Andrew and I climb into the back of the Katt’s van.
I wedge myself between Evie and Jackson’s car seats and Andrew sits next to Zara.
I mentally ready myself as the prism hanging from their rearview mirror usually initiates Evie’s four year old innocent questions to me about Brave.
Simultaneously I feel myself cringe and hope that she asks another question….somehow signifying me as Brave’s mother and just to have him the topic of conversation feels good.
“how did Brave die?” she looks at me with those innocent blue eyes, there is no pain, just clear childlike wonder.
So I explain the cord getting wrapped around Brave’s neck.
“what if the cord gets wrapped around Brave’s brother’s neck?”
emptiness and defeat squeeze tightly around my voice.
My voice is much steadier than I feel.
“then Brave and his brother will be in heaven together.”
“How can we get to heaven?” she asks.
I am silent.
I don’t know.
I don’t know the answers to any of her questions.
I am a seminary graduate and I can’t answer the spiritual questions of a four year old.
I think maybe they require something I don’t have.
We ride awhile talking other things, about the park we are heading to and Evie’s acting performance that morning. I can’t really get Evie’s thoughts out of my head, until she asks me very distinctly…”will you have Brave in six years?”
“Oh Evie, I wish…with all my heart, I wish…but no.”
Quiet. Evie looks out of the window.
“Will Brave be here in nine years?”
How do I explain that I asked these questions of God already and He gave me no answer?
Maybe I am to give no answer.
Maybe I am to keep asking?
Maybe Evie is inviting me to have faith like a child, to ask of what is impossible to the earthly eye.
So God…can I have Brave in six years?
If not, then in nine?
We arrive at the park and the conversation of Brave is forgotten…but I feel like Brave’s momma, Evie knows I am Brave’s momma and even though I don’t have answers she asks me, because I am somehow the keeper of Brave in her mind.
It’s heartbreaking to talk with Evie.
It’s also the best thing I have talked about all day.