The life of George…an update

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated on George’s story. And for those that have been following along, you’ll be happy to know that kindergarten has been going great! We’ve only missed 9 days so far, which in George’s world is pretty remarkable. And only once was it a pretty serious illness…but no hospital stays.

We had a check up at Mayo in October. The pediatric neurologist is amazed with our progress. She cannot believe how far he has come. We had a repeat MRI and the gaps in his brain that they have been concerned about have not grown any. Some serious miracles here, folks. Science and God…together.

Every day at Mayo, George would stop and say the Pledge of Allegiance to this flag. He's one amazing little kid.

Every day at Mayo, George would stop and say the Pledge of Allegiance to this flag. He’s one amazing little kid.

The last two weeks have been a bit more difficult. George has had some tummy issues that we can’t quite figure out. We’ve had an ER trip, a few docs visits…and it seems to be getting worse, not better. But we were able to get in to see a doctor this afternoon and we have a plan – and for some reason I always feel a little better when we have a plan. And if things aren’t looking better by Friday, well, then we are looking at another plan.

On day 2 at Mayo, George wore his Ninja Turtle sweatshirt. One doctor came up to him and shook his hand, and told him it was a pleasure to meet a real super hero. George is definitely MY super hero!

On day 2 at Mayo, George wore his Ninja Turtle sweatshirt. One doctor came up to him and shook his hand, and told him it was a pleasure to meet a real super hero. George is definitely MY super hero!

But with everything that has been going on, I’ve become a bit difficult. A little sensitive. Sleeping less. Needing more. Just not myself. I’ve lost a bit of my focus.

And then tonight, it all came sharply back into focus.

George was sitting behind me in the suburban on the way home. Today I had woke up late, managed to get the kids ready, worked, had rearranged schedules so I could squeeze in a doctor’s appointment for George, drove 45 minutes to the appointment, then back for two parent-teacher’s conferences, listen to my 10-year-old explain how a schoolmate had told him that he’s growing too fast that he’s going to die, talk to him about bullying and coping techniques, went to a book fair, gave my son some meds…and we were finally on the way home.

In the two minutes of silence that we were blessed with, George asked, “Is heaven fun?”

I didn’t know how…or if…I should respond. Why was he asking? Was he having dreams? Had he been hearing me talking to his doctors at Mayo? Had someone else been talking near him?

So I carefully said, “Yes, I am sure it is. But why do you ask?”

He said, “I just want to be sure I can play there when I die.”

Silence.

I couldn’t say a word.

My 5-year-old made me speechless.

I sometimes get so wrapped up in the minutia of life…and I forget the big picture. And then George will say something and it will be like God tapping me on the shoulder, reminding me that in the grand scheme of things, the destination is much more important than the scenery along the way.

I do not know how many more tomorrows George has ahead of him…nobody knows how many tomorrows they may have. Yet I know that George faces a few more obstacles than the average person. But he faces those obstacles with more bravery and courage than I could ever muster.

 

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Palm Sunday and tough questions

We went to church today as a family. That’s not normally cause for celebration, but we’re down to nine cows left to calve, so Boss Man even made it to church with us! It was a great morning/early afternoon together.

Since today was Palm Sunday, the boys were involved in the service by carrying in palm leaves for everyone to wave during our opening services. It was great to see even the younger boys getting into the festivity.

The service went on pretty uneventfully, including the children’s sermon, which doesn’t usually have too big of an impact on our littlest two. After the children’s sermon, instead of a regular sermon regarding the importance of this holiday, three readers from our church read The Passion, or the recount of Jesus’ last hours before the crucifixion.

I didn’t think much of it, but EJ was oddly silent. He was staring at the image projected on the wall:

This is the image that had EJ in deep thought.

He looked up at me, and asked, “How did Jesus die?”

I wasn’t sure where he was going with his thoughts, so I simply stated that he died on the cross. He asked who put them there, and I said that people that thought he was a bad man put him there. And then things became more difficult for me.

EJ looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and simply said, “But Mom, they were wrong. Why didn’t anyone tell them they were wrong?”

Silence.

I had no answer.

In fact, even if I did have an answer, I wouldn’t have been able to share it with him. I gave him a reassuring hug, and tried to compose myself.

I have participated in many Palm Sunday services. I have read a good portion of the Bible, although I have never read it from front to back. I read from my Bible regularly, going where my heart leads me, picking scripture that suits the day, the mood…and yet, here a 6-year-old boy brings me to tears and leads me to a place that I hardly understand.

When we got home from church, I spent a little time reading to EJ out of his Bible, so that his fears were allayed and that he could rejoice in knowing that Jesus did not suffer needlessly. His death was a gift to us all, and that it’s up to each of us to decide how to use that gift.

This little man was relieved to learn the importance of the story told today, but his innocence taught me more than anything.

This little man was relieved to learn the importance of the story told today, but his innocence taught me more than anything.

Deep thoughts for a 6-year-old, but I’ve quickly come to realize that EJ isn’t your typical 6-year-old. Perhaps next year he can explain it all to me.

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and reveled them to little children.” (Luke 10:21)