B is for Balloons...



Today as I was walking home from campus, I saw a balloon that was floating up in the air. My first thought was "Oh no! Some little kid is probably pretty unhappy right now." My second thought was, "Geez, I wonder where that balloon will eventually land, how long it will take, how far it will travel...." Then, I smiled. Because I realized just where that balloon was headed: Why, Heaven of course.

In previous posts I have shared portions of the spiritual autobiography that I had to write my third year of undergrad. I structured it as an alphabet and I I've already shared my "Q" (20 Questions, or More) and my "C" (C is for Camp). This seems like an appropriate time to share another letter, "B".
“B is for balloons, and balloons remind me of heaven. Here is why: My Papa Charlie passed away when my mother was five months pregnant with me. The years immediately after my birth were the years in which my mother was initially grieving the rather young death of her father. I never knew him, but my mom went out of her way to fill my head with stories of him; the southern Baptist preacher who loved to tell jokes, make people laugh, eat my GrandBetty’s good Southern cooking, and, when GrandBetty was not looking, have an occasional drink with my parents. I desperately wished I had known him, and was determined to make sure that when I got to heaven someday, he would have no doubt about who I was. Even as a child I was astute enough to recognize that the only way you could communicate with someone in heaven, was to send them balloons. So, in attempt to let my Papa Charlie know that he did indeed have a third granddaughter, and that her name was Elise Leighann, and that she wanted to hear his jokes and sit on his lap someday too, I sent him my wishes on balloons. Every time I went to the dentist, the doctor, or Red Robin for dinner, I would make sure to hold on to my balloon until I was in a safe place, away from the looming threat of trees or buildings, and I would send him my balloon. I would write notes on the balloons and sometimes even attach tiny gifts, usually a Jolly Rancher. It was my first way of understanding heaven and where people went when they died. I “knew” it was in the sky, and I knew that God was there, and that someday I would be too. And as soon as I got there, I knew that I would meet my Papa Charlie, and hopefully he would recognize me, give me a big hug, and a big bouquet of balloons. B is for balloons, and for all the balloons that are waiting for me in heaven."

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