So many friends have asked how my little boy Von is doing since Kara’s death. I appreciate the prayers and love for my son, whom Kara loved so well. It hasn’t been an easy transition, but I think the long goodbye helped him figure things out in his little head. He turned three 2 days before Kara’s Homecoming, and he was confused about why she wasn’t at his party. I reminded him that she was home sick in bed, and that one day very soon, Jesus would heal her and take her to live with Him in His big, beautiful house.
Over the past 3 1/2 weeks (have we lived without her that long already?!), he has noticed my sadness. He asks about it, and when I explain that I miss Kara, he reminds me that Kara is all bettoo [better]. He has a beautiful vision of Heaven. He told Kara during their last visit that he thought Jesus had a green bike for her to ride and probably a green ball to play with, too. He imagines her working in the garden; I told him Jesus’ garden was bigger than the park, and his eyes grew wide with delight. He asks questions like whether or not Jesus has garden gloves for Kara and if she has to mow the lawn. I love his imagination. My answer is always the same: Whatever Kara needs in Heaven, Jesus provides. I know he wouldn’t understand that being in God’s presence is enough, because even I don’t understand that. But we dream together and thank God every night that Kara is healed.
Von has a tender heart for the Tippetts. He especially aches for Jason and Story. When he says his nightly and morning prayers, he prays for them without my prompting. He says,
Cake coo [thank you] dat Kara is all bettoo and you healed her. Cake coo dat she gets to live with you and work in your garden and she doesn’t have to stay in bed or have a bubble treatment [his word for her oxygen]. Pease give Jason peace. Pease give Elwa and Harper and Wake and Story peace. Pease tell Story dat her mama is all bettoo and is healed.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I’m not sure he understands what peace is, but he knows somehow that it is what Jason and the kids need. The day after Kara’s memorial service, we went to church and Story was standing off on her own while I talked to Kara’s parents. Von saw her and gently approached her and gave her the most tender embrace I’ve ever seen. She smiled that sweet Story Jane smile and hugged him back. This past Sunday he hugged Jason, but he told me that Jason doesn’t do kisses because he has a beard. Ha!
I don’t know his understanding of permanence or how much he will remember of Kara. But her legacy is strong in his heart, and his love of her spreads to her family. Kara’s love changed him! She loved him in special ways that no one else did. And I will forever be grateful.