April 19, 2012

A Phone Call With Grandpa Larry in Heaven

On a recent evening, Mabel was tooling around the house with her ditty bag, shopping cart, and baby. She had a backpack on her back and Barbie heels on her feet. Clip clop, clip clop. Not sure what she was imagining, but she was going at it, strong style. The boys were off doing her own things and Hayley was at her mom's. What I'm saying is Miss Mabel doesn't long for imagination or friends - she plays on her own just fine. So on this evening she had her Ariel cell phone out and was dialing up Flounder, Mickey Mouse, and whomever else while she pushed her baby through the living room.

Bryon and I listened to her chirp and giggle for a few minutes as the sun set outside and flared through the dining room curtain just so.

Mabel walked up to me and handed me her little purple phone. "Mama, it's for you."  I stopped what I was doing and stood in front of her little body. I asked her who it was (Flounder, Daisy Duck, Spongebob?).  "It's Grandpa Larry in Heaven." And with that, she smiled, let go of the phone, and stepped back to listen to me talk to Grandpa Larry.

Grandpa Larry is Bryon's father, who passed away just months after his exwife's final departure from their marriage. It was a rough time for him and tears still surface easily. Now he's been gone almost 5 years - long before my love ever touched Bryon's heart.

I held the purple phone in my hand and I could hear my heartbeat in my head. I flashed a glance at my husband on the couch and his eyes rimmed pink in about .005 seconds.

"Why hello there, Grandpa Larry!" I said. "Yes, it's so good to hear from you. Okay, I will tell her..." and I handed my little daughter her Ariel cell phone back. "He wants to talk to you again," I said.

After a few more minutes of chatter with Grandpa Larry about going fishing, she hung up. Bryon walked to where she was squirreled down on the floor, and scooped her up in his arms.

He held her tight and stopped in front of Grandpa Larry's picture hanging there in the hallway. In the bottom shot he is standing in front of his boat (the Dolphin), holding a prize fish. There were some whispers that I could not hear (and don't need to know), he nuzzled her with kisses, and then put her down.

He walked slowly back to the kitchen counter, nodded at me with his half smile, and sat down again.

That night in bed during prayer time Bryon said to me that he'd been jealous of Mabel's ability to hear his dad's voice. She was free to feel his spirit, even having never met him. I gently reminded him that his father had visited him that evening, too; he just chose to do it by way of little Moo Moo. Touched his heart just the same.

Thank you for that visit, Father-In-Law. We've missed you.

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