The heart-broken visitors entered quietly. Thin streams of light eluded the pulled blinds in the room to reveal a still form, whose chest, for the time being, continued to rise and fall; her face turned towards the door. Their familiar eyes passed a greeting of shared love, as weak smiles etched their way upon care-worn and weary faces. The visitors quietly padded their way across the room, in which the only other noises heard were the constant hum of the IV pump and heart monitor. A little hand soon found its way snuggly inside a larger one.
“Hello Darlin’. It’s good to see you.”
The little girl smiled bravely as tender hands caressed her weary vessel.
“I have some good news for you,” the mother swallowed her rising emotion, pinching her lips tightly together. She knew that there had been no good news for a long time, but this was different. “Last night, your Daddy and I spoke until very late, but I finally came to understand what you’ve been telling me.” She took a steadying breath, “I accepted Jesus as my Savior.”
The little girl’s eyes shone with a special brightness; her deepest prayer answered. The parents knew that had their little girl been well she would have been jumping up and down, and throwing her small arms around them both, amid her cheers of joy.
Not today, not anymore.
“She was a stubborn one, that Mother of yours.” The Father tried to joke, rescuing the mother from the swell of joy mixed equally with grief. “But at last she saw her need for Jesus Christ. Now she is a “princess” too;” he smiled down at his little girl, giving her a wink for their shared understanding. “She is a child of the King of Kings; a partaker in the Kingdom of God.”
A tear rolled down the soft cheek of the little girl, as she looked towards her Mama. “Now we never have to say good-bye.”
“Never, Baby-Girl, never.” The three hugged in silent appreciation of a shared eternity.
The Father opened his worn copy of the Bible, and read from it words of truth and of hope for the future. Now, only these words mattered; words which would bring comfort and healing in the days and months and interminable years ahead; words which would provide balm for broken hearts, until they would meet again.
“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In 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. And 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.” (John 14:1-3)
The day journeyed on accompanied by the reading of scripture and retelling of memories and affirmations of love.
“Can we cuddle?” a little voice asked.
The mother gingerly maneuvered herself onto the hospital bed, to lie beside her daughter. Two bodies snuggled close together; one coursing with life, one frail, her life ebbing away. The father sheltered them as best he could under the wing of his protective arm.
“Don’t worry Mama, Jesus will be with me,” her cold fingers stroked her mother’s face, as she whispered those final words.
Her mother lovingly held her close; her father gently stroked her hand. The little girl’s eyes grew heavy, her waning strength little more able to keep them open. The last hours went by far too quickly. The little girl passed away quietly in her mother’s arms, translated instantaneously into heaven.
“I’ll see you again, my darling.” The Mother spoke softly into an unhearing ear; her words ending in a choking cry. The couple’s faces quickly dampened with streams of tears, as they said their farewells to the lifeless form of their little girl.
“Heart of my own heart, you are no longer mine to hold, but mine to love for eternity.”
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Little ones foster astounding maturity as they face their own physical mortality. Some of these words echo my daughter’s as she fought cancer at age four and a half. By God’s grace she survived.
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