I'm constantly amazed by my two older kids. The way they see the world, the strength of their faith, the joy with which they encounter life. Its an honor watching them grow, being a part of their lives, getting to "train them up in the way they should go." And I am quite sure I learn at least as much from them as they do from me.
Emma and Hazen's journey through the loss of their baby brother has been very hard for me, as Mommy, to live out. Trying to explain what has happened, why it has happened and where Jairus went is something that they have needed repeated for them innumerable times in the past 12 1/2 months. I thought that they would miss him initially and then forget about him, or only bring him up if Mark or I did, or associate Jairus with sadness and unwanted change in their parents' demeanor. They keep proving me wrong. They have recently been talking about Jairus A LOT. Its been so beautiful to hear, in their own words. Here are a few of the most recent things my kids have told me about their brother, their own walks through the valley, and their Jesus...
"Mommy, Jairus isn't a baby anymore, I think he's a kid now, he's growing bigger, like me!" ~Emma
"Emma is a girl, Mommy is a girl, Daddy is a boy, Hazen is a boy, and Jairus is a boy too! Just like me!" ~Hazen
"My baby (doll) isn't going to live in Heaven with Jesus, she's going to live in my house with me. Jairus went to Heaven, but not this baby (doll), not yet. I want her to stay with me." ~Emma
"I feel sad today. I miss Jairus. He's my brother. I miss him." ~Emma
"Mommy, I lost Lightning McQueen, and you lost Jairus, right?" ~Hazen
"NO Hazen, Mommy didn't LOSE Jairus, he's in Heaven now, he's not lost!" ~Emma
"There are lots of rooms in Heaven." ~ Emma
"Mommy, I'm so happy for Jairus being in Heaven with Jesus!" ~Emma
"Look! (at photograph) It's baby Jairus! He looks like me when I was Baby Hazen! Jairus looks like me! I was so cute!" ~Hazen
"Someday we'll get to see Jairus and be with him in Heaven, that will be happy." ~Emma
What amazes me about the above quotes, is that they were all initiated by the kids themselves. They come randomly, while playing with dolls, having a snack, watching a movie, having races with cars. Hazen and Emma are both still figuring it all out. They never got to meet this mysterious baby brother, but they think of him often. They show love for him and great faith in God's goodness in bringing Jairus into Heaven. And their right, though it doesn't makes much sense to us, Jairus is in Heaven where he is happy, where there are "many rooms" prepared for God's children, where we will one day join him and know fully our Lord's good plans for our family.
And it gives me confidence, as a mother with 2 children at home and 1 in the presence of my Savior, to remember that God is always working in the hearts of little Hazen and Emma. He has sheltered them and protected them from much of the heartache of their parents and He will keep growing them in loving compassion, having walked through this valley as a family, clinging to Jesus. By His mercy, we'll keep trying to point them toward Jesus and their Heavenly Home.