Thursday morning, as I was putting Lainie in the car to go to school, she asked me "Where Baby Rhett Go?" Her speech isn't perfectly clear, so I asked her to repeat it; two more times, it came out clearly, "Where Baby Rhett Go?"
Baby Rhett is our nephew, who died suddenly in 2002. He was 15 months old. Lainie's never met him, and we have probably only mentioned him to Lainie once in the past year.
So, I answered Lainie, "Baby Rhett's in heaven." Lainie said, "I miss Baby Rhett. Baby Rhett come back?" I said, "I'm not sure. Have you seen Baby Rhett lately?" She nodded emphatically. "Do you see him often?" "YES, Baby Rhett stay with me," she said. "What does Baby Rhett look like?" "Baby Rhett yook yike Baby Natalie." That's true, Natalie does look like Rhett, with the same coloring and Sleichter look.
Lainie asked again, "But where Baby Rhett going?" "I don't know, Lainie. Maybe he's going to Heaven?" "Yes," she answered again. "Maybe he thinks you don't need to be protected as much anymore." I said mostly to myself. "Yes," she said, soundly, factually.
I was dumbfounded but believing. When we had our car accident while pregnant with Maggie, Katie was two years old. One day in the hospital, she was laying in the bed with me and waving at the ceiling. I asked what she was waving at, and she answered, "Baby Rhett." We knew then that our family was blessed with the most amazing guardian angel. As we have gone through crisis situations, I have often asked Rhett to watch over my little girls, to help take care of them and give them comfort like only an angel can. Apparently, my prayer has been answered.
The story continues, though. Last night at supper, I asked Katie and Maggie if they remember Rhett. Katie said a little, but Maggie said no...she knows who he is but wasn't born until after he passed away. Lainie chimed in, "I like Baby Rhett." Katie asked how Lainie could know him, since she never met him, and I said that maybe Rhett is her guardian. Lainie said, looking frantically around the kitchen with the saddest face, "Where Baby Rhett? Where Baby Rhett go?" Again, I said that I didn't know, and maybe he went back to Heaven. But then Lainie's eyes locked on the fridge and, pointing, said, "Oh, THERE he is! There Baby Rhett!" If you could only have seen the joy on her face when she "spotted" him. Her eyes tracked from the fridge, through the kitchen, to the floor between her chair and Natalie's. Then Natalie looked over and, looking down to the same spot Lainie was looking, kept saying, "HI, there!" and waving.
I don't know if I believe in ghosts, but I do believe in angels. And my little girls just gave me more proof that they exist. It is such a comfort knowing that, when I can't be there, a loving family member is. I love that Lainie knows Rhett, even though she never got the chance to play with him in person. I wish with all my heart that they could be playing together, physically; we all still miss him so much. Well, most of us miss him; apparently, my baby girls get to have their time with Rhett, all to themselves.