©2004 Jediah Logiodice
There he was, laying in his bed, a frail little boy of only 3. It’s amazing how circumstances sometimes require a child to grow quicker than their years.
And here he was – my little boy – all grown up at 3 years old.
He understood the whole meaning of his life – which doctors speculated would last only a few more weeks.
Every time I saw him I longed to take him in my arms and hold him forever.
I’ve never been able to shake the pain, the thought that I failed him.
I remember how I used to hold him at night and whisper in his ear that nothing bad would ever happen to him as long as I was around, that I would always protect him.
But you can’t protect them from everything, you know, no matter how I had tried; I could not keep death from coming to his little life.
How much I felt I had failed him.
It’s hard to keep your faith in God when you go through trials like this.
I remember the day we sat together, I stared as his precious little face, soft and serene, and Andrew looked up at me and said, “Papa, I’ll give Jesus a hug and tell him that you love him still.”
The tears rushed from my eyes, and I collapsed on his bed beside him and held him as close to my face as I could. I laid there weeping uncontrollably, and he ran his hands over my head and whispered – “Shhh –its ok, papa, its ok.”
Sometimes he seemed all grown up.
On the day Andrew left, I had one last glimpse of the simple inner beauty that God had bestowed upon him.
It had been hours, we had sat there, together, holding his fragile little hand.
He had slowly turned his head toward me and inquired, “Papa, where is the sweet by and by”?
“What do you mean, Andrew”, I asked?
“You know, like in the song, it says ‘In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore'”.
“Oh”, I said, once again welling up, “that means in a little while we’ll meet in heaven”.
“Oh” was all he said. He was silent for a long time afterwards.
But those last words he said to me before he ebbed away was; “Papa – I’ll see you by and by”.
That was almost 15 years ago.
It’s funny how some memories remain so vivid.
I can remember everything about that day. What I ate for breakfast, what I wore, even down to the color of Andrew’s socks.
Time slips on, but memories like that never fade.
Even to this day, when I think of my little boy, I lose yet again another part of me – leaving me feeling just a little bit more cold and empty inside.
But, the time did come when I could talk to Jesus again, and I got down on my knees buried my head in my hands, and through silent tears I said, “Jesus, Andrew was right, I do still love you, but please give him a hug for me, and tell him that I miss him awfully.”