Last night was an emotional night for Ian and Becca. Ian had some Chai Lifeline visitors and was having a great time looking at a photo book they brought over covering his 3 years at Camp Simcha Special. All of the sudden, he got this sad look on his face. He proceeded to tell us that he was not happy. As anyone would do, we asked why...his response was that he was scared of heaven. (This was not the 1st time he has expressed his fear, just the 1st time he has done it with others besides mommy and daddy). How do you answer that...when you know that you are scared as well....scared of what your world will be like once he's in heaven. Well you forget about your fears! The visitors sat there for a little bit and listened to me tell Ian that it was okay to be scared....that when the time was right he would not be scared of Heaven. Over the years, Brian and I have had a few conversations with both kids about this...I have had a few conversations with Tzvi Haber, one of the visitors who was there...so he knew where our family was going when this came up. I proceeded to tell Ian Heaven will be a big party. This is where Tzvi chimed in....he told Ian that when he gets to Heaven there will be a huge tunnel for him to run through on his own with his legs...because they will be working up in Heaven, just like at Camp Simcha. There will be lots of people waiting to welcome him at the end of the tunnel who will all be happy because being sad doesn't happen there. Ian will meet past campers and counselors from camp and one of them will have the microphone to introduce Ian, once that happens he will be a counselor not a camper anymore. Ian will meet Tzvi's Grandma Zina and tell her that Tzvi said many different things (some of which he shared last night but I will not post here). Ian began to smile as Tzvi was telling him all about Heaven and what he believes will happen there. Tzvi asked Ian if he would be waiting at the tunnel for Tzvi when he was ready to go to Heaven...Ian loved this. After about 20 minutes of discussing Heaven with Ian, Tzvi and Yitzi....Ian was no longer sad, at least for the moment. We know he will bring this up again from time to time as his journey continues and he progresses towards Heaven.
As for Becca, as she always does she called me when she was home from school yesterday. I asked her how her day was and she said, "ugh". Why just "ugh", I asked. She proceeded to tell me that her mind was just not there, while she was there, her mind was not...oh boy do I understand that. "Where was your mind?" I asked. She said a little bit here and a little bit there and on life...well when Becca says on life it is always about what is going on at home and all she has to endure due to the hand we have been dealt. She has seen things a 12 year old should not have to see, she has dealt with things a 12 year old should not have to deal with...and I know that much more is to come. I knew she could hear some of the conversations with Ian, so I went to check on her. She told me that people don't get what she is going through...I told her that is correct they don't. She said some people don't believe that she is a twin and when she shows them a photo, they just look at him like he is a normal boy and it is not big deal. I tried to explain to her that they can't understand but it does not matter what other believe or think. She asked what was wrong with Ian...I told her that he was talking about being afraid of Heaven. That is when she broke down. Becca said that she does not want to come home to an empty house (right now she comes home to Ian and a nurse everyday). I told her I could not promise that, (initially, I know when the times comes, Brian and I will do what we can to ensure that does not happen). All I could do was hold her while she cried on my shoulder knowing that one day she will lose her twin brother...I felt helpless. I told her that over the years we have all been grieving and this was just one more step for her. Becca told me she felt G-d was preparing her a little bit more because she felt that it was going to be soon...my heart dropped. I asked her soon meant to her and she said sometime this school year....ugh....what if my daughter is right.... we talked about how we will work on getting used to a new normal after Ian passes away...at first one we may not like but one we would eventually get used to. She cried on my shoulder a little bit more and then told me to go check on Ian.
As quick as these conversations, start in our home, they are over. Not forgotten, but we move on....this morning Ian was good. Becca had a rough time getting off to school...so we let her go in late and with a little bit of extra time she felt like she could handle the day.
Please remember to treasure, dream and live. As another friend who is going through a major life crisis has been saying... Please, as always, hug your loved ones tight and kiss them often.