Kids can be funny. You never know how they are going to take something that you tell them or teach them. Will they understand? Really understand or just go through the motions and act like they do to get through the conversation or the lecture.
When my son was little he would agree to anything just to get me to stop talking to him! Every once in a while though I knew that I had gotten through to him and that I had made a point. He would show me by his response to something that somehow something we had tried to teach him had in fact made an impression. And it felt good.
With Michelle it was always much easier to tell because she made a habit out of making her feelings known, being more forthcoming with her emotions and her behaviours. (That only started to change when she hit those teenage years and she has since reverted back to her 'original' self!)
Now we have a unique chance to see our daughter raising her daughter and to see some of those lessons being taught again. And, being learned again. Bella is an interesting combination of different personalities. In so many ways, she is so much like Michelle, but there are other ways in which she is a curious blend of Jim and Tim and others as well. And of course, she is a unique individual.
But her sensitivity and her compassion never ceases to amaze me. I may have talked of this before, but it bears repeating in my opinion. She has demonstrated acts of compassion since she was very young, maybe 3 years old. It amazed me at the time and it amazes me now. She can be empathetic and really try to understand someone else's suffering and pain or their happiness. Sometimes though, it can make for what Michelle will describe as a 'High Maintenance' little girl. She feels deeply. For instance, our neighbors had a dog named Chloe and several months ago, Chloe passed away. Monday night as Bella was saying her prayers (which she has to say in private,facing the outside wall of her bedroom), she began to cry. Michelle heard her cry and went to her to find out what was wrong. Bella told her she was saying her prayers and included Chloe and that she was just so sad that Chloe had to be in Heaven and not here with the people who love her so much. She wasn't sad for Chloe, but for her people because they would miss their dog.
The tears quickly turned to a torrent and Michelle felt useless to stop the storm.
Bella knew that Chloe was in Heaven, she knew that she was in a better place and she was free from pain, yet she was still sad. Her sadness was for those she left behind. Isn't that how most Christians feel when a loved one dies? How do you help to ease the suffering born from grief and pain?
I can only say the best way I know how, with Prayer and with Faith.
Sometimes though, it can be a dificult lesson to learn.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD.