids that your family is still your family, no matter if they have changed their address to heaven.   Our family tree may look a little bare from this point of view, but it is rich with many memories and watered with the hope of heaven.  It is so hard when we can’t ‘make it all better’ for our precious ones.   So we simply cling to His promises and slap pictures on a tree and go to sleep thinking of those we loved so much.