We were in the car on our way home from a morning of mundane errand running.  The sky to the east was a swirling hot mess, the color of a severe bruise.  There was a smell to the air - thick and yet thin at the same time.  Out of nowhere Sully said, "Mom is Grandma and Grandpa's child."  And Theo said, "Yes, but Mom is Grandma and Grandpa G's child, not Grandpa's child."  Then Sully said, "But Grandpa G is died."  Then there was a pause in the conversation.  A few minutes later, and even though Theo and I have talked about this a lot, Theo asked, "Mom, so Grandpa G is really dead?  He really died? He really did?" 

A lump formed in the soft hollow of flesh at the base of my throat.  In one swift flash I thought of the hideously large gumballs my children had just begged me to buy for them at the store, and how I had said no.  I felt confused about the air's aroma.  Compassion rose up to meet my cloudy sight.  Strong conviction and truth.  "Yes, Theo, Grandpa G died.  He is really dead."  It hurts deeply to say those words aloud.

Sometimes I don't get it either.  

Later in the day, after the threatening sky gave way to a beautiful summer rain, we were hanging out outside.  The air felt lighter, smelled clean.  A thick sweetness hugged on me as I watched Sully play in between raised beds, veggies now bigger than him.  Then I noticed Theo hauling his bike up our path with a wrench in his hand.  He set the bike down in front of me and began to loosen the training wheels.  There were no words.  He looked up at me and I looked into him.  We both smiled.  And, as god is my witness, he rode off on two wheels.  Just like that.

Sometimes I totally get it. 


  1. We just returned from Ohio from our Popa's funeral service and the boys Great Popa. This really resonates with me with all the questions and the constant reminder that Popa is "staying dead?"

    1. I am sorry, Gretchen. Lots of love to you and your family.

    2. Thanks, Katie. Congrats to Theo on the new found independence!

  2. so beautifully written.
    I can't imagine, but we all will and do.

  3. Gorgeous Katie. My heart aches in understanding. We just had a talk at the dinner table the other day about my dad. My kids never got the chance to meet him. We talked about the things he liked to do, and what kind of things he would have liked to do with them. It took everything for me not to water down my dinner with tears.
    And Theo! Woot woot! Go!!