Thursday, February 16, 2012


"Mom? Why did grandpa get lighter and lighter?"

"What do you mean, Caleb?"

"Before he died. He got lighter and lighter. His skin changed color and got lighter."

Stunned silence. 

What else did he notice?

"Well, when we get sick, sometimes out skin color changes. Like when you get the flu and you are about to puke, sometimes I can tell because your face turns a light green color. It's just part of being sick."

"So, when I get sick, I change color too?"

"Sometimes, yes."

"If I get the flu and change color does that mean I will die?"

"No sweetie, it just means that you are sick. Grandpa was very, very sick. His body was very close to dying. His blood had lots of cancer in it. He also wasn't breathing very well because there was cancer in his lungs. He got lighter and lighter because his soul, what's inside of him, was getting ready to leave his body and go to Heaven. But that doesn't always happen when we are sick. If we get lighter it just means that our body is fighting the bad germs and trying to get better."

These conversations are so difficult. I'm amazed at his observations with both Joshua and my dad. He noticed things that we tried to protect him from. We failed. Now, I can only pray that his heart remains tender and that the Holy Spirit helps guide my words and his understanding.

It's not fair that a 5 year old has to ask these kinds of questions.


Liz said...

You are doing such an excellent job with him. These conversations are hard, I'm sure -- but WOW, you blow my socks off!! God is faithful and will protect and keep his precious little heart.

Auntie M said...

You handle these tough times like a pro: you and Shane are incredible parents. You take the tough problems and questions and meet them head on. Your children will always be grateful to you for that: they will always know that they can come to you for the the truth and receive just that. What a blessing!

However, I have to say my heart skipped a beat when I started reading this because I thought that perhaps Caleb saw something else entirely.

Did you ask him what colour his g'pa was turning as he got lighter and lighter? Just wondering if (with his eyes of a child and mind of a child that has not been closed by adult sensibilities) if he saw the glories of God shining down on his g'pa making him appear lighter and lighter.

My mom worked at a Children's Hospital for many years and it was not uncommon for the dying child or those children on the same floor to see angels waiting to accompany the child home or the glory of God shining down on the child when adults saw nothing.

Prior to my g'ma passing, she 1st slipped into a partial coma where she could still talk and she began describing the glories of heaven. She saw her mother there and my g'pa waiting for her. But she was still looking for her true Beloved. Then she slipped into a deep coma. My mom and the hospice nurses spent time praying around her and singing hymns. My mom washed her and prepared her earthly body. Eventually my mom went home to catch a couple hrs sleep. During that time she had this amazing dream of my grandmother walking into this amazing light and this Hand grasping hers as she joyfully shook off pain and sickness and age. My mom was then awakened by the call saying my grandmother had just passed.

Perhaps Caleb saw more than just the pallor of illness...perhaps he saw a glimpse of eternity? But either way: again, the important thing is he is comfortable coming to his parents with his questions as he knows he will receive truthful answers...and they are answers that aren't too heavy for him: you and Shane are still carrying the really heavy load for your family, but you are giving Caleb the truth he can handle the right "sizes" (if you will): to set him free and not burden him further.

Mellow said...

To the previous comment, I thought the same thing when I saw what Caleb had said. You do handle this so very well...even though I know with every fiber of your being you are stomping your feet in protest to have to do these things. I am still praying for you and your precious family.

If you haven't had a chance to read it yet...maybe now would be good to pick up Heaven is for Real. It was such a blessing to us as we were grieving our losses. Thinking of you all. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I have been a long time follower of your blog, but I don't post often. I have been amazed by your faith and the honesty of your blog. My heart aches for you and my breath get choked in my throat when I read your more recent posting. I don't know why this life can be so unfair. Even though I don't know what I can say or do, I just want you know that you are in my thoughts. I am entrusting your heart to God knowing that once hailing storm slows down that you will be able to see the silver lining of God's hand in your life. A friend recently shared this song with me. I am hoping that you might find some comfort in it as well.

Loneliest Walk-David Osmond (

"She pushes 'L' on that old elevator door
Her heart is broken, arms are bare
The doors are closing and she's staring at the floor
There's still a piece of her up there

It seems like yesterday she saw him on the screen
Painted a room and picked out names
But now she has to leave him under big machines
To keep alive his tiny frame
She's on the way to her car but it's never felt this far

With each step she takes there's another to follow
And one more ache, one more tear to swallow
She's gotta keep moving,
Forget about the bruising inside
Through the loneliest walk of her life

He pushes up his glasses, staring at her name
One last time before he leaves
He saw this coming but to see it now, engraved
It's still so hard to believe

It seems like yesterday they kissed and made their vows
Her favorite flowers in her hair
He's staying later than they normally allow
Clutching those flowers in a prayer
And on the way to their front door, no hand to hold there anymore

With each step he takes there's another to follow
And one more ache, one more tear to swallow
He's gotta keep moving,
Forget about the bruising inside
Through the loneliest walk of his life

He pushes up the board they've tied onto his shoulders
He bears, with dignity, disgrace
He hears the jeering and the wind is getting colder
Tastes the blood upon his face

His body bruised an back still open from the scourges
The consequence of wicked men
He knows no man on earth has ever deserved this
But still He bears it all for them
And He keeps moving up the hill to do His Father's will

With each step He takes there's another to follow
And one more ache, one more tear to swallow
We all stand by and watch as the price is paid
Through the loneliest walk of His life
So we don't feel alone in the night
We can have His hand holding the light
Through the loneliest walk of our lives.

Keep pushing through this lonely walk you're going through
'Cause someone's walked this way before

Beverley said...

Jill, you are preparing your children to live life well. To see things through eternity's eyes. We are on a time line that is hanging in the middle of eternity...where it is always today! What a gift you are giving! Thank you for taking the time to truly love your children.

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