“Am I going to die?” the little girl asked me as I pushed her through the hallway to the operation room. She’s only seven and she didn’t even burst into tears when she said the word ‘die’.
“Do you believe in God?” She asked me another question, her dark round twinkling eyes looked at me with an excitement I couldn’t understand. As long as I know her, this little mouth will never stop, so she asked me another, “Every dead people are going to meet Him, right? I bet He has a very huge house, because people from around the world will stay there with Him. Do you believe that heaven is real?”
The little girl pulled the sleeve of my shirt when I didn’t give her any answer. “Huh, Doctor?” I looked down to her and she’s waiting for me. “Do you believe it?”
“Yes,” I smiled, “Of course, I bet it is the most wonderful place in the universe”. She smiled back at me.
“Good,” she nodded. “And I’m going there. It has to be a super cool place, doesn’t it? With a giant slides and swings. And a giant teddy bear to hug every night. My Sunday school teacher said that heaven is a pleasant place, no one ever cry there. Everybody is happy. Do you think God has a pink bedroom painted for me with a lot of storybooks inside? Because that makes me happy. I imagine that there will be a lot of fluffy puffy cotton candy clouds on the sky, chocolate fountains pouring at the center of garden, and giant trees full of candies too.” Her eyes glistened with such a radiant delight.
“Don’t forget the main part,” I pinched her nose lightly and she giggled, “You’ll be with Father Jesus a whole time”.
“Oh yeah!” She became more excited than before. “Mom said that Jesus is the greatest Father ever! Like a super hero. Like a best friend. I love my dad at home, really love him. But Daddy says I have to love Jesus more, I don’t quite understand, I never see Him before. But Daddy says Jesus died for me so I can be with Him at heaven. I wonder what He is looked like. Will he accompany me practicing piano in heaven? He has to be extra patient because I tend to miss a lot of notes.”
There was a little pause on the air before this ‘a-little-too-much-energy’ patient spoke again. “But—“
“But?” My gaze met hers. A little bit of worry pictured on her face.
“I think I’m gonna miss Daddy, and Mommy, and Sarah. Oh, and Bowie too,” her lips quivered. I remember the day when this kid bring her new puppy through the hospital door with a grin on her face—passing through the securities who yelled at her, ’Look! His name is Bowie!’ she told me.
“Bowie will be proud of you,” I stroke her forehead once.
“Do you think Sarah will be okay without me? She cries a lot at night whenever she feels bad about her body. I can hear her sob from my bed. Do you think she will be all right if I can’t hug her through the nights?”
I looked at her for a moment, “You are doing this for her, right?”
“Will she be better after the procedure?” she asked.
“I hope,” I gave her a little nod.
“I don’t want to see her cry ever again. I don’t want to see Mommy and Daddy hug each other and cry ever again”.
“Are you scared?” We’re in the operating room right now. I scrubbed in and faced her angelic look before the nurse handed me the anesthetic mask.
She shook her head. “No, because I am going to save Sarah. I am happy. I am going to heaven, anyway. But, before we start, can I ask one more question?”
“Yes, of course,” I held the mask a little longer.
“Is it hurt?”
“No,” I smiled, ”And donate your bone marrow to your older sister won’t make you die either. Now can you count down from ten? Tell me your sweet dreams when you wake up later”.