Little did they or the doctor know but this was a death sentence. Ernie bled all night. The next day, I held him and tried to get him to drink but he wouldn’t because he was so weak. My dad arranged for our neighbor to rush my parents and Ernie the 60 plus miles to Memphis to the Children’ hospital but it was too late. He had lost too much blood. He died October 31, 1976 at 15 months old. We were all deviated, us children and my parents. My parents were Christians and I was saved at this time so, all we had to cling to was our faith in God that he knew best, although, we did not understand why this had to happen. Later (after an autopsy by the hospital) we learned that Ernie had Leukemia of the bone. And, he had a bleeding disorder. So, this at least provided some solace that he didn’t suffer due to this disease with hospital stays and medicines that my parents couldn’t afford, but it was no less painful. I believe we all had a hole in our hearts due to losing Ernie. And, I told God, at 15 yrs old, that I didn’t want to have children because if I lost them, it would be too painful. And, the pain was revised each year on October 31st.
Fast forward 5 years later, when I became pregnant and my husband and I had a baby boy. He was the first baby boy born in my immediate family since losing Ernie. With his birth, I began to heal. He even looked liked Ernie. When my parents traveled to Jackson, where I was living now, to see their grandchild, I could sense my mom’s healing as well. God began to plug the hole that had been there for so many years. A year later, we had another blessing, when my older sister gave birth to a son as well.
God does restore what is lost. He is a comforter and a healer. He mends our broken hearts when we think it can not be mended. After my first born, the memory of Ernie began to change, it no longer brought pain. I imagine some of the healing was time but I know the initial healing was the birth of another baby boy in my family. And, now after many years have passed and my son is grown, I can smile and recall with pleasure walking down that county road with my baby brother. Mom is gone now as well; she passed in May 2012. I can see her now reunited with Ernie and they are having a good time!