You know how sometimes you get asked a question, and you thought you knew the answer? And then someone asks you that question, someone small, inquisitive, trusting because they look up to you….and your brain goes numb, like someone pulled the plug!

I got a small taste today of what it will be like to have kids someday. Today, one of my best pianists, a 5 year old girl named Rishika, looked up at me at the end of our lesson and asked me, “Miss Kelly, where’s heaven?”

It took me a moment to process what she had just asked me. Usually, end of the lesson questions go something like this: “Can I get TWO stickers?” or “Will you carry my books?” (this may sound like a question, but it isn’t).

But instead, I was faced with a question that bordered on the random ones I used to lay awake at night torturing myself with. “Where’s Heaven?” Is this a location question? I almost said, “I don’t know, maybe your parents have Google Maps or a GPS?”

But nothing so witty. My brain was unplugged, remember?

And then started our little conversation.

“Well, Rishika, Heaven is up there.” <points up to ceiling>. My goodness, how cliche AM I?

“You mean, it’s above the sky?”

“Yes, it’s above the sky.”

“So if I go up in a plane I’ll find it?”

“No Rishika, it’s invisible. You can’t see heaven unless you’re dead. Until you are, it’s invisible.”

This paused her. I thought perhaps I had said enough and was off the hook.

But it was only a temporary determent.

“But Miss Kelly, if I’m dead, my eyes will be closed. How will I see heaven if my eyes are closed?”

Uhoh. Good question. How to answer, how to answer?

And then, it came to me.

“Rishika, do you dream?”


“Are your eyes closed in your dreams?”


“Well, Rishika, the REAL You is in those dreams. When you die, your Real You will have eyes like the ones in your dreams and they will be able to see invisible things.”

“And I’ll be able to see heaven?”

“Yes, but only after you’re dead.”

And then, I decided to lighten the mood. After all, this was piano lessons!! Little kids should have parents telling them these things before they need to ask. Then again, perhaps parents don’t have enough time to answer them all.

Either way, I still wanted to lighten the mood.

“But Rishika, you don’t need to be worrying about these things right now!”

Surprisingly, she agreed with me.

“Yeah, I’m just a little girl. I’m not gonna die for a LONG time.”

And then, it was Riskika’s turn to try and lighten the mood.

“YOU’RE gonna die BEFORE ME!!!!”

Oh well. Maybe I’m glad that I’m waiting a few more years to have kids. I’ll save the tough questions and reminder of mortality for later, thank you.

Mirabelle Strikes Again

Mirabelle has had a pretty busy week. Her mission- take down the entire Cone household, all during her lunch breaks.

First of all, we had the nice little “burning tail” incident, of which I mentioned before. Then on Sunday, we realized that she had single handedly short-circuited our computer cord by biting into it at various spots. Since Jesse’s biggest paper was due the very next day, we spent the entire night trying to splice back together the wires. I’ve actually never seen Jesse truly lose his temper with Mirabelle. His exact words were, “Mirabelle, you’re about to make me curse!” She even tried to attack the cord WHILE we were fixing it.

Here are some pictures of project “Get-the-laptop-light-to-turn-on”.


The next day, I went to use my exercise band and found that one whole end of it was shredded. See, Mirabelle has this game she likes to play with bobby pins. It goes like this: She takes them off of the bathroom counter and sticks them into whatever container she can find, whether that be a shoe or even my exercise equipment box (Jesse says it is pretty typical to be sitting in class and find bobby pins stuck inside his shoe lining). Then, she proceeds to attack the bobby pin inside whatever place she has put it. If it falls out, she puts it back in before she will continue the slaughter. To illustrate this, a video is worth a thousand words.

But today. Oh…..today was where I nearly committed involuntary cat-slaughter and almost threw Mirabelle outside the door to go make her “forever home” somewhere that wasn’t here. Today she spilled a whole glass of water on my cell phone. Now none of the buttons work and my phonebook has been erased. AGH!!!!

But just when I was about ready to explode and throw her out the window, Mirabelle jumped up on my lap and began to purr. Then she literally put her paws around my waist and fell asleep purring. All without me doing anything.

I knew right then that SHE felt very confident in the fact that no matter how naughty she was, we would never give her up:)