"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"It won't be long Mommy. Didn't you see her angel?"

Jalene & Rowan's story didn't start ideally, some may say, but it will end well, that I am certain of.  These are two very sick children.  They shared the same hematologist.  The same neurosurgeon did their brain surgeries.  They frequented the same hospital.  They did art therapy in the same art room together at the hospital.  But those are just the facts.  There is so much more to it.  See, Jalene's Journey surpasses the clinic, the hospital, and soon, even this world.  She has been teaching us how to live and is now teaching us how to die, and live again in Heaven...






Tonight, I was on my way to take Jalene's family dinner and I asked Rowan if he wanted to come.  I've been trying to give him the option each time, especially as her health has declined.  He is still so young and I am not sure what he can handle, at least I didn't think I was.  This afternoon, he immediately said "Yes.  One more time.  I need to tell her Mom how strong she is being, and give her the picture I drew, and to tell Jalene goodbye one more time.  And I want to say a prayer with Jalene so she isn't afraid... so she knows God is ready for her."


On the way there Rowan took this picture with his new phone and said "Mommy, look, it's so beautiful! God is opening the door wider for Jalene."



When we got there, Rowan was very excited to take Jalene's Mom the picture he drew last night.  On the way in he said, "I hope this makes her happy.  She deserves it."


Once inside, I'm sure I cannot adequately describe the scene, but I'll try... Jalene's frail, fading, beautiful, silhouette lay in the center of the King size bed, in the middle of the room.  Her Mom sat up in the bed next to her precious daughter.  She was surrounded by 20-30 close family members and friends, in rows of chairs 2-3 deep, in a circle around the room.  Rowan joined Jalene's Mom, in a chair right next to her bed.  I kneeled on the floor next to him, next to her.  Those are the concrete logistics of the scene.  It's the rest I struggle to be able to put in to words...


It was obvious that Jalene was fading.  She already had one collapsed lung, and very little air was moving through the other lung.  Her shallow breaths could only be seen in her tiny tummy, the lungs no longer filling, her chest no longer rising.  Her eyes remained closed.  Thankfully her seizures were finally controlled tonight.  Her pain was managed.  She appeared to just be sleeping peacefully...and oh, how I wished that were true.

Jalene's mother Jen is such a strong, brave, courageous woman.  To be going through what she is going through, and to sit on that bed (to be brutally honest...next to her dying child)...and to calmly, proudly, faithfully tell us all story after story of how unique and special Jalene was...it was simply surreal.  We learned how smart, loving, selfless, and compassionate this little four year old was.  We heard funny stories about Jalene teasing her Grandpa, that made the whole room laugh out loud.  We heard impressive stories of how Jalene knew all her meds and what part of her body they helped.  We heard amazing stories of child-like faith and understanding, that made your heart swell.  We heard humbling stories of how Jalene knew she would only be sick for a little while.  We also heard heartbreaking stories of how she said she wanted to live forever with her siblings.

For her mother to communicate this to all of us in the room tonight, in what could be considered her darkest hour, was nothing short of a miracle.  Her strength was awe-inspiring. It was such a fitting tribute to this little fighter, Jalene.  There was an unimaginable peace in that room tonight though...it is what surprised me the most.  Of course there was sadness...we are all human, but there was more faith, hope, love and peace in the room that anything else.  It was tangible.  You could honestly feel it bouncing off the walls.

Rowan asked if he could say a prayer for Jalene, and Jen told him "Of course, get up on the bed next to her if you want."  What proceeded was one of the purest, most innocent acts of love I have ever seen in my life.  Rowan climbed in to bed with his little friend, folded his hands, bowed his head, closed his eyes and said the sweetest prayer.  He asked God to take her peacefully, to take her to Heaven without anymore pain, to not let her be scared, and to "take good care of her".






In the end Rowan inched up closer to her, whispered his prayers in her ear, and blew her what would surely be his final kiss.  To watch an 8 year old little boy kiss his 4 year old friend goodbye...sounds like an impossible task.  But it was a beautiful, pure innocent, act of faith and friendship.  These kids trust God, they get it, they are not afraid.  See, God used Jalene and her journey to touch Rowan's life, and He was using their connection to bless us all.



There probably wasn't a dry eye in the room, it was heart-wrenching, but again, it wasn't pure sadness...we were witnessing a part of God's plan, and we knew it.  God was showing all of us adults how to have faith like a child.  How to have faith like Jalene & Rowan.


After a couple of priceless, precious hours with Jalene and her family, Rowan and I said our goodbyes.  When we were about to get in the car though, my already priceless, emotional, night came to a sudden, miraculous, awestruck halt...

Rowan said, "It won't be long Mommy. Didn't you see her angel?"  

......silence......

 I didn't know what to say.  

I simply asked him, "What do you mean Rowan?"  He explained (with happy tears in his eyes) that the whole time we were there tonight, he saw her angel hovering over her, smiling and waving at him, and to everyone in the room.  I asked him what the angel looked like.  He said, "Pretty, just like her, and it looked like her, but with wings, and a halo...not like the oranges-like a real halo...and the only difference was that she had her hair again and she was bright with light around her." I told him how special that was that he saw that, and explained that a lot of people never see something like that in their whole life.  He said "It was really cool, and her angel looked happy, she even said something to me."  When I asked him what, he said, "She told me not to be scared or sad, that she was going to a better place, and to please tell her Mom that it'll be ok."  I of course cried tears of joy and appreciation, thanking God for giving this gift of peace to Rowan.  He just kept smiling the whole way home.  He even told me, "I've obviously seen angels in my dreams before, like Chrissie, but this is my first real life awake angel."

Jen, Jalene, and your entire family.  I cannot thank you enough for allowing Rowan and I to join in the private, intimate time with Jalene and your family tonight,  in the sanctity of your home.  I feel blessed beyond measure, and this is obviously a night Rowan will never forget.  Praying for a peaceful transition for your angel Jalene...Rowan's first real life awake angel! An angel none of us will ever forget...certainly not Rowan!



60 comments:

  1. This is such a lovely story. Thank you Carrie. I am sure it has brought a lot of comfort and support to a lot of people. I remember my dad in the hospice in his bed when he had cancer. He was by himself and we were watching him through the window. We thought maybe he was talking to his father in heaven, maybe though he was talking to an angel that we couldn't see. He always told me that "It is the quality of life that matters, not the quantity". He also taught me "If you can't do someone any good, never do them any harm". I think Jalene and Rowan have already done more good in their short lives than a lot of people who manage to live to old age and I think this means that they have had quality in life, Just by the inspiration they have been to so many people. Also the bravery and compassion for others they have shown. I think they will have given faith to a lot of people and brought comfort and joy to even the darkest days. Thank you for posting this Carrie.

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    1. When my grandma was on hospice she would call out for her deceased brother Willie and reach out for him. I believe he was waiting for her.

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  2. I cried all through my reading of your article but thank you for sharing this ! You are both so brave and so are Jalene and her family !

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  3. I am so humbled after reading this...Thanks for sharing...I have received more than you can imagine...Always trust kids....they're so much stronger than adults....

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  4. I just don't have words...Its too much to comprehend, thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
    Blessings to all of you.

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  5. Purely amazing! May God continue to wrap you all in His sweet arms of love in the days to come. Jalene will be just fine! We will soon see her again! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  6. Truly amazing. god bless Rowan, even as an adult it is hard to see an ailing friend or sibling i can only imagine how hard it is for children. God Bless Praying for them both.

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  7. This is by far one of the most beautiful tributes to life I have ever read. For as you have experienced, you can't have life without death. Praying for comfort and peace.

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  8. This is the most beautiful heartfelt heart wrenching story I have read. Jalene touched my heart the moment I saw her story on the news. A beautiful world is waiting for her one with no pain now that I have read this story I have no doubts the after life is a wonderful thing. Thank you Rowan for restoring my faith!

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  9. wow tears are flowing god bless u baby jalene and rowan u both are amazing kids and i pray for your familes daily

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  10. Im in tears! What a beautiful lil boy and love his sincere love for GOD! Hug him for me and thank u for sharing! Xoxo Rowan

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  11. Priceless moments with an angel....❤

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  12. I love the truth in children. Thank you for sharing Rowan's experience. Do you have a donation page for Rowan?

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    1. There is a Go Fund Me set up for Rowan's travel and expenses to Seattle Children's Hospital, which is where he is seeing specialists in preparation for a bone marrow transplant from his sister. His Facebook page where it is linked is called "Rally for Rowan". Thanks again for reading, commenting and asking about Rowan.

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  13. The wisdom and sight of a little child that proves that we must come to Him as children and believe that we must fear not. Thank you for this.

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  14. Prayers for the family and God Bless this family and I know this had to be hard for this family but knowing there was a Angel there in that room to take her home it had to be beautiful and had to bring such peace to them

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  15. OMG this is such an emotional and inspiring story, Thank you for sharing this miracle of a love pure and blessed by faith and belief in a greater plan at the hands of God. I have had many moments where I feel like my faith has slipped and then I have those moments where I thank God for his blessings to continue to show me that there is a reason for everything we go through if we just place our worries in his hands, But to see these pictures and to hear the faith that these two children have in our Lord blows me away, Today Rowan has shown me that believing in God and his unconditional love is the only way to trust fully in HIS plans for us all. My father is fighting the battle of his life he has Multiple Myeloma it is truly the hardest thing our family has ever gone through to see the greatest man we have ever known grow weak and frail. Yet he fights on and so we do too. I pray that they find a cure for this disease that is cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with Jalene's family and with your family as well. Stay strong Rowan you are an inspiration,

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  16. You're sons story just confirms God speaks through children. Probably because they ha e true faith. They aren't distracted by all of the trouble of the world. Rowan and jalene have changed my life ...there made me excited about Heaven Again...God Bless All of you and you're families for sharing your experiences. You're truly doing the work Jesus has called us to do ...being g his hands and feet a d sharing the Love of Jesus throughout the world. God is Love. Your children saw that and showed it and Lived it. How Beautiful. Cannot wait to meet them one day in Heaven...God Bless You All , <3 Annemarie Walsh

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  17. Beautiful God Bless All of You and Your Families During this difficult Time In Life!! May Angels Be with All of you to Keep You safe!!

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  18. This story was sad yet happy. I'll be keeping both families in my prayers.

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  19. Beautiful! Simply, beautiful. I am thankful to have these moments shine into life, what else really matters? God is so merciful and this story it's perfect illustration. amen.

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  20. This is a sad yet happy story. Sad because a beautiful little girl is no longer on this earth but happy because she had so many who have loved and cared for her and a great friend in Rowan. I will keep both families in my prayers. God bless and be with you all.

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  21. If only the world's population could be like children , think like children , understand like children and most important trust like children wouldn't it be wonderful . Thank you Jolene and your family for including us in this precious journey . Thank you Rowan for giving us the insight into what you saw it is so important for non-believers .

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  22. I have no words other than Since I took a foto of the Sunset yesterday there WAS a .... A spiritual feeling I had to capture it After reading this I know Why God was speaking to ME TOO .. I have had a blessed Journey with my Father A fighter and a winner ...But still worry about his age and health ( I had been having Anxiety attacks and fits of negative thoughts) about this subject.....Between Jalene's Fight and Angel and Rowans Words...AND BOTH Families sharing these words ... You have put an ease of comfort in my Heart and Boosted my FAITH that seemed to have been declining GOD BLESS YOU ALL....ARE ANGELS xo https://scontent-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11019210_565402243563566_3685056609577474730_n.jpg?oh=04bbe23e60c7db4bd989349fe9a301ff&oe=55777136

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  23. I have tears of Joy, But my heart is breaking. She has wonderful people her life. I thankful to have read this story, and had the privilege to had been let in get to know, Jalene and Rowman. God is good.

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  24. What a beautiful blessing. My heart goes out to all of you.

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  25. This had me in tears so beautiful and such stronger hero's that they both are~ Love you Jalene!

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  26. I have been praying for this girl for weeks. Her little life has changed me, and now your sons bravery has done the same. May the Lord continue to have his hand in your life. What a remarkable encounter.

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  27. Thank you for sharin this!! We spent about a month at Ronald McDonald House when Jalene and Jen were there. I can still feel Jalene's arms around me in a hug. I am so thankful Jen has someone like you close by and how wonderful your son is able to share this with you so you can share with Jen and family. We are praying for your family as we are Jalene's. Blessings,

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  28. I cried reading this. Made me think of my Angel's. God bless Jalene's family and yours. Its amazing what we can learn from our children.

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  29. wow! Out of the mouths of babes... Hugs to Rowan and you.

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  30. Wow! Out of the mouths of babes... ty for sharing this story and hugs to you all.

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  31. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. It was very difficult to read. Rowan sounds like such a loving little boy. God Bless beautiful little Jalene and her family.

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  32. This story brought tears to my eyes! Rowan you are so wise beyond your years. Your faith at such a young age is miraculous!

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  33. In HIS hands now, forever in you hearts. Prayers...

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  34. Through this story I had tears in my eyes. Its amazing that Rowan had a wonderful experience to see his friend in a golden light happy with her hair and wings. I'm glad he was able to see something amazing to comort him while he was saying goodbye to Jalene. My prayers go out to precious Jalene and her family and friends. God bless you Rowan for being you and telling your experience with your Jalene. Truly a miracle!!

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  35. Beautiful beyond words, thanks for sharing. Cried through the whole story.

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  36. God bless you Rowan. this story brought tears to my eyes. I am so very happy that your precious son got to have that moment with his friend and see a miracle and comfort him to know that his friend is going to go someplace special and she is happy. Your son has a beautiful soul and so does Jalene. my heart and prayers go out to Jalene and your family and friends. God bless precious baby.

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  37. Our God is an awesome God...This sign is for ALL to keep in mind. We will go on to Glory with our Loving, Amazing God and the best is that in our time, all will be united once again with our loved ones who will have gone before us. Precious Angels...Peace be with each of you. AMEN.

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  38. patti butler mcveighMarch 12, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    What a beautiful story. I was in tears reading it. both Jalene and Rowan sound like amazing kids. thank you for sharing both stories its puts a different look at life in mind. more at peace.

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  39. I'm so touched by this story beyond belief although it saddens me to hear about little Jalene,I'm glad she was surrounded by her loved ones I'm convinced this made her homegoing easier.She is missed on her Facebook progress.I send my deepest sympathies to the family.I won't forget her or Rowan story.

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  40. sad but such sweetness/yes we have an awesome GOD

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  41. Im speechless but full of tears. all these stories touch me. I wish I could be a tough strong mom like both these ladies are. they truly inspire me. Jalene and Rowan will be in my heart and prayers. I complain about the stupidist things in life. nothing compared to what these moms have been through. GOD BLESS ALL FAMILIES GOING THROUGH HAVING TERMINAL SICK FAMILY MEMBERS.

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  42. Thank you for such a beautiful, but so sad storey. God Bless all of you xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx`
    Our Bluebell suffered for nearly three years and is currently doing fine
    THANKS TO THE LORD. AMEN

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  43. And when she finished writing .. posted at 11:11... :) thats not a coincidence.. Thier are angels everywhere,God Bless you all

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  44. And how could she possibly know this would post at 11:11.. ❤ God Bless you all

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  45. I am utterly speechless. <3

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  46. thank you for sharing that incredibly beautiful story

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  47. Oh, the innocence and beauty of children sharing such a joy in their lives. We adults should take lessons from them in dealing with our own mortality! The heaven that awaits them is so much more beautiful than anything they experience here on earth!

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  48. My daughter went to our eternal home in Heaven on August 4,2013 she was diagnosed with the same cancer that Andy had Osteo Sarcoma. My daughter was 13 but had such a Peace and Strength that only God could give. Those words "everything will be OK" brought me to tears because those were the same words my daughter used. We had to Trust that God knew and still knows the "Whys" of all we have to endure. I know Jalene and my Chandler are enjoying their new home. I told my Chandler "maybe God is taking you home to take care of all the children that have passed away from cancer" she smiled and said "yes mama". We will forever miss our babies but we also have Gods Hope that WE WILL SEE THEM AGAIN. Please give Rowan a big hug for me and although I know he knows this but just a little reminder... that Jesus Loves Him So Much!

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  49. Speechless. I just want to hug all of yous right now. How are the children?

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  50. Rowan is such an inspiration. What a great young man. I'd love to send him something. Please send my Facebook page a PM. I'd love to brighten his day https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573521242659891

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  51. Sweet Rowan Thank You for being so awesome. Thank you for going to see Jalene one last time and making sure to pray for her and her family. You inspire me. You were right Rowan, it wasn't long before Jalene got her wings.

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  52. WITH TEARS FROM MY EYES AND LOVE FROM MY HEART AND SPEECHLESS, GOD BLESS U ROWAN..

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  53. This story just brought me to tears, your son is very bless. GOD BLESS YOU ROWAN.

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  54. Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring and beautiful event. It is something I will keep with me always to comfort me.

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  55. Hosanna .....rejoice

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