Three years, ten months, and two days. The time that Maria was given on earth. A life cut short. So much left undone. So many dreams unfulfilled. Each day we are haunted by the anticipation of plans that will never be completed. She was saving money to buy a doll. Her coins rest silently and unused in her piggy bank. She was so excited to hold her new baby sister. Lucy was born one week to the day after Maria's death. I was cleaning up my garage a few days ago, putting away Christmas decorations, and cleaning up clutter. I had to store away the bike that I was teaching her to ride four days before her death. She never got past training wheels. There was a show on television last night. A father was walking his daughter down the aisle. He said she was beautiful and that he was so proud of her. I wept. Maria loved one dance outfit more than all of her other clothes, but it was hard for her to take off quickly and that causes problems for a little girl not long potty trained. She had a couple of accidents while wearing the outfit, so we took it away from her for a few weeks. She began to do much better going to the potty, and we promised her that she could wear her dance outfit again soon. We buried her in it the next week. So much left undone. So many dreams unfulfilled.
Thirty-seven years, five months, and fourteen days. That's my current mark. Oh, how much of that I have wasted? Far too many days spent on selfish pursuits. How many days remain to love my wife, to raise my four living daughters, to carry my cross? Whatever my final number, I'm sure some will say “a life cut short.” Are all lives cut short? Does everyone leave uncompleted plans and unfulfilled dreams?
Thirty-three years, they say he lived. His life too was cut short. So much seemingly left undone. A kingdom unestablished. Cowardly friends hiding from his suffering. A body scourged. A mission left incomplete. Can redemption really come to a life cut short?
Yet this is unendurable. And then one babbles -- "If only I could bear it, or the worst of it, or any of it, instead of her." But one can't tell how serious that bid is, for nothing is staked on it. If it suddenly became a real possibility, then, for the first time, we should discover how seriously we had meant it. But is it ever allowed?
It was allowed to One, we are told, and I find I can now believe again, that He has done vicariously whatever can be so done. He replies to our babble, "You cannot and you dare not. I could and dared." -C.S. Lews on the death of his wife