This is the Life! (Pre-Diagnosis)
Jackie, age 5, was kicking back in a La-Z-Boy chair with her grilled cheese sandwich sipping her Sunny Delight while watching SpongeBob Square Pants on TV and announced to the world, “This is the life!”
She then said, “I don’t ever want to grow up! I always want to stay a kid! I don’t ever want to become a mommy (she saw how much work Carrie did as a mother of three small children) because a mommy’s work is too hard.”
When most kids are 5 they want to be 10. When they are 15 they want to be 20. Jackie was just the opposite. She never wanted to grow up. She always wanted to remain a child in the safe confines of her loving family, childhood friends, pets, church family and life of fun.
A Revelation (Post-Diagnosis)
After the diagnosis by Dr. Pang, Carrie, Jackie and I left Kaiser and drove to a local mall in Sacramento to grab a bite to eat. As we were sitting at an A&W restaurant my emotions became too much for me to handle so I excused myself and walked to our minivan in the parking lot. I got in the minivan, closed the windows and started to drive. I began to weep, yell, and scream. I was yelling at God for allowing this to happen. “Why?” It just didn’t make sense. “Why don’t you take me instead of her?” I remember pounding on the steering wheel in anger so hard that I almost broke my hand and the steering wheel. I must have driven in circles around that parking lot for about 20 minutes trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my baby had an inoperable brain tumor and was most likely going to die soon.
After gaining my composure I went back into the restaurant and Jackie was smiling. Carrie said, “Jackie has something she wants to tell you.” I asked, “What is it Jackie?” She said, “Daddy, I’ve figured out a way that I can stay a kid?” I said, “Oh, you have, have you? How’s that?” Jackie said, “I’m going to die young.” I looked at Carrie in anger and asked, “What did you tell her?” (Thinking Carrie must have told her about her brain tumor while I was driving around in the minivan) Carrie said, “I didn’t tell her anything. She came up with this all on her own.”
I believe God was already revealing to Jackie and to us what was going to happen in the future. Jackie somehow had an awareness that she wasn't going to grow up and she was O.K. with that.