Our 6 year old friend Nolan, Eden's kindergarten boyfriend, was battling brain cancer. His journey ended Thursday night, the night before Good Friday.
On Ash Wednesday, I began the Lenten season by reading an early morning email from a strong mother, finding brave words to tell family and friends that her son might not live to see his 7th birthday in April. Hard words to read, let alone write.
Through these almost-40 days of Lent, I have cried many tears. For Nolan, for Nolan's mom and dad, for families who go through this dark hell. I have prayed, and cried out to God, and begged for his life.
And today, as I thought of Good Friday and brokenness and hopes dashed and lives cut short, I cried again. And tried to answer our daughters' questions of "why," but mostly my answers were "I don't know. It's not fair, and there is just no good explanation." I refuse to give them answers like "it was God's will" or "it was his time to die" because I just don't believe that. We live in a broken world, and sometimes life is very hard and truly unfair.
As we cried and hugged each other, I thought of all the lessons that Nolan taught me:
* to wonder and learn from nature, from creepy-crawly insects to red-eyed tree frogs to slippery snakes
* to fight for life, and defend it like the best hockey goalie around
* to pursue your dreams, like horseback riding, collecting bugs in Florida, and meeting great hockey players
* that Kitchener Rangers hockey games are a pile of fun to watch (we went last Friday to watch Nolan drop the puck to start the game)
* to think of others, gifting them with Valentine cards and Sea World stuffies
* to hold onto bits of life - to butterflies, to rays of sunlight through the window, to bright stars at night
* to stare dark monsters in the face and whisper, "Not a chance, monsters. Not a chance."
* that no matter what your age, you can affect countless people with your life
Nolan, we will never forget you - especially Eden. You stole her heart from the first day of Kindergarten. She admired you and called you a bug expert. Her goal for the year 2012 was to marry you, and you will always have a place in her heart. After all, how could she forget her first kiss in the line-up to the computer lab? You have taught us so much in your short life. Rest in God's care, Nolan.
|Eden and Nolan in Kindergarten|