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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: "Mommy- Is Daddy In Heaven?"
By C D Swanson


"Did daddy really go to heaven?" Her tear stained face looked up at her mom who was sitting on the bed. Jessica was ready to take an afternoon nap as she began asking questions; it seemed as soon as she got near her bed the questions began.

"Yes Jessica, your dad is in heaven." She hugged her daughter as she answered her question.

"But, mommy how come I can't see him? Where is he? Can he see us?" These questions weighed on the 6 year old as evidenced by her anxious behavior; and they were repetitive in nature. In fact, every night Jessica asked the very same questions before going to sleep. Each and every night since her father died two months ago.

"Sweetheart daddy is in heaven with God, He has called him home...He is happy and filled with peace and we will see him one day, but first you will grow up and have children of your own."

"What is daddy doing right now mommy? Can he see us?" She sat up in bed and smelled of baby powder as her eyes sparkled wanting to know more.

"Jessica, I think that daddy may be able to see us, but only if and when God allows him to, not all the time. I think that your daddy was so special that he is doing really important work for God all day long. He is a smart man and I am sure the Lord prepared him for something that only your daddy can do."

"Are there a lot of places in heaven mommy? Do you think they have different colored houses and animals?" Jessica began bouncing on the edge of the bed, waiting for answers her mother really didn't know the answers to; nor did she have the energy to answer. Since her husband died, she was the head of the house and all responsibility fell on her young shoulders. She missed him so much and cried herself to sleep every night since his demise. The tractor trailer slammed right into him when he was on his way home from a business trip... he left a day earlier to get home to them sooner; because he missed them so much. She felt her eyes tearing up at that thought, because he loved them so much he left early evening to get a head start, instead of the next morning as originally planned.

"Mommy?" She heard her daughter's voice again as she pulled her hand, "Can daddy eat chocolate and candy like he loved when he was here?"

"Sweetheart, I imagine there is food for your daddy and all the people there, whatever we need God will provide. God provides for us here, and it will be so much more so in heaven-so yes he is eating candy and chocolate." She smiled at the image.

"Daddy told me rainbows were God's promise to us. Does daddy see the rainbow where he is? And, is he on the right side? Daddy told me there are two sides to heaven. Is daddy on the right side?"

"Jessica I am sure your daddy can see the rainbow from where he is...And, God made a promise to His children and a rainbow was a sign. It came out after the storm; remember the story of Noah's Ark? And, yes daddy is on the right side."

"Oh good…mommy I am tired. I want to take a nap." Jessica started to nuzzle down in her bed when she looked out the window and screamed, "Mommy look!" Jessica pointed her finger and repeated, "Look!"

Her mother turned and she looked in amazement and smiled, as she saw the most brilliant and most beautiful rainbow she has ever witnessed. There it was shining brightly coming through the clouds down into their back yard. "Oh my heavens"

"Mommy, daddy sent that didn't he?" She asked as she jumped out of her bed to get a closer look in the back yard. "Didn't he? I bet he is on the right side of heaven isn't he mommy?" She smiled so wide, it was the first time she really saw Jessica smile since her dad died.

"Yes Jessica, I am sure your daddy sent that rainbow straight from heaven, with God's permission. And, I have always known your dad was on the right side of heaven, but now this confirms it." She looked up to the heavens and said, "Thank you God and I love you David, I always will."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen07/24/11
Such a sweet and tender story, so realistic, just as a child would wonder and ask...and I love the rainbow message sent from Heaven! Very visual and enjoyable read!
Robert Johnson07/26/11
The questioning heart of a child and that yearning for answers is special. Nice job of sharing that. It's always nice when God sends us a little rainbow reminder of how much he loves us and especially our children!!
Noel Mitaxa 07/26/11
Congratulations on opening up and maintaining two levels of thinking about grief as you let the story flow. A difficult job well done.
Kim Hamlin07/27/11
Wonderful job on this, very realistic. I lost my father at a young age and this is an excellent example of the way we look for signs of an ongoing connection with those we lose.
Norma-Anne Hough05/12/12
What a lovely story. Sometimes death is so hard to explain to children and the questions never stop. Very realistic and filled with vivid imagery.
ps. I smiled as I read this story, as today I walked around my garden telling my mother I hoped she was happy with how it looked, and was she happy that my bulbs had all come through:)