It's a 4 year old remembering and wondering knowing that Grandpa's hair was too long and too messy due to weeks of staying in a hospital and then asking at the funeral, "Who combed Grandpa's hair?" It's watching her connect the dots as she hears about a friend whose dog recently died and seeking answers to questions like "Is the dog in heaven?" followed by "Whose dog will he be in heaven? I mean, is he still Paul and Jeannette's dog?" and "Do you think Paul and Jeanette will share and let Grandpa play with their dog?" It's having the same little girl state so matter of factly during a lunchtime conversation about Grandpa that Jesus heals people and Jesus can raise people from the dead. And then delicately dancing over her faith so as not to crush it with your response about not understanding why God didn't heal Grandpa and that you know God made people raise from the dead but that those kind of miracles don't happen often and are not going to happen with Grandpa.
It's a strange combination of the past, the present and the future. Snapshots of the past flashing in your mind, mixed up with those surreal memories of hospitals and a casket. A letting go of things you knew and loved, the rituals that were just a part of the way things were. A new normal that greets you each day, a new normal that you're not sure you like. An interruption, aggressive and in your face as my mom and brother talk through harvest and hay and machinery. Yet it's passive and quiet like a tapping on your shoulder as you find yourself teary and full of deep sighs at random points throughout the day. It's about a future that feels hacked to pieces, where there is no 50th anniversary and no family trips and no Grandpa at high school graduation. A raw, uncertain future that is paired with the steadiness of God and family, a slightly unsure belief that this new future will be okay.