Thursday, July 23, 2009
Yesterday I made an appearance at the summer church camp at Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill. I spoke of Karl, our lives during treatment and about Karl’s Books. They are collecting books and making creative bookmarks for the clinic. I really enjoyed talking to these smart, attentive children. A few of them reminded me of Karl. He was always so good in a group. Always the one answering and asking questions.
I spoke to three different groups—upcoming kindergarteners thru 6th grade. During one of my talks I explained that when I go to the hospital I don’t tell my personal story. I am just there to provide books and occasionally speak to a family about their experience. One little girl raised her hand after she thought about it for a while and said, “You don’t want the families to give up hope”. And I said yes.
I took photos of Karl doing all of the activities he did during treatment. Reading, computer, swimming, rafting, boating, acting. I stressed how active he stayed. So determined to keep going. A boy on the front row raised his hand and said,” Since you knew he was going to die, you wanted to give him the best life you could before he went to Heaven”. I automatically started to speak and try to make sense of what he said and then I stopped myself. His simple words summed up all three years. We all wanted him to have the best we could give him.
I tear up as I remember these children. It makes me want to drive over to that church and grab them both and whirl them around. Oh what insight. I hope they can retain that all their lives.
I spoke to them about the prayer shawl we used from Karl’s uncle and aunt in Greenville, Michigan. I talked of how we prayed for healing and how what you pray for might turn out differently than you had in mind. I told them I have had so much healing and now that I think about it, those children are part of my healing, too. I told them I believe in God more than ever before. Karl is still with us. I told them Chink had a dream last weekend where he woke up laughing out loud. He and Karl were laughing at the funniest joke they had ever heard. Karl is still with us. He is just on the Other Side.
Peace to you this summer.