Tyler loves going to Harris Teeter, our local grocery store, because they have sugar cookies (low-sugar ones for my kids please) available for kids when you come into the store and balloons in a variety of colors when you leave. Molly is also a fan of the cookies. Tonight, on our way back from a fun evening cookout with friends, I took the kids into the store to pick up a few things for our Memorial Day celebration.
Sure enough, before we were even through the door, Tyler made a beeline for the cookies. He eyed them carefully before picking the perfect ones for himself and Molly. We quickly went down a few aisles grabbing rolls, fruit, a brownie mix, chips and paper plates. While Molly and I paid for the groceries, Tyler asked if he could choose a balloon. Yellow is his favorite color and there were plenty of yellow balloons available and within his reach. Yet, I watched him as he quickly chose a pretty aqua colored balloon. I even commented about the color as we walked outside. I should have known then, that this was a special balloon.
We had just crossed the street into the parking lot when his little hand slipped and the balloon soared upward. Tyler looked stricken as he watched the aqua balloon go up, up and away. I told him we could get another one next time. That is when he burst into tears. I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for his reaction so I turned around with two kids in tow and headed back into the store. I found the one remaining aqua balloon, handed it to him and told him not to let go.
As we headed for the parking lot again, Tyler looked up at me with those big brown eyes of his and said, “Where did my other balloon go.” Without really thinking about it, I told him it went up to heaven. He said, “That means your grandma has it now, because she went to heaven to be an angel.” Wow! He is right; my grandmother went to heaven in September after losing her courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Now we both had shed tears in the Harris Teeter parking lot. He had tears because he lost a balloon and I had tears because I knew who was going to find it.
True confession of the night: I like the idea of my grandmother sitting in her rocking chair, holding my son’s aqua balloon. It brings a smile to my face!