I held Graham’s body for only a short time before the compelling need to gather my small family overwhelmed me. As it was, Charlotte was sitting by herself just down the hall and Eleanor was still stranded at daycare. I mustered a small amount of composure and made the first phone call. “Graham is dead and I need you to pick up my girls,” I blurted to a friend. I couldn’t explain, I couldn’t connect, I could barely feel a thing. “Please, help me take care of my girls.”
I called home next, and my dad answered. “Is mom with you?” I stammered. “No, she’ll be here soon.” he replied casually. I paused and then uttered one single word before my voice cracked unnaturally, “Dad.” In that one word, he knew. He didn’t know what exactly, but he knew. I quickly reported the state of horror around us and our desperate need for their presence.
With my parents on their way, I tucked Graham into Evan’s arms and ventured from our room for the first time. I slowly made my way towards Charlotte who was coloring furiously at the small nurse’s station desk. I collected her into my lap and looked her in the eyes. “Charlotte, honey. Graham died.” Bewilderment and betrayal flashed onto her face, and she instantly encircled me with her entire body and sobbed loudly into my neck. After only a few heart wrenching minutes, she leaned away from me and let me wipe her tears, “I wanted to watch Graham grow up and be a daddy.” she stated quietly.
I explained that our friends would be picking her up and then they would all go and get Eleanor. She could eat McDonald’s for dinner, and Manna and Pop were on their way – we would be together soon.
My last words to her before she walked away were simple, “Graham’s with Jesus so he’s ok. And Jesus is with us so we’re ok.” I looked into her eyes with as much peace and sincerity as I could summon, and she nodded her understanding. In that moment, our hope in Jesus was uncomplicated and true.
The truth that was then so straightforward, now seems complex and almost unattainable. My peace and confidence gives way to confusion and anger. Graham gets Jesus and perfection. I get Jesus and heartache. Jesus fixes everything.. yet everything remains broken. I just…
I don’t want to be where I am! Today I pray the only prayer that makes any sense to me: “Come quickly Lord Jesus! Enough of this… please!”