Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zoe Goes Home

I was sitting in a restaurant in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Jen called. Zoe had taken a turn for the worse, she said. Heart rate was till 200 and they couldn't calm her down. I went out into the night and talked and started to pray and cry.

We went back to the hotel and I sat there kind of dumbfounded. My dear friends at the shoot and their spouses came up with a plan - drive to Mobile, bus to Atlanta, plane to Milwaukee, car to Children's, to Zoe.

We drove to the Mobile bus station for the 1135 bus. I hugged my friends - generous and kind beyond measure - and waited the hour for the bus. I talked to my sister and Pastor Rafferty and Pastor Navurskis. Then I boarded the bus.

As the driver was just closing the door, Jen called and told me that Zoe had gone home. She said her little body couldn't handle this world anymore and she didn't suffer. I yelped and yelled. I asked to get off the bus. I fell to my knees on the lot outside and begged them for my luggage. I needed to go to Milwaukee now, not after five hours of driving. The driver told me it was 1130...this was the only way. Get back on the bus.

My little snoopy. No. No. No.

No. Jenny - who God gave in that moment so much rich wisdom and peace and a friend in Pastor Navurskis - kept telling me that Zoe wasn't hurting and she was home.

I called Pastor Rafferty, broke the news to him and then asked him to share the news with my oldest three kids. He called from outside the door. I talked to them on the phone.

One hour or so into the trip my phone went dead. The battery keeps dying. I was able to call most of my family and friends and talk to Jen a few times.

I wish I could tell you that I came to some deep spiritual or wise truth on the bus, in the silence, at the squalid Montgomery bus station at 330 am. That the fierce red lights in the predawn traffic at Atlanta that matched the glorious sunrise taught me a truth.

Nothing new. Nothing new that you haven't heard me say on this blog over and over. There is a God who loves us and He has a plan. And the plan is that we end up in His arms. We don't end up in a walker or hospital bed. We don't end up 12 pounds and 12 ounces. We end up in His arms.

And to begrudge Zoe that ending or God for calling her to His arms is selfish. Zoe's Home.

It turns out this blog was not about my dear sweet girl. It's been about an often frustrated, ever-confused, always-confident-and-mostly-wrong man. With deep flaws and great riches.

In the economy of friendship, I am the richest man you know. There is no one with friends touched by the Spirit (whether they know truly His voice or not) who are, have, and will minister to me. In the economy of family, I am wildly rich. A saint of a wife who has loved me when it didn't make sense to love me. Children, sisters, my brother. A stately father who is a man of God. A sweet, dear, talented mom who loves Jesus.

In the economy of grace, I am rich to have known my daughter, my Snoopy, my daddy's girl who would move her huge blue eyes to find my voice.

You did not leave without teaching us all a thing or two. You did not leave without changing our lives. And, even as you left this wretched place, you touched me. All of us. Goodbye my sweet baby girl. I will see you soon. At the end.


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