Mark and I have often remarked on the amazing comfort we take in conversations we have with the people in our lives who have gone through the same things we have. When we’ve hit a tough patch, the first people we seek out are those who have been over the same tough patch and weathered it. Often, we have found these interactions to be tangible evidence of God’s grace in our lives.
Mark and I revel in this. We get antsy for it. And we’re so relieved when it comes our way again.
In all our conversations about finding these kindred spirits, we have never discussed finding anything like that for Zoe. Perhaps we hadn’t dared to think that there would be another person for her to talk to already at her young age. Instead, I guess we thought she’d just navigate it with us. But, we’re not in her boat.
Our mothers’ lives have not been threatened with cancer. We have siblings. Like it or not, we’re really not in Zoe’s boat.
Even as I’ve watched Zoe field questions about siblings and as I’ve heard her explaining my cancer to a friend, I never thought about her finding a kindred spirit to connect with. Someone who was walking through similar waters and could talk her language. Apparently, God had figured that out already.
Today, Zoe had her friend Eliza over to play. They have known eachother since they were babies and are just 10 weeks apart in age. I drove them out to a park to meet some friends. This was their conversation in the back seat.
Zoe: I don’t have a brother or sister.
Eliza: I have a brother.
Zoe: No you don’t
Eliza: Yes I do, he’s younger than me.
Zoe: I’ve never seen him.
Eliza: Well, I do have a brother.
Me: You never saw him because he died right before he was born. Eliza saw him though, and you saw Miss Allison when Caleb was still in her tummy.
Zoe: I don’t have a brother or sister, but I have a dog.
Zoe: Daisy can’t have any puppies. And Mommy won’t have any babies.
Me: That’s right.
Eliza: Why not?
Me: Because my body can’t make babies anymore.
Zoe: Yeah, Mommy had cancer and the doctors had to take out the part that makes babies.
Eliza: My mommy had cancer too and the doctors had to take out the part that makes babies in her too.
Zoe: Oh…. My mommy doesn’t have cancer anymore.
Eliza: My mommy doesn’t have cancer anymore either. She had the cancer after I was born and after she had my brother.
Zoe: I like dogs. I like Daisy.
Eliza: I like Daisy too.
Now I feel quite strongly that God did not give me cancer. Or Allison either for that matter. But I feel equally as strongly that God did put Allison and my friendship together 10 years ago knowing that it would bless us in ways we had never thought possible. And I bet he also intended for those blessings to be reaped by our one-minute-giggly-one-minute-philosophical-five-year-old-girls. Conversations like that cannot be an accident.
Here are the kindred spirits in a giggly moment from a winter playdate.