"JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW"
Throughout Aiden's DIPG journey she has told us things that some of you may believe and some of you may not. I have talked to God for quite awhile on how and when to share with the world the things that we have been shown and I feel now is the time. I want to share these special moments, and be Aiden's voice in this world. So I ask that read like a child-like faith, and open your hearts to the possibilities.
Before Aiden was diagnosed, we went to church and we were a Christian family, but our relationship with Jesus was not the center of our lives. I didn't spend time teaching my kids about the Bible or being an example of a godly mother. After we returned home from St. Jude our faith and relationship with God took center stage, and we watched Aiden grow in her love for Jesus. Aiden had a new love for life that the tumor had masked for so long. We prayed together, she learned to pray, and I learned that as her mother the things she would face were not things that I could comfort her completely. I prayed that Jesus would wrap her up and be what I couldn't for her, and I prayed that she would feel his peace and presence with her.
In August 2016 we were set to travel back to the U.K. For treatment, our flights were cancelled because of the flooding in Louisiana and we were delayed a day, we were rushed to get to her scheduled MRI. We were at the Alexandria airport and just ordered food to rush and eat before boarding, I was helping Aiden into her chair at the little tables and as she is scooting into the chair she is staring across the room, eyes never blinking, and points saying "I see Jesus"...I look at her, completely caught off guard, then look across the room to see who she sees, and no one is there, I have a million thoughts go through my mind but they are quickly disturbed by our order being called. I grab our food and make my way back to our table and we see some people we know from home.
Days pass and we are in the hospital in Bristol and Aiden is receiving her infusion, I'm sitting at the end of her bed and I remember the airport...Aiden is sitting up coloring and very alert and feeling good so I decide to ask her..."do you remember telling me that you saw Jesus?"...she says "yes".
I pause not really knowing how to ask about it and I don't want to lead her into her answers, I ask if she could tell me about it..she looked at me and said yes. "Jesus was waving and smiling" she said, then she cupped her hands around her mouth, like he did, and said "I love you Aiden". What did he look like? "He had wings, he was wearing a dress and had kind of long curly hair, he kind of looked like a girl". How did it make you feel? "It made me happy and proud". Did it make you feel safe? "Yes". About this time Aiden's dad entered the room and we shared with him and Aiden then said "I tell everyone that God is in your heart and he loves us.
As you can imagine we were overwhelmed, I didn't know what to think, I believed her but I searched for confirmation in scripture, something as a reference but nothing...I had the urge to tell people but then something held me back...what if there's more. People told me to read the book "Heaven is for Real" so I spent the next few weeks reading it and WOW, if you haven't read it you should.
Over the next few weeks and months Aiden continued to thrive, she would often break into singing "Jesus loves Me" and she would pray often, she had her typical childhood and she was happy. There would be some days where she would say "I miss you Jesus, where are you", she would say it as if she missed the sight of him. Can you imagine how beautiful the sight of him must have been! She asked me while in the hospital for pneumonia in Lafayette if I remembered her telling me about seeing Jesus, the joy she expressed I can't explain.
One day while at home in October , all the kids were napping so I decided it would be a perfect time for me to watch the movie "Heaven is for Real" since I finished the book, towards the end of the movie of course the girls woke up. Ronnie Anne was on my hip and Aiden sitting on the couch, we watched the end together where the dad is telling his church about what his son had shared with him, Gods love and about Heaven. I remember turning my head away where Aiden couldn't see the tears fall as I listened to his words. As I turned back Aiden said to me "I dreamed about Heaven"
What? When? "I don't know I just dreamed about it"
Really! What did it look like? "It was really really pretty and I saw Jesus and I saw PawPaw's brother"
I was at a loss for words...some people know but many don't, that my Uncle died when I was a baby, our youngest is named after him, but it's not something we talk about.
What did he look like? "Kinda like blonde hair"
Young? Old? " like Rustin"
Many say that Rustin is the spitting image of Uncle Ronnie..but Aiden never said his name.
At the end of the movie when they were showing pictures of the family, Aiden had tears streaming down her face as she watched. She said it was happy tears.
When Aiden was sent home on Hospice care in December 2016, before we had the chance to have a second round of radiation, she was sitting in her bathroom on a bar stool as I was combing her freshly washed hair and I had asked her if she was OK..her response as she looked in my eyes was.."I think I want to see Jesus"...yes baby, me too.
Flash forward to our time in California when Aiden had just recovered from her first few sessions of radiation where she almost died...at this time she had lost her ability to speak among other things..we sat with each other and I was asking her if she could feel how loved she was, if she could feel God with her, if she could feel Jesus, if she could see him while she was so sick, did you always know we were here...if only I could have captured her response, just bottle it up, to hear that sheer joy in her laughter..her emotions that came out with her groaning as she looked at me with an indescribable love..if only someone else was in that room with us to share what I witnessed..it brought instant tears and joy to me, a moment I will never forget.
I hope that in reading this you realize two simple truths...God is Love and we serve a Living God.