Bad things happen. They even happen to good people. That is a fact we all learn by the time we are adults, but at what age should children start knowing? That question is what I have struggled with lately.
Sure, my girls know that my Mom, their Mimi, died years ago. It makes them sad in a “we never met her” kind of way, but it is kind of vague. It is hard to miss what you never had. So, yes, they are aware of bad things and this evil disease called cancer.
Well, back in September, a church friend found out she has cancer for the fourth time. She is 38 and her youngest daughter is in second grade like mine. Her older daughter just turned 13 last month. At first, I think we all thought Nadine would beat cancer this time too. Then she got some bad news that it was a rare form, and the doctors thought she had 3, maybe 4, months. That night, I was telling my Lauren at bedtime and just broke down in tears. We began to pray for a miracle.
Since September, there has been a group formed, Team Nadine, and we are 1,700 strong. When Nadine is down, we lift her back up (which is rare as she the most positive person ever.) Her thoughts and feelings are transparent with us, and that makes some moments more real and heartbreaking. For instance, her youngest said a few weeks ago, “Mom, I’ve only had 8 years with you and I don’t remember a lot when I was a baby so I had less.” Oh baby girl, life really is unfair.
My daughter Lauren is very sensitive, and over the months has come to me crying for Nadine. She can’t imagine losing me and sometimes it makes her think of my Mom. There are times I have felt like I have told her and her sister about this too young and taken away their innocence. The thing is though, we have had great discussions because of this situation. We have talked about heaven and are learning to appreciate every moment. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow!
Last week, as Nadine started radiation, our team began to pray at 8 PM (EST). Wherever we are, we stop and pray for her healing. There is nothing sweeter than a child’s prayer. Little Kaitlyn is simple and prays for the doctors or for Nadine to be healed. Lauren’s prayers are profound and melt me. The other night, she told God that we look forward to the next miracle. My girls are learning to pray boldly and to look for miracles. They are being prepared for all life will throw at them and they know God will be there with them. I now believe children are never too young to witness God’s power and love. Even when things aren’t going the way we wanted, there will always be hope.
Linked with Holley Gerth