“Wow, these trees are really tall,” I said. “Yes they are,” Grandpa said “Some of them are over one hundred feet high.” “One hundred feet! Holy cow, that’s high!” “It sure is,” Grandpa said with a smile. “When I was your age these trees were only as tall as a basketball hoop.” “Jeez, Grandpa, that must have been a long time ago!” “It was. A lot of things have changed since then.” “Like what?” I asked. “A lot of things—the world changes every day. When I was your age I didn’t get to play Nintendo games or watch television.” “You didn’t?” I said with surprise. “What did you do for fun?” “Well, my dad, which was your great grandpa, owned a farm, so most of the time I was working with him or running errands in town.” “Jeepers!” I said. “Did you have any fun?” Grandpa chuckled, and then said, “Of course we had fun. We went fishing or sometimes I played football with my friends. Once in a while, if we had all our chores done, your great grandpa took us out for ice cream.” “Well, I do like ice cream,” I said. “I like it when you and Grandma come to visit. Why can’t you come visit more often”? “It’s hard for Grandma and me to make long road trips these days. It gets to be a long ride when you’re as old as I am.” “Then I’ll tell Mom and Dad that we have to come visit you more. I miss you and Grandma when I don’t see you for a long time. I don’t remember my other Grandpa, but Grandma Beverly died last year. You and Grandma aren’t gonna die, too, are you?” Grandpa stopped walking, turned to me and said, “Life is hard sometimes. It’s hard to lose people that we love. I’ve lost friends and family over the years and it was painful. The thing you have to remember is that they go to a better place.” “A better place?” I said. “Like heaven?” “Yes, heaven. That’s it, the greatest place you can go. I know your Grandma Beverly is in heaven, and one day Grandma Margret and I will go there, too.” “But I don’t want you to go to heaven! I want you and Grandma to stay here with me, Mom, and Dad.” “I know,” Grandpa said. “I want to stay here with you, too, but guess what? When I go to heaven I’ll always be here watching over you.” “How are you gonna do that if you’re not here anymore?”
Art and literary journal of University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D.