The Toybox Grannies


Next to his mom and dad, Joey loved his grandpa more than anything else in the whole wide world.  Grandpa was his hero.  He loved the way that every time he came to visit, Grandpa would say, “There’s my little buddy.  How are you doing today.” He always listened to what Joey had to say and when they went for walks Grampa was never in a hurry.  He let Joey jump over the cracks in the sidewalk and pick up fuzzy caterpillars that he would find.  When he was little, Grampa used to play chase with him; running around and around the house until Joey was giggling so hard that he would have to stop and catch his breath. Now that he was bigger, Grampa played catch and T-ball with him.  Sometimes they would play cards and sometimes he would play games on his i-pad.  Joey never knew if Grampa was a terrible player or if he was just letting Joey win.  It didn’t matter because it was always fun.

A few months ago, Grampa had gotten very sick and Mama had told Joey that the only way for Grampa to feel better was for him to go to live with God in Heaven.  That made Joey really, really sad.

Today Joey was feeling very sad and his mother could see that something was wrong.

“Ok peanut, what is wrong?” Mama asked.

“I miss Grandpa so much,” Joey said as a tear ran down his face.

“Of course, you do.  Daddy and I miss him very much too.  It is alright to be sad when you lose someone as special as Grandpa.  Remember when you broke your favorite truck and how sad you were that it was gone?  Well, you loved Grandpa a whole lot more than you loved that truck so of course you will be sad.”

“Mommy, didn’t God know that I loved Grampa and that I would miss him if he took him to heaven?”

“Yes, Joey, God knew and that is why he left all kinds of signs for you to know that Grandpa is never really gone and that he is always here right beside you.  Tonight, after dinner, you and I will go for a walk and I will show you what I mean.”

Joey smiled.  He could hardly wait until this evening.

After dinner Mama and Joey set out on their walk.  They were walking through a part of the park where lots of tall trees were blowing softly in the breeze. 

“Listen,” said Mama.  “Do you hear that sound?  Do you hear the leaves talking? That is your Grandpa whispering to you.  What do you think he is saying?”

Joey listened and then smiled. “He is saying, Hey Buddy, how has your day been.”

Mama and Joey listened to the trees for a little longer and then they walked further into the park where a little stream bubbled and ran over the rocks.

“Listen Joey. Doesn’t it sound like the water is laughing.  Doesn’t it sound just like Grampa’s laugh when you were playing and having fun?”

Joey listened and smiled.  “It sounds like Grampa is happy.”

They listed to the laughing water for a little longer then started walking again.  Joey saw something shiny in the path ahead and ran to see what it was.”

“Look, Mom, it is a dime.”

Mama smiled and said, “That is from Grandpa.  When someone we love is living in Heaven then send down shiny coins for you to find.  It is their way of telling you that they are thinking about you and that they are walking beside you.”

Joey looked at the shiny dime in his hand and then put it in his pocket. “I am going to get a jar and put all the shiny coins I find in it. Then I will know how much Grampa is thinking of me.”

The sky started to turn dark as evening turned into night time and the stars came out and started to twinkle.  Mama pointed to the biggest and brightest star in the sky.  “See that big star, Joey?  That is Grampa’s star and it is twinkling because Grampa is winking at you.”

Joey looked up and smiled. “Listen, Mama, the leaves are talking again.  I think Grampa is saying, Good night little buddy it is time for you to go home to bed.  It is dark outside.”

Mama and Joey both smiled as they walked hand in hand the rest of the way home.  Joey got into his pjs and after Mama had read him a story she asked him. “Joey, when you think about Grampa do you feel different in here?” She put her hand over his chest where his heart was.

“Yes, Mama.  I feel kind of funny, kind of sad but kind of happy too.”

“That is because that is where Grampa is now and will be forever.  He will never leave you.  He will always be in your heart and in your memories.”

Joey snuggled down into the bed and looked at the night sky through the window.  He saw Grampa’s big bright star winking at him.

“Goodnight Grampa,” he whispered. I love you.”  And then Joey fell fast asleep to dream about all the fun things that he and Grampa had shared.