Many times as a parent I wonder if the things I am saying are getting through the pretty head of my little girl. I seem to say the same things over and over and over again. I have to constantly remind Dotty to put away her shoes, pick up her toys, brush her teeth, say "please" and "thank you", have patience, try harder to color in the lines, stop talking in class, at bedtime, when others are talking, with her mouth full, during prayers (my girl likes to talk)...and so forth and so on.
Thankfully I was reminded that some things are getting through. The things that really matter in life...like caring for others and having a strong relationship with God and Jesus Christ...have started to grow and blossom inside her.
Yesterday afternoon when I told Dotty that Patsy had passed away Dotty cried for several minutes. She loved Patsy dearly and she was sad to know that her friend would no longer be around to sing and dance with, plant flowers with, or talk about how you can never have too much jewelry or lipstick on at any given occasion.
I tried to explain to Dotty that Patsy had been very sick and that we should be glad she was no longer in pain and that she got to go home to Heaven to see her friends and family who were already there. Dotty asked a lot questions about Heaven...some of them I knew and some of them I didn't. But what I did know and could tell her was that there were no tears in Heaven and Patsy was not in pain anymore. I knew for sure Patsy was glad to be there.
Then Dotty asked about Patsy's daughter Judy...she asked if Judy was sad. I told her I was sure she was. All daughters love their mothers and are sad to see them go. Next Dotty asked about her Memaw. I knew my mom was having a hard time with losing Patsy and I told Dotty Memaw was very sad but she would be fine in time.
Lastly...Dotty asked if we could say a prayer for Patsy...
With tears getting close to the surface I asked Dotty if she wanted to say the prayer of if she wanted me to. Dotty said she would do it.
We bowed our heads, clasped our hands, and in a few short sentences my child showed me what it is like to have the faith of child...the kind of faith I strive for daily...simple and pure.
"Dear Lord, Please watch over Pasty as she goes to Heaven today. Make sure she has a nice house with lots of flowers and have all her friends and family there to welcome her Home. Please help Judy and Memaw and all Patsy's friends to not be sad anymore. And tell Patsy I love her and I will see her in Heaven one day. Amen."
Well of course the tears were pouring from my eyes by the end. I was so touched by Dotty's sweet words. I was so proud too. While she herself was really sad about Patsy's passing she was also really concerned about others...especially Judy and Memaw.
And the best part of all was Dotty knew that in life when things are hard and times are sad it is always best to go to God. Of all the things I have tried to teach Dotty prayer is one of the most important things I hope she will learn. I may not can quote scripture. I may not know all the books of the Old Testament. I may not have all the answers. But what I do know is that I am a child of God. I am loved by Him. And He is there for me in good times and in bad. I know that God listens even when He does not give me an answer...or perhaps the answer I want.
Dotty too knows that she is loved by God and that she can talk to Him whenever she needs to.
When Dotty opened her eyes after her prayer she wasn't crying anymore. I, on the other hand, was almost sobbing. Dotty leaned in to hug me and patted my back and said "It is okay Mommy."
It will be okay. We will all move on from losing Patsy because Patsy would want us to. She loved life and she lived it to the fullest.
Not to mention Dotty will be okay...she will miss Pasty but she will have wonderful memories to cherish. And Dotty will be just fine in life as well. She has a strong sense of faith...she has a loving heart...and she has me (and many others) to help to guide her along her journey. She may forget to brush her teeth some days...and she may get in trouble for talking at wrong times every now and then...but as long as she keeps talking to God...she will be more than okay. She will be blessed.