There have been some heavy conversations around here this week. Our neighbor's dog, Sadie, died. She was 12 years old and had bad hips. She was a friendly, sweet black lab who was the neighborhood greeter. Everyone who walked by with their dogs strolled up our neighbor's driveway to visit Sadie.
Our neighbors put out a sign with a picture of Sadie and a message proclaiming her death and her love for all those who stopped to visit her over the years.
"Why did Sadie die?" Danny wanted to know.
"Well, because her body was old and sick and it couldn't work anymore."
"I know," he says, finger in the air. "We can call Jesus." As if Jesus is on the other end of the Mr. Fix It hotline.
"Well, sometimes Jesus does help fix people who are sick. But other times, he can't fix them and thinks it best that they come to heaven to be with him."
"We can go there," he says.
Oh boy. Luckily, he lost interest when he saw a bird out the window. This is when short attention spans are rather convenient.
Later that day, he wanted to go across the street to see Sadie's sign. I read to him what it said. Among other things, it said that Sadie went to doggie heaven and is chasing squirrels with her perfect hips. He peered behind the sign that also held her collar.
"Is Sadie back there?" he asked.
"Sadie's DEAD," Fiona barks. She's so oblivious.
"No, honey, she's not back there. She went to doggie heaven."
He's got a lot to think about. And so do I. When I told him that sometimes Jesus fixes sick people and sometimes he doesn't, I was so glad he didn't ask why.
I wish that I knew. About two and a half months ago, my uncle died. He was one of my favorite people in the whole world -- a joyful, fun loving person who treated everyone with kindness and dignity. He never made me feel like I was just a kid -- even when I was one. And he had a laugh that would fill a bottomless pit. I loved to hear him laugh. I don't agree with Jesus' decision to not fix his body and let him stay here on Earth. I wish there was an appeals process.
It sounds almost trite to say this, but I know he's up there watching. I just wish it wasn't through one-way glass. I think of him at least once a day when I pour my coffee and dribble a little from the pot. He's up there saying, "You see, Josee, you have to be smarter than the coffee pot."
And I usually say out loud, "Not today."