I am tugging on Olivia's hair, forcing it into submission while combing out sand and dirt from her morning playing outside in the near-perfect weather. We are headed to the funeral home tonight. We go to offer our condolences and to say goodbye to her toddlerhood pal...the little boy she's been praying for every night for the last year or more.
And I'm trying to figure out how best to explain to her why Jesus didn't "take Isaac's sick away." Isaac, who was two weeks older than Olivia and so very sweet. Well, He did take the sick away, but not in the way we were all hoping. Isaac is no longer sick and rests in the arms of Jesus. But does that make sense to a 4-year-old? Does it make sense to me?
Last night, Olivia prayed again for Isaac. It went something like this: "Please help Isaac not to be sick anymore and to be in Heaven with Jesus and don't let any sick monsters come to Heaven with him so he doesn't die anymore because he died already, but Jesus loves him anyway and he ALWAYS takes care of kids who are sick even if they die." Yeah. So maybe she does understand it better than I do.
Meanwhile, all I can think about is his mother, who, for the last 18 months, poured all of her energy into getting the best care for her sick child. She spent more time in hospitals during those 18 months than anyone should spend in a lifetime. Tomorrow, she and her husband will bury their only child. And then what? What do you do after that?
How does one face the next few years paying medical bills for a child who doesn't get to grow up?
I do not understand. I don't really think anyone can.