To be totally honest, Eric and I have never really talked with Elliot about death. So tonight when he was talking about dying and killing (some big kids in the game room were playing a war game) we sat down and talked about what dying meant. I started by asking if he knew what dying and killing was and he said that Jesus says not to kill. I smiled (and almost laughed) that that was his first response and that he knew enough to connect the dots between what the boys were saying today and what he's heard about the 10 commandments. And so started a conversation about the RMH house and how every family here has someone like sister. Someone who is not totally healthy and who has to see the doctors to help them get better. We talked about how we always hope and pray that surgeries go well but sometimes they don't. Sometimes things go wrong and and instead of coming home from the hospital to be with their families, they go to be with God instead. He wanted to know if we could see people with God and I had to say no. I let him know that when people get to be with Jesus that they are happy b/c time with Him is always good, but the families that are still here are sad b/c they don't get to be with their loved one. It was so hard to explain. I felt like I was walking this terrible line not wanting Elliot to be scared of doctors or hospitals or even God.
The RMH has somewhat of a family atmosphere b/c we all KNOW what each other are going through. We've all had close calls, hard times, difficult surgeries, celebrations in hospital gowns, thousands of pounds of cafeteria food, and more. We know when other kids are going though various procedures and support the parents through talking, hugging, praying, keeping our distance, visiting, etc. RMH recently had a family who lost a little girl. It was awful. You could feel the difference in the house. As we mourned with the family, I think we all secretly prayed that we would never know how that actually felt.
Elliot and I spoke then too, but it was more about the family than the little girl b/c he'd never met her since she'd always been in the hospital. Now we have many families that Elliot knows and are having surgeries and he is asking about them. Although we've talked about Arden's surgery coming up, he's starting to connect this with other people he knows. Elliot prayed tonight for a sweet little girl named Reagan Grace that is going for her heart surgery tomorrow. He prayed for her to be strong and for her mommie not to be sad. Amazing what he understands! We'd love for you to join us in prayer for Reagan and her family tonight and all day tomorrow. She is 3, just like Elliot, and was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia and MAPCA's. She also has DiGeorge Syndrome which affects her immune system, her feeding, her walking, and her speech. Elliot loves her! It's so fun to watch the two of them together! She also loves Arden. It's so sweet to hear her little voice call out to see baby Arden and hear her voice get so much bigger as she plays in the play house with Elliot.
So all in all, tonight's conversations were good, but I think they wore me out. Please pray for Eric and I as we maneuver through all this with Elliot, pray for Elliot's understanding and the person this is shaping him to be, pray for Arden as she is getting more fussy (something to be expected as she gets closer to needing her surgery) and for her surgery coming up. And pray for Reagan as she goes through her 4th open heart surgery tomorrow at 7am. We are praying for healing for both Arden and Reagan - if your faith can take you there, we'd love for you to join us in this powerful request. Thanks for, well, everything. We'll keep you posted on Reagan tomorrow and on Arden's surgery this Friday and on Elliot's sweet understanding of it all.