Over the years, I’ve seen this type of question before and, often, I’d answer the question by mentioning people in history who possessed the courage to change the status quo. I’ve also answered with select family members who came and went before I breathed my first breath. I wanted to know their motivations in life and if they could fathom my existence.
It has been four months since our son, David, passed away. I can safely say that he’s the only one I’d want on this bench. And an hour may not be enough time for me. I suspect any parent would say the same. There’s so much I want to say and so much I want to know. I want to tell him about the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special and how the Doctor regenerated in the Christmas Special. He was looking forward to both. We’d talk about the Super Bowl and the new Avengers movie that’s coming out in 2015. I’d tell him about Macklemore (which he swore was named Michael Moore) and the Grammys. I’d also tell him about the awesome Lego movie that’s in the theater, right now.
There’s much that I’d like to tell him, but so much more I want to know. I’ve always had the habit of asking the kids about their day, enjoying their experiences and giving advice whether they wanted it or not. And David was no different. Like the others, I was always interested in his point of view; how he sees the world. If I could just have one hour, on a bench by the sea or anywhere in the world, I would want a little cheat, that’s all. A preview of what’s to come. Spoilers. Yes, I want David to tell me what Heaven is like. I want to know what he thinks about it. What does he do? What is he expected to do? Does he have a job in Heaven and does it involve battling super villains? I want to see Heaven through a child’s eyes and not through the eyes scarred by life’s misfortune and cynical adulthood. I want to know if he’s met my grandfathers and my grandmother, my uncles, his mother’s grandparents and uncles.
As any parent wants their children to be happy, I want to see his joy. I want to see him truly alive in a way that we cannot be. I want to touch him, hug him, and kiss him just once more. I want to tell him what he already knows, that I’m proud to be his father and that I love and miss him. And that I can’t wait until the day when our reunion is not bound by time.