Kate and I sat down with our oldest boys this afternoon to talk about mommy's brain tumor surgery (further) and about her diagnosis of cancer and future treatments. We used a practical illustration so they could understand it better, perhaps you will as well. (Part of this was adopted from an illustration given by Dr. Forget)
I had my supplies ready; red and blue colored Playdough, blue food coloring, rubber gloves, and a Bible. The blue Playdough was mommy's brain, the red Playdough was the cancerous tumor. I mixed a little bit of red Playdough into the blue Playdough really good. I explained that last week the doctor told mommy that she had a tumor and it needed to be removed, and earlier this week mommy went to the hospital to have the tumor (red Playdough) cut out. I tried to cut the red Playdough out the best I could, I got most of it, however I could not get it all because it was mixed in so well with the blue Playdough.
I told the boys that a very small amount still remained and mommy would need to have special medicine very soon to get rid of the rest of it. I poured the blue food coloring (special medicine) on the remaining red Playdough in mommy's brain to illustrate the medicine at work until all of the red Playdough disappeared and all that was left was blue.
After this we went through some Bible verses to let them know that:
1. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that God does not already know about (Ps. 139:4,16)
2. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that is a mistake (Ps. 139:4, 16)
3. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that mommy cannot handle by God's power and grace (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
4. Nothing will ever happen to mommy that will not eventually be used by God for some good purpose in mommy's life (Rom 8:28-29)
5. Nothing will ever happen to mommy apart from God's presence (Matt 28:20)
Finally, we let them know that it was OK to cry and be sad for mommy, if they wanted to, and that sometimes mommy and daddy are sad as well.
The boys seemed to receive this very well and did not have any questions. I'm sure they will later!
Thanks for praying for us for exactly what to say. I think it went over just fine.
P.S. Thanks to Marilyn M. for these Bible verses and the truths contained in them.