Last Monday I grinned as I watched little Luke toddle up the path to preschool, his oxygen tank in tow. I sighed some relief that he'd pulled through another hospital stay. Evyn and I had prayed for him, prayed for his health, prayed for his family, sure that they were weary with every trip to the hospital. And here he was, grinning, happy to join his class again. I smiled to myself and went on my way.
I wasn't surprised when I received an email from his mom that he was in the hospital with trouble breathing again. We often received emails like this. And he always got better in time. But this time each email update was worse than the last until.
Until Friday morning when I woke up to the news that Luke was gone. His three year old little body had taken as much as it could.
There was the predictable scurry of phone calls among preschool moms. And I did my best to remind people that what this family needed right this second was probably being taken care of by church and family. I knew having been through my sister's death that people hurry to make meals, call with concern, send flowers…but you really need them – you really start grieving – weeks later. When the flowers die, and the cards stop coming. And people move on with their lives, while you're left with a gaping hole in yours. So we're all standing ready, knowing we can't fix this or make it any better. Hopeful that we can be of some comfort down the road, when the hurt sinks in and Luke's mom needs a shoulder to cry on.
Please say a prayer for them. For their strength and peace and "patience with the living," as I like to call it. And for wisdom for those around them.
A few weeks ago Evyn started asking about her Aunt Lora. How she died ("Did she fall out of the car?"), why the doctors couldn't fix her, etc. I explained to her as simply as I could that two cars had collided. Lora was broken. The doctors tried their hardest, but she couldn't be fixed here on earth. And now she lives in Heaven, perfect and healthy with Jesus – in a place prepared just for her. Evyn was satisfied with that answer. We went through the explanation all over again when we told her Luke wouldn't be coming back to school. She was frustrated that she wouldn't see him again, but was okay with him being in Heaven with Aunt Lora.
After a long weekend of worry and sadness for Luke's family, this afternoon I am picturing him cuddled peacefully in Jesus' arms. No longer broken. Perfect and happy, in a place our Father prepared. Just for him.
John 14:2-3 (King James Version)
2In my Father's house
are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a
place for you.
3And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I
am, there ye may be also.