Sunday, July 31

Longing for the day

this is ugly and honest.

3:23 am and I popped up in bed, something wasn't right. It was a cooler night because of storms so the fans were off and it was silent. Silence...and the sound of rain drops on tin. The hum of the oxygen concentrator I have heard for two weeks was gone and so was she.

Friday night Marilice began vomiting and it was clear that she was bleeding internally, maybe an ulcer. It was a steady downhill fight from there with a seizure yesterday afternoon and her sugar dropping to 42. We spent a good hour trying to get an IV in but her breathing became more and more labored. We fought to put her ng tube back in but she was vomiting profusely. I went to sleep knowing deep down where the night was going. Anna woke me up around 12:30 because she was bleeding from the only IV site we had and couldn't keep anything down. She had that same longing look in her eyes and begged for more water from a syringe. The palms of her hands blanched white, a sign of severe anemia. I offered no help to Anna as there was absolutely nothing more we could do, just love her in those last hours. I kissed her forehead for the last time and went back to bed. Anna held her as she struggled for air for more than 3 hours. It is an unexplainably painful honor to give love and dignity to a child in their last moments. When I awoke at 3:23 I ran down to the clinic and found Anna taking care of her body. We both marveled at how long she really was and how tall she would have stood. She was placed back in the crib where she has spent the last two weeks until she could be buried today. Her body was put in a small white box and laid in the ground this afternoon.

I have never wanted death and life in the same moment like I did for this child. I don't know how to explain the frustration of not knowing what is really wrong with a kid. She was so very sick and I don't know if the extensive care we gave her prolonged her suffering or not. I don't know why she didn't die two weeks ago. The alternative is to do nothing and that I can't imagine either. Yet, I wanted her fight to end. She will never have to know the betrayal of a friend, the heartbreak when a boy doesn't treat her right and the misery I see in so many lives in Haiti. What were we saving her for? In that same breath I wanted this precious little girl to live forever. I don't know how to understand these things but the beauty is that I don't have to because tonight, she is perfect and her arms cling tight around the neck of her heavenly father.

I can't understand His timing or why she suffered so long, yet I turn to Jesus and I understand what he did on that cross thousands of years ago. God loved us so much that Jesus had to give His life to make this right. All of our burdens and our pains and every way that our sin has messed this world up were justified and made right. Because you see if that's not true, then all of this stuff, it's meaningless. If this is it, this life is all we have, then what's the point?

The point is in Christ we hope. We hope for His kingdom to come. We hope for the day when we live with God in beautiful harmony, the way He made us to. He promises to make us all whole and because of that we press on. We press on to save the other 79 kids in our care tonight. You and I press on to love one another in spite of failures, to speak truth when it's hard, to care for our neighbor and forgive our debtors because it was all justified that day on the cross. And we joyfully hope for that day we are all whole.

I love you little girl and I'm thankful, for your life has made me love my Jesus more. This heart longs to see you in heaven.

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I will love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I'll sing with a glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.


Cindi said...

Oh, Sweetie. I am so sad. Had prayed she would be healed. Thank you and Anna for loving her.

Lauren said...

I'm so sad for you and amazed by your strength. I love you.

Roberta said...

Wow. That pain is so hard. :( I know you were all blessed to be in each other's lives. Praying for you guys tonight!

DeDe said...

Beautifully said, sweet girl. I wish I could give you a big hug right now, but instead, I am counting on our very good God to grant you peace and to remind you of His faithfulness.

Love you, DeDe

Mary said...


i love you. and anna. more now, if even possible. the way you articulated this beautiful, terrible feeling was perfect. and so Jesus flowing.

i read this before i left this morning and ended up at the vatican. every word you crafted in this heart-song was hard to sit with alone and being surrounded by a million people sounded better. eventually, i stood shaking at a tapestry as big as the RC. the tiniest threads wove together a room-filling portrait of Jesus. the most intense light was radiating from the center where Jesus stood rolling away his own grave stone, the holes still pierced in his feet and hands.

"Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again"

--i couldn't stop thinking about the reason he did that. and it was all for marilice. he went through all of that so that last night she could be with Him, and only Him for the rest of eternity. thank you for loving her. praying with you for that perfect day. literally, cannot wait to see you both there.

Jess said...

Caroline...O. my gosh. im. speechless...ive felt this...ive so felt this.

You made me cry, this makes me cry and hurt and question and trust...all wrapped up in one.

I'm so thankful for you, for Anna, for Mary...that our hearts are knit together and understand each other...that we don't have to do this alone.

Love you 3 so so much. Jesus is good to bring you into my so good.