Around November 12th or so of 2008 God began to weave into my life a very important collection of words.
There are many words on the list.
All thick with meaning...
But there is one word that seems to be repeated time and time again...
through out the list it appears...more than once...many times.
I was given the gift of perspective.
Not that I was asking for it or anything.
It certainly wasn't mentioned in my daily prayers or over coffee with a friend...
I wasn't looking for it.
As the gift was handed to me, my arms gave way under its weight.
It is heavy.
Its outer shell isn't soft or smooth..
more like the thick and scaly skin of a snake...or maybe a porcupine.....
whether I liked it or not,
The gift was given to me.
It took days to open its first layer...
a crash landing into a pediatric hospital for the first time...
weeks in a medically induced coma for my baby.
Breathing machines and emergency surgeries...
and I began to see it.
and what was not...
Over the months and years the layers continued to peel away...
Each experience shedding light on another part of the word.
I remember the first time I heard the cries of a mother losing her baby.
I hear them still.
They echo in my mind...
they dance around with memories of faces of parents who had just kissed their babies for the last time.
I see them.
I hear them.
I feel the hug of the dad who lost his son and cried out to me, "He was such a good boy."
I feel it.
Its understanding that these things are happening.
It's knowing that whatever your every day problems may be...
there is someone that is praying for what you've got.
It's teaching your children that tomorrow may never come,
so don't ever waste today.
That time spent together is the best gift...
Perspective is shown most bright for me,
when I look at Parklen.
When I see an eight year old boy pray for a little girl.
When he prays so much that his eyes fill with tears...
When my eight year old son comes to comfort me....
When he knows more about death and more about life than most people three times his age.
Perspective is when Parklen sees that death is not the end.
When his words hit me like a smack in the face, "Don't be sad for her, she is with Jesus and that is where we all want to be...be sad for her family who will miss her forever."
Over the past few weeks I have been able to watch my son show Christ's love to another. I have watched him with such pride and love. Watched as he put aside his childhood and stepped into the shoes of comforter.....of friend.
He lives a rather lonely life.
Stuck at home.
Not many friends...
But my God, he knows how to be a friend.
and he shows me perspective.
There are not enough words in the world to describe the way we feel tonight.
When I told Parklen that his friend had passed away, he said..."My heart is broken into a million pieces."
I've never kept death from my children. I haven't ever had a choice in the matter....because our lives have run beside its river banks for 8 years. They have seen it first hand. They have known so many children who have been lost to illness. Parklen more than the rest of them. We have spent days praying for children together... He has spent a lot of time telling me about the comfort he felt from heaven when he was so incredibly sick. That somehow, God always was there with him and he knew it. We have talked through many difficult nights...and our conversations always lead to this, With Christ...death is not the end.
The years that I have lived have taught me much,
don't waste a breath...
really, just don't.
Don't take time or people for granted...
LOVE each other....
all. the, time,
No matter what.
Ive learned that good people get sick,
That amazing people lose their children....
That in the world of childhood illness....anyone is fair game.
For it all.
The good and the bad,
the difficult and the easy.
They all work together to form the person you are meant to be.
No way around that.
But God is so so big...
Im thankful for the fits that are thrown,
the messes that are made.
I am thankful for the lives that have been woven together with mine.
Im thankful the maturity of my children.
I am thankful that Parklen is here with me.
I am thankful for a little girl,
that I believe was never human but an angel to begin with.
I am thankful for the moments spent with her.
In her very presence was a peace that cannot be explained.
For her family.
I am thankful that God saw fit to bring us together.
I am thankful that Parklen had her as a friend.
I am thankful that she is with Jesus...
and remembering that with Him, is where we all want to be.