"Our Little Trooper"

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

"Maybe Justin will be the one to show me around Heaven when I get there."

Justin Easterling passed away from a rare form of Leukemia earlier this month.  He was 12 years old.  He and Rowan attended the same hospital and infusion clinic, but we had only seen them in passing.  Then, both Rowan and Justin were invited to participate in a Ferrari Kids event together one Saturday.  

The boys each got to ride in gorgeous Ferraris which ended up at the grand opening of a new Walmart, where they were given gift cards to go on a fun shopping spree inside.  We laughed with Justin's parents as we passed inside the store, each with carts full of games and toys.  Justin shared his winnings with his sister, and Rowan did the same for his brother.  I told Justin's Dad, "looks like y'all are gonna have a busy night tonight!"  That was the last time we saw Justin and his family.  Justin slipped peacefully away in the hospital a week and a half later, from complications of his disease.  When I told Rowan the news, he immediately said "At least he's not suffering anymore.  He looked so weak and tired. I don't feel bad for him, but I feel bad for his Mom and Dad, and his little sister.  They must be so sad." A few days later when I woke up, and disconnected Rowan's tpn,  I noticed Rowan sleeping like this...


I took a picture because he just looked so peaceful.  Then he giggled out loud a few times.  When he woke up I asked him why he had been laughing and he said, "Mom! I dreamed of Justin in Heaven.  He's not in his wheel chair anymore, and he looked SO strong!"  He went on to explain that Chrissie, Jalene and Julian were all there welcoming him.  He said that they were playing tag, chasing each other around and that "Natalie was their in her flip-flops still, taking care of all of the kids.  Rowan told me, "I couldn't hear what they were saying, but it seemed like they were all showing Justin around.  I prayed that they would help him not be scared, and it really happened!  Thank you God and Jesus!"

Rowan wanted to paint a picture for Justin's parents, so he worked on drawing this special piece... 

Then he painted it in beautiful bright watercolors...

The finished product...

Justin loved Spider Man, and Rowan painted him with one hand "spitting out it's web toward Heaven" because Rowan said "He was ready to go, and God is reaching down for him with his big arms."  He hoped that this would make Justin's family know that he was okay, "because God has him in his arms now".  We framed the painting and mailed it to the Easterling family.  We couldn't attend the celebration of life, but Rowan was very happy to hear that they had the painting on display there.

After Justin's Super Hero themed celebration of life, Rowan got to see Manny and he gave his very own color copy of the painting, because he knew how much he loved Justin too...

A few nights later, as we were falling asleep Rowan told me, "Mom, I'm not afraid to go to Heaven.  Justin was so strong and happy there, and he wasn't sick anymore.  I think God gives me these dreams of Heaven so I'm not afraid when I get there...Maybe Justin will be the one to show me around..."  And just like that he fell asleep.  

I cried softly in bed for nearly an hour.  It's so hard for me to think of losing Rowan to his disease too, but to hear how much peace he has about it, blows my mind.  It's shocking and comforting at the same time.  Don't get me wrong, I hope and pray with everything I have, that we have many more years with Rowan here, but if he does leave us, I will know without a shadow of a doubt that he wasn't afraid, that he is healed, whole, healthy and strong, and that God reached out for him with his big arms, and Rowan probably used his Iron Man repulsor blasters to shoot up into them, just like Justin used his Spider Man web blaster.

Continued prayers for the Easterling family.  Thank you for allowing us to pray for you and your sweet boy, thank you Manny Diotte and the Ferrari Kids organization for giving us a priceless memory with Justin on one of his last good days, and thank you Justin for coming to Rowan in his dreams and giving him such peace.

1 comment:

  1. Inspiring. Both wonderful boys. My real life hereos.