In light of what Brian said, we feel equally as strong that we should post “updates” more often. It will never be the same as when our kids were still fighting here (many things won’t)… I know that folks have other issues that demand their attention. Still, I feel adamant about following through with the ministry that God allowed us to take part in when our families were struck by childhood cancer. It has changed us. We want to help others see the beneficial parts of that change.
For starters, I have been meaning to mention that Joshua’s memorial stone was finally set over Easter. We are pleased with how it turned out. It is simple but appropriate for Joshua. My dad, Joel Pratt, drew the sketch that appears on the front. Mike Quesenberry, one of Floyd’s great closet poets, wrote the verse that we put on the back. It sits in the front of Pratt Cemetery on Black Ridge Road, and we are not territorial or private about the place, just for everyone’s information. In fact, we appreciate so much knowing that Joshua is not forgotten by others. We, of course, visit regularly. Sometimes when I am in “earthly mode” it upsets me to look at the place where we buried my son’s body and to think about the implications that our mortal minds automatically apply to cemeteries, graves, etc. BUT there are other times—times that get more and more frequent—when it is a lovely place to visit and reflect and to imagine the day when all of those beautiful souls will reunite with those they loved and who loved them. I practiced the mantra for awhile, For we walk by faith, not by sight… and now, on most days, it is well with my soul.
It would satisfy me greatly to think that my own children might grow accustomed to this way of thinking. It’s hard, I know, to be open with children about death. I know for a fact I would not have raised my own talking regularly about those who have passed on. But in our circumstances, we actually make a point to. This includes some tough moments when we might have to explain and re-explain that no, we cannot visit Joshua in heaven; no, we cannot see him here again. However, we communicate just as certainly that one day we are all destined for the same place where Joshua now resides, and we will be together again.
A.J. and Isaiah, by the way, are doing very well. We hate that we had another scare this week with A.J. He got stung by a wasp and had to be visited by the ambulance. We try not to toss this idea around casually, but let’s just say that I feel very sure that A.J.’s special angel was watching over him on Friday morning. A.J. is always bad to get to take medicine, and he very predictably protested when I got the Benadryl minutes after the stings on his face occurred. Then very suddenly, he stopped screaming for one second and took the Benadryl on his own without my having to force it down him. This slowed the reaction, possibly preventing it from affecting his breathing. If you could have seen his face, you might have wondered how, but he was checked over thoroughly and was fine by that evening.
Isaiah is six months old now and doing so well. He gives high fives and these incredible melt-your-heart smiles. He is still our little miracle, “binding up the brokenhearted.” Nothing short of the great reunion can heal them, but broken hearts can indeed be bound when nourished by kindred spirits here below. We are truly blessed.
We’ll write again next week… Laura & Travis