Five years ago, I became acquainted with the world of childhood cancer through the journey of a friend's little boy. He was just months younger than Little Girl, and the thought was absolutely staggering... if something like this could happen to them, it could happen to us.
This baby had a brain tumor, and after a long hard year of surgeries and treatments, he went to heaven. His family met many other cancer babies during this year, of course, and I followed their stories and prayed for those children and their families too. And one by one, I watched every single child die.
A few months after my friend's baby's death, I could take no more. No more links, no more blogs, no more following the stories of children with cancer. It was too hard. It was too sad.
Families who get thrust into that situation don't have that option. No matter how hard it is, no matter how sad, they can't just turn their head and say, "Nope, I've had enough, I'm not going to do this anymore."
But I could. And I did.
For four years I did. But now sick children seem to be facing me everywhere I go.
A girl I've gone to church with since we were children had a baby this week... a very sick baby. She's clinging to life right now... just barely. And suddenly I'm plunged back into the life of 4-5 years ago, where you check constantly for updates, and soar high when it looks like a miracle is occurring, only to be plunged to the depths again when things suddenly sour and prospects are grim.
But it's not just this little baby. There's beautiful little Kate McRae, whose situation reminds me so much of my friend's son's. And Small Stellan McKinney is not doing well at all this week. And have you heard of the terrible bus accident at FBC Shreveport? Young Maggie Lee Henson and her family are walking a hard road right now.
It begs the question why. Why must children suffer and die? It seems so wrong.
And it is wrong. It was never part of God's original design. When sin entered the world, so did death and suffering. It's ugly. It's wrong. But it's here nonetheless. Fortunately, it will one day be no more and we can all live forever in perfect health and happiness. But until that time, it's going to happen, and it could happen to any of us at any time.
So I guess the only question now is, what are we going to do when it does?
And no, I don't have an answer to that question.