Michael sat in a corner with a stack of brightly-colored books on his lap. Tears ran down his cheeks, splashing onto bunnies and mice and dinosaurs.
Mommy sat down beside him and pressed her cheek against his. “I understand,” she said. “I’ve been doing some crying myself.”
Michael dug his fists into his eyes. “Books are better!”
Mommy stroked his hair. “Books are better?”
“Book stories have good endings.”
“Oh, I see. And Grandma’s story …”
“Had a terrible ending! What’s the use of being good if you just have a sad ending, anyway?”
Mommy sighed. “Michael, we haven’t seen the ending of Grandma’s story.”
Mommy picked up one of Michael’s favorite books. “Michael, is every page of this book happy?”
Michael took the book and opened it. “No,” he said, “this page is really sad, but it isn’t the last page.”
Mommy smiled. “And we both know that Grandma’s death isn’t the last page of her story, either. Let’s pretend that we’re reading a book with Grandma’s story in it. We’ve just read the sad page about her dying, and it made us both cry. Now let’s turn to the next page. Is it a dark, sad page or a bright, happy page?”
Michael closed his eyes. “I can’t see it very well,” he said. “I hope it’s a bright, happy page.”
“Look at the picture. Is Grandma alone?”
“No, she’s with Heavenly Father. And Grandpa!”
“Are they smiling or frowning?”
“They’re smiling.” Tears still ran down Michael’s face, but he was smiling too.
“Is that the last page in the book?” Mommy asked. “Or are there more?”
“More. Someday we’ll be with Grandma and Grandpa too.”
“And will that be a sad page or a happy one?”
Michael thought about it. “Both, I guess. Happy for us, but sad for the people we leave behind.”
Mommy nodded. “Keep turning pages, and you’ll see that the story never ends. But there will come a page when all the dying is finished, and our spirits are reunited with our bodies forever. Can you see the picture of the One who made that possible?”
“Yes, it was Jesus.”
Mommy gave Michael a tight hug. “Yes it was, sweetheart, and if we follow Him, our stories may have sad pages, but no sad endings—OK?”
Michael stood up and set his books on a shelf. “OK. And I’m going to make my story a good one, like Grandma’s.”
Good Reading for Little Friends
Visiting Granny by Kim Fernandes There are lots of things to see and do at Granny’s house, even with nosy farm animals getting in the way. The clay-sculpture art makes the visit especially fun, and the recipe for Granny’s Raisin Cookies is a wonderful good-bye present.
Fletcher and the Great Big Dog by Jane Kopper Hilleary When a great big dog stands in Fletcher’s way, he turns and pedals away. The dog follows him wherever he goes, and he gets lost. When it starts to rain, Fletcher tries to find his way home. This time the great big dog doesn’t follow him, so Fletcher wisely decides to follow the dog.
Nora and the Great Bear by Ute Krause The bear was as old and as big as the forest itself, the hunters said, but no one had ever seen it. When she was lost, Nora saw it—and it was as old and as big as the forest. And that’s not all. …
Here Comes the Strikeout by Leonard Kessler Bobby could play baseball very well, for a beginner, even catching it sometimes—but he always struck out! Willie offered to let him wear his lucky hat, but it didn’t work. Then Willie helped him learn to hit. Bobby also learned that “Lucky hats won’t do it. Only hard work will do it.”