I could be on the topic of my sister’s death for a while. I’m ready to talk about it. So you may want to come back in a year or two if you’re in an up phase and don’t want to be brought low.
I was doing the dishes one day recently and became aware that Millie, who is three and was sitting at her place at the kitchen table having a snack or drawing or something, had begun saying something interesting about her imaginary friend.
“My friend knows how to get people out of heaven. She has a pick-up sword,” she said in that off-hand way that kids have of saying things when they are also peeling crayons or grapes.
“What is a pick-up sword?” I asked, suddenly alert.
“It’s a sword that you use to pick people up and throw them over into the life,” she replied. “To where life is.”
I didn’t say anything for a long minute, during which Millie’s discourse wandered off into the realm of sports…or gardening — I wasn’t quite sure. “My friend was telling me — he was calling the little red thing that was red and round, he called it a baseball tomato.”
I said, “I wish I could use the pick-up sword to bring my sister back to life.”
“It has to be special,” Millie said. “To pick up people. Pick-up swords are super special that you can’t even touch them. Well, you can try to touch them but you have to be super special.”