Updated: Feb 15
Aaron had warned me.
He said, "Dad, Asher has been asking about your Grandma..."
"Why would he want to know about my Grandma," I said.
Aaron gave me "The Look" that one that he always gives me when he feels I have ventured beyond stupid.
"He doesn't mean "Your Grandma”, he means his grandma...Dad... He has been asking questions about her all week.
It was at that moment I remembered where I had seen The Look." the first time.
It was not on Aaron's face. or on the face of his brother, Jon, although they had patented pending all over it well enough...
That first time was on the face of my two sons’ mother, my late wife Judy, Asher's Grandma.
She had passed 8 years ago and in our 33 years of marriage I had seen it more than a few times. Asher and Parker and even Michelle Arron's wife had never met her.
I am always amazed by this. Who I am.? My identify, my life, has been so affected by our union it is sometimes difficult for me to realize that many of the people in my life now have never met her,
But about the look. The first time it was given was had been 9 and 11 years respectively before my son’s existence. Half amazement and half incomprehension at my activity. it was a reminder to think deeper, try harder and love stronger. it was always with love and most times with a smile. but it endured on my boys and they had perfected it.
But "The Look" was the least of my concerns....
What to do about Asher's questions. He is about 5 and obviously had been giving serious thought to the structure of Grandparents. As I am sure he realized most times they came in pairs. His other two sets from His Moms side did.
His life was bracketed by two loving Parents, a father and mother, and I did not fit into his world knowledge of how this grand parents’ thing worked....
I barely entered the room and the questions started,
"So, Grandpa "I saw the beginning of "The Look" in his big brown eyes and furrowed brow.
"Where is your Grandma? " he asked. Then he asked again, and again...
Then he got really close to my face with his face, as though proximity would assist my words to travel the shortest possible distance and not delay the answer to his questions.
I see a future for him as a lawyer or a journalist
I wanted him to be informed but not frightend. But most of all I wanted him to know the truth, but how?
His search for knowledge was intense.
I was sweating.
But then I remembered an incident from the past. An equally difficult Question from his father at about the same age...only he had blue eyes but just as intense and as demanding...
We were at home in Archerwill. I do not remember what we were doing but I remember the feeling when Aaron asked that most feared of questions:
"Dad, where do I come from?"
Where do You come from, where do you come from?
I was about to venture into the hinterland of stock explanations something like.
Well when a mommy and a daddy love each other verrrryyyy much.... but I stopped.
I put my hand on his shoulder and said...."Saskatoon, Son"
"Both you and your Brother came from Saskatoon."
Ok, he said, and off he went to digest the information and play in the living room...
I had not lied. Both boys were born in RUH at Saskatoon SK.
I had conquered for the time being,
I knew there would be more questions.
But my answer did 2 things: it gave me time to come up with a better thought, an answer which would be more informative and less facetious.
But more importantly it answered the immediate question with information that was simple but satisfied a 5-year old's question for the moment... It was enough information for NOW.
And that was how I would have to answer Asher, but I was not going to get away with a contrite answer.
Nor did I want to.
I want him to know of his Grandmother, who would have loved him dearly.
I also wanted him to have a knowledge of this process that had left him without a grandma
Death, not everything, but enough to satisfy the immediate question, but how to phrase it to explain...