Kara’s Collection: “I hope your mom doesn’t die.”

From an article originally posted September 1, 2012…

Kids are so honest. So honest. Yesterday was a big day. My first day in public sporting my new Sinead look, wig shopping, and the first time I was asked by my kids if I was going to die.

When I walked in from wig shopping, my sweet second-born asked me if I was going to die. I looked at her and said, Yes. Then I invited her upstairs with me as I put on my comfy clothes. Big conversations require an elastic waist.

Harper Joy and I jumped on my bed for an honest conversation. First, I asked her why she asked me that question. She said she was swinging on the playground and a friend said to her, “I sure hope your mom doesn’t die.” Up until that point, I don’t think Harper had considered it. She has enjoyed the fruit of cancer—Lots of people and love.

This was a special moment for Harper and me. I spoke honestly that I would be dying, that she would be dying, that it is a reality for us all. I asked if she knew where I would go if I died. She said, “Mommy, you will go be with Jesus in Heaven.” I asked her if I did anything to deserve that. She said, “No.” I told her how I wasn’t good, but how Jesus in His goodness placed His love on me, and that Christ paid it all for me and for her.

We talked about cancer being very scary. I was honest with her that people die of cancer. I told her the doctor has a good plan, but only God knows how long I will live. I told her it was okay to be sad. Then, my sweet baby girl cried. Big tears. So did I.

Afterward, like any normal, almost-eight-year old, she asked about her birthday. I realized early this week that her birthday would come as I was very sick from chemo. I quickly planned her party. It is going to be a great time. I went on to tell Harper that I would be sick, very sick next week, but that was Mommy getting better, not dying. Her special mentor will be doing something special for her on her actual birthday.

I wish I could take away the fears of this sweet, tender-hearted little girl, but I can’t. I told her to talk to the One who cares for her every breath. I know He has plans for her good through this suffering. It hurts to watch your children suffer. There are a lot of hard parts through this, but this is part of the hardest. I can tell that my shaved head is hard for some of the kids. They are trying hard to be positive and brave, but every day I look less and less of what they knew me to be. But we are looking, seeking, hunting for the grace to deal with all that is hard.

I’m exhausted, I start the day tired and end it beyond tired. An absolute team is coming together to help me do the birthday party today. Someone planned a craft, someone is doing the game and cupcakes, someone is bringing tea sandwiches, and someone else is bringing fudge. I can’t believe the support and love we have around us. It is very humbling. I can hardly wait. But I know me. I will spend it all in 2 short hours today at the tea party for eight-year olds.

It has surprised us a little, but Harper is the most attached to our Pippi Gunshot. It’s very sweet.

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
— Galatians 2:15,16