Tonight, I did my normal nighttime routine. Put the kids to bed and flopped on the couch to scroll through my Facebook feed.
The first post was from a friend, another brain tumor patient's mom. It wasn't just any Facebook post, it was THE post. The post I've seen too many times in my news feed. The post that says hospice has been called in. And just like every other friend who has lost or is losing a child, she requests "hold your babies a little longer and tighter each night".
Immediately as I finished reading the post, my daughter began to cry. I went back to her room and asked "what's wrong?". Her response, like every night when she cries out, "I want you hold me". Most nights, I tell her that I can't hold her but I will sit in her room for a few minutes or I will sing her a song. Tonight was different. Tonight, I snatched her up and hugged her close.
We got in the rocking chair and as tears flooded my face, I tried to sing to her. The song I sang is the same one I sang every night when she was a baby - Hush Little Baby. When my son was first born, I started singing it to him and realized halfway through I didn't know the full song so after "if that looking glass gets broke", I added "mama's gonna buy you a Cherry Coke" and then made up ridiculous lyrics to end the song.
While I sang tonight, I thought of the lyrics - both the real ones and those I made up. It's all about a mama who will stop at nothing to make her child happy. It begins "Hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird..." and continues to offer more and more gifts if the previous doesn't work. As I was singing, I thought about my friend and her daughter. For the past few years, all she's been doing is jumping through hoops to try to save her. Trying different medicines, radiation, chemotherapy. Everything she could to help her baby.
When I finished the song, Tillery looked up at me and asked, "Why you crying?". I said, "Because I love you so much." She just looked back at me and said, "Oh, I love you so much."
I held her longer and hugged her tighter, just as my friend requested and then sang one last song - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. It's the song we sing every night at bedtime and her little voice chimes in with me:
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and His grace."
Tonight, I am sad for my friend but I am so thankful for a loving God who has promised us an eternal life with Him. If we turn our eyes to Him, the things of this world will be dimmed and all we will see is His glory and His grace.
Hug your kids and teach them to turn their eyes to the One who can give them everything they need. The mocking bird. The diamond ring. The looking glass. Even the Cherry Coke.
For those who MUST know, here are my lyrics to Hush Little Baby. Enjoy!
Hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird.
If that mocking bird don't sing, mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring turns brass, mama's gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke, mama's gonna buy you a Cherry Coke.
If that Cherry Coke goes flat, mama's gonna buy you a ball and bat.
If that ball and bat aren't good, mama's gonna buy one made of wood.
If that wood gets eaten by mites, mama's gonna buy you an airline flight.
If that airline flight gets booked, mama's gonna buy you some food that's cooked.
If that food is not very tasty, mama's gonna take it away very hasty.
And once that food is taken away, Til and Mommy will go and play.