Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Heart Was Heavy....Then It Was Light....Then It Was Heavy....Then It Was Light....Now It's Just Confused!

I received a phone call this morning about 8:00 from Pastor Ken....he said, "Lorie, I just wanted to let you know that Jayla passed away this morning." I said, "Okay, thank you for calling me." Then I hung up and immediately called the elementary school that 2 of my children attend and asked to speak to the counselor. She wasn't there yet, so I asked to have her call me as soon as she got in. I was so torn about what to see Jayla was Drew's friend....they were in 2nd grade together....2ND GRADE....I never wanted to say that I knew a child in 2nd grade who got so ill that she died! Drew has asked me nearly daily, "Mama, is Jayla still alive?" Jayla hasn't been in school since right around Valentines Day. The leukemia had come back, and there was nothing else they could do to treat it. The children, in her class, had all been told that Jayla wasn't coming back to school; and they had all been told that she was not going to live much longer. I had promised Drew that I would tell her when the time came that Jayla went to heaven. That time was today, after she was already at school, what to do....what to do! Should I let the counselor tell her? Should I go to her school and tell her? What to do? After I sobbed for a while and got myself to work, I received a phone call from her counselor. She explained to me that they had decided not to tell the children until tomorrow...there were a handful of parents who really wanted to tell their own children about Jayla's being one of them. Tomorrow the counselor will tell the other children. She said they will have the crisis center there to help the children deal with their grief, there will be children from other schools (who also knew Jayla) there as well.....HEAVY HEART!!! As I played with my little 2 year olds, at the preschool that I work at, I watched their little eyes light up at the smallest thing; and I tried to soak it all in. It is a blessing to witness that.....LIGHT HEART!!! Those little ones reminded me, once again, that life is short, it's temporary, live in the moment; because it will be gone before we know it. The day continued on with a few sad thoughts, but mainly for the other children tomorrow. Drew knew that Jayla was going to die, and she was very matter of fact about it...."Jayla will be in Heaven" she would say in such a matter of fact sort of way. After school Drew and Cal got into the car, and she immediately started telling me April Fools jokes. She was in a light hearted mood, and she is a very "matter of fact" yet sensitive child. I told her that Jayla had died that morning, and that Pastor Ken had called me after she was already at school; so I decided to wait until after school to tell her. She didn't say a word....her face just turned pale....then after a minute she said..."But mama I didn't get to take her the stuffed animal I made her." Drew had hand sewn Jayla an animal a week or so ago, but Jayla had gotten too sick for visitors by that time. I told her that we could put it in an envelope and leave it for Jayla's mama, and Drew nodded yes....all the while remaining quiet and pale. I could tell she was choking back tears, and so was I. I think she was surprised at her wave of emotions. I think she thought when Jayla died that she would be so glad that Jayla was not sick, that she was in Heaven; and I think she realized that this was going to be much harder to deal with than she originally thought. I saw her quickly wipe a tear away. Then I said, "Drew, it's okay to be sad." And the water works began....she went up to her room and cried and cried and hard and so long. I went up to rub her back and just listen, and I cried and cried and cried right along with her.....HEAVY HEART!!!! She said, "Mama, I was having a really good day but now I'm not." I told her it is sad when someone dies, for those left behind, because we miss them; but the good thing is that Jayla is not sad, she is healthy and glorious and full of joy....then I left her alone. She came downstairs and got a snack, and I can tell that she is letting that sink in. We discussed what tomorrow would be like, and that there were going to be a lot of sad people at school. I haven't given her the option of staying home tomorrow, but I will if it seems appropriate. Right now....I think Drew....although so very sad, will be the light in the darkness tomorrow. I think she will be comforting to those children who are so confused and is she, but she knows the end result for Jayla is eternal life with Jesus. She does know this! While I was giving Drew her space and waiting for her to come downstairs, I checked on Stellan (as I do a gazillion times per day). I watched the slideshow that MckMama put together and as I heard Chris Tomlin sing "How Great Is Our God" and watched those pictures float by....I found a smile creeping across my face.....LIGHT HEART!!!! Odd, I thought to myself, that I find myself smiling after such a heartbreaking day.....after reading that Stellan is sick enough to need a blood transfusion....after watching my precious little girl's heart break right in front of my eyes....after thinking about Jayla's parents, her mother, and their loss..... then I realized the smile wasn't because I'm happy, but it's because GOD IS all circumstances He is good. He will bring, and is currently bringing (as MckMama said) good from all of these circumstances....that much I do know! I will say that my heart is so confused by all of child should ever have to deal with the loss of their friend, and no parent should ever have to deal with the loss of their child; but it happens.....CONFUSED HEART!!!! It just happens, and although I don't understand it and don't claim to.....I believe that God is walking along beside us and He is sad too!

1 comment:

Gracie said...

Sorry for the death of your daughter's friend. My daughter, too, lost a friend in 3rd grade to undiagnosed juvenile diabetes. It is so hard to watch your baby suffer through the loss of a friend. My prayers are with you all.