A conversation with my five year old son.

Alexis Callegan Hughie

This is a picture of my grandson “sitting in his daddy’s lap” on Memorial day 2009

I picked up our son from school today.  As we were driving through the neighborhood he started with his “question series.”

Son:  Dad do some people die in their house?

Dad:  Yes son, people die every where.

Son:  Then they dig up the ground and…

Dad:  No son, you can’t bury people in your yard you have to bury them in the cemetery or the grave yard.

Son:  What’s a grave yard?

Dad:  A grave yard  is where people get  when they die.

Son:  Is Buddy at the grave yard?

Dad:  Yes son, Buddy is at the grave yard.

Son:  Can we go to the grave yard and check out where Buddy is buried?

Dad:  Sure son, we’ll go right now.  (fortunately the grave yard  is less than two miles from our house.

Pulling into the grave yard:

Son:  Is this where Buddy is buried?

Dad:  Yes son, he’s right over there with the little American flag on his grave.

Walking up to the grave and looking at the grave marker:

Son:  Can you read that to me daddy?

Dad:  Sure, Sgt Buddy James Hughie…..

Son:  Is he in the ground?

Dad:  No, when they bury you they put you into a casket.

Son: What’s a casket?

Dad:  A casket is kinda like a box they put you in to bury you.

Son:  What do they look like?

Dad:  There are lots of different kinds.  Would you like to go see some?

Son:  Yes.

Fortunately the funeral home who handled the arrangements for Buddy’s funeral is less than a five minute drive and I know the funeral director personally.

Entering the funeral home we sit on one of the couches.  A family soon walks by and the elderly lady remarks that she likes Son’s hair cut.  He says thanks, then stands up and sticks out his right hand and introduces himself with a nice to meet you.  Well that blew her away and they “chatted” a bit.

Mike comes over and I explain why we are there.  His eyes get big and asks, “Really?”  So he shows us into the room where all the caskets.

Dad:  You see this one son?  This is one like Buddy was buried in.  They put his head on this pillow and his legs go down here.  Then they put him in a big room so everybody can come to say good by.  After that they closed this part and took him to the grave yard and buried him.

Son:  How did they dig the hole?

Dad:  They have a big machine called a Backhoe that digs it.

Son:  How did they get Buddy to the grave yard?

Dad:  They put his casket in the back of a car called a hearse and everybody followed him to the grave yard to bury him and say good by.

Son:  Why I didn’t get to say good by daddy?

Dad:  Well son you were only three years old and you probably don’t remember but you and sissy looked at his picture at home and said good by at home.

Son:  Can we go home and look at his picture now daddy?

Dad:  Sure son.

Conversation on the way home.

Son:  How Buddy died daddy?

Dad:  Remember Buddy was in Afghanistan and a bad man shot and killed him while he was helping other soldiers who were hurt.

Son:  Why the bad man did that daddy?

Dad:  Because bad men do bad things son.

Son:  Where he shoot him?

Dad:  Right here (pointing at my arm pit).

Son:  That killed Buddy?

Dad:  Yes son the bullet went into his heart and broke his heart so it couldn’t pump blood anymore.

Son:  Was his clothes bloody when he was shot?

Dad:  I’m not sure son.

Son:  Did he have a big hole in his body?

Dad:  I’m not sure son.

Son:  Did they put a band aid on him?

Dad:  I don’t think so son.  I don’t really know what they did.

We are home now and Porter wants to watch Kungfu Panda.  I wish I could hear how his little mind works.

God sure has shown this boy so much grace and mercy… as well as his daddy.


6 Responses to A conversation with my five year old son.

  1. ransom33 says:

    That is endearing and beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing it, Michael.

    With love


  2. Jenny Claiiborn says:

    Wow, MIchael. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Joy says:

    That was very touching Michael. You handled that very well and I really like how you did that. I feel honesty really is best and it’s very hard in this case but now he’ll feel he can come to you with all his questions. Good job.

  4. dodie says:

    Thanks for not answering “Because I said so!”


  5. Dot says:

    Mike, this is precious. Porter is precious. What a delightful gift God gave you and Bonnie. Y’all bless me.

  6. TRO says:

    Damn you for making me tear up.

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