I was reluctant to tell the kids about their Great-Pepere's passing, because honestly I didn't think I could do it without crying, and they might get scared if they saw me cry. But as it happened, I had to tell CC, because the funeral is going to be on her birthday. Which means I will not be here on her birthday.
So while we were in the car yesterday, as casually as I could, I broke the news.
"Why? Where will you be?" she asked.
"Remember how we visited my Pepere, and he was sick? Well, he's up in Heaven with God now, so all the grown-ups are getting together to have a special Mass for him. It's called a funeral, and it's going to be on Tuesday. So I'll come home late that night, and we'll celebrate your birthday on Wednesday instead. Won't that be fun?"
"Okay, Mommy. Are you sad?"
Deep breath. "Yes, I'm sad, and Memere's sad too, but we're also happy because now he's with God, and he's so happy."
"Yes!" she exclaimed. "Now he's not sick anymore!"
I was surprised. "You're exactly right, CC. He feels great! Isn't that wonderful?"
"And he doesn't need surgery! He has a whole new life now."
Goodness. I don't know where she came up with that, but she summed it up perfectly. A conversation I thought would be emotional ended up making me laugh with wonder. She's said it several times since then -- about him having a whole new life with God now -- and I marvel at the innocent wisdom of her words.