I’m grateful to host Dale Carroll-Coleman here today. You can read her blog here.
She shares a heartrending story of loss and down-the-road hope. I pray it blesses you.
What A six Year Old Remembers…
When I was six years old, life changed.
Tragedy paints a sharp picture on our hearts. I am now many years past that age but I see the day as if it were yesterday.
The June sun was shining as I waved goodbye to my brother. I was headed to school, the last days of 1st grade. He stood at the top of the hill waving, a daring, funny 4 yr old.
I remember the phone ringing in my classroom that afternoon. It hung on the wall, a long dangling cord. My teacher took the quick call, looked at me, told me to gather my things and go to the office.
Walking to the front office I met my older brother. Our Principal smiled at us from the doorway, waving goodbye.
A couple from church seemed to be taking us home… a surprise perhaps? We traveled the short mile to our house, in silence. I was six. I didn’t ask questions.
We drove past my grandparent’s house. I noticed my aunt walking around the front of the house with someone, their arm around her. I said that she was taking Jeff on a picnic today. My mom’s friend said something about not feeling like going on a picnic.
We arrived home to a driveway full of cars.
We were met with familiar faces, mostly from church… but they looked different. My grandfather sat, motionless, red eyes, wet with tears. People were crying. My parents walked across the room to meet us.
Our little brother had been hit by a car. He would not be coming home… at least to this home. He was with Jesus.
As I sat by my mom, I watched my little sister, circling the dining room table on her scooter. She was 2 yrs old… unaware. I wanted to be her. She had lost her pal, her buddy, her partner in crime, but she didn’t know it yet.
Boy, girl, boy, girl… a family of four. Life changed that day. Boy, girl, girl.
My sister lost, my brother lost, sharing bunk beds, life as brothers. I became a middle child that day. We all lost… our innocence, our belief that life was always sweet.
At six I felt deep sadness. Yet, there was a trust. A peace. My brother was with Jesus, and I knew I could trust Jesus.
I knew Jesus loved the little children. At six, Jesus was deep in my soul.
In the days following I watched my parents behavior and modeled it.
Practice bitterness, hatred, fear…. That will be grown in your children. I saw faith, forgiveness, hope.
My faith was solidified in the days after losing my brother. Jesus showed Himself to me new that day. He whispered in my ear… I am with you. I will never leave you. I will take care of you.… and He has.
He does love the little children, because the Bible tells me so.
Recently, we have watched mouths agape, hearts torn open, as our children have been attacked. The small ones, the innocent.
We think of moms and dads with empty arms and hearts. We mourn the loss of their sweet children. We pray for brothers and sisters. They will remember the day, the sadness, loss. What they were doing in that moment, the color of the sky… burning deep memories in their souls.
I pray they remember…. hearing Jesus whisper in their ears… I am with you. I will never leave you. I will take care of you.
I pray their mamas and daddies hear that same voice and trust God for the days ahead.
Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”