I have talked to him so many times about his friend who went to Heaven.... and he didn't really understand. I still don't think he entirely gets it. But maybe after this we might be getting somewhere with our teachings. He randomly talks about Ethan. Time will go by when I won't hear about Ethan for a few weeks and then suddenly I'll hear Brayden in his room saying things like "Here, Ethan." "Take this, Ethan" etc... It's very touching. I try to sit outside his room and listen when these special moments happen. And when they do, my tears aren't very far behind.
After breakfast, nothing else was spoken about Ethan until a few hours later when it was time for us to go to our Thanksgiving dinner. As we were walking out to our driveway to jump in our truck, our neighbors' family members (2 men) were standing outside between our two driveways. Brayden, the social butterfly he is, ran right up to them and said "HI!!" The men had big grins on their faces and were saying hello back. He then proceeded to say, "Look!" As he pointed to the sky and said "Its my guy Ethan!! He live in sky." The two men mistaken him for saying its an airplane in the sky, and so the young man pointed the other direction and said, "There, that's the jet stream." Brayden pointed again and said, "No, he's over there!" They then looked confused and just smiled and told him to have a Happy Thanksgiving. (Very very nicely by the way, they were really sweet to him)......
The rest of that day I kept thinking of Ethan, and our last Thanksgiving. Last year Ethan, his mom and dad and his little brother (and Brayden's best friend) Evan, attended Thanksgiving at our house. I couldn't help but think about them today, and how much we love and miss them.... After Ethan's sudden passing at the tender age of 7, his family moved. They had orders to another base and left about 6 weeks later. It's hard to think of them being so far away... :(
....But the weird thing is, while Brayden loves and misses his friend Evan, he never mentions that he "sees" him, or is "playing" with him like he does Ethan. He knows he can call Evan on the phone.... Which brings me to this: children are so close to our Father in Heaven.... They came directly from Him not very long ago.... So.... Maybe they can still see it? Maybe he already knows... and I just need to help him remember? Whatever the case maybe, I am thankful for these little moments he can have with his friend. Ethan is missed terribly, but I'm glad to feel him around every once and a while. And for that, I am truly thankful.
My favorite picture of Ethan, I remember the moment I took it. I had been babysitting them for the day. I had given him lots of brownies, juice, chocolate, and macaroni and cheese. I didn't cover my tracks too well, the evidence is still left behind.
Ethan was a wonderful friend to Brayden. Brayden loves to wrestle (a trait he learned from his dad) and Ethan would let Brayden hang on him, tug on him, pull him to the ground, and just play around. He never would say an unkind word or get upset. He was always caring, carefree, fun, and loving.