Avery, my 5-year-old niece, asked me several months back who made birthday cakes in Heaven...
I told her I wasn't sure and that we'd have to ask God.
What prompted that sweet conversation between she and I was a little tour we took around her old neighborhood in Colorado Springs, CO back in August 2010. When I showed her the house she lived in with her little brother, Billy, she quickly remembered why she and Mommy and Daddy (my sister and brother-in-law) moved away from Colorado and back to Texas for a little bit... her sweet "baba B" had gone home to Heaven, to be with Jesus. That day came on March 29, 2008. Avery, the sweet big sister to not just Billy, but now Nathan (age 2) and Jared (age 6 months) is wise beyond her 5 years and has such the sweet spirit. She'll tell you stories of her little brother Billy, and how he is now in Heaven with Jesus and that someday, she too will get to be with her brother and Jesus in Heaven. We (my sister and I) refer to her as our little prayer warrior...always quick to offer a prayer for someone else in need.
I still wonder how different things would have been had Billy lived. This much I know, he'd be 3-years-old...probably a loving (and sometimes annoying) little brother to Avery. I look at pictures of their sweet family since he passed and I wonder where in the picture he might be. It might sound a little sad and depressing...but I know this little pumpkin will forever live in our hearts and I can only imagine that even if we can't see him in the picture, he might be somewhere in it anyway...or at least able to see it from Heaven.
Since Billy died, I pay closer attention to how Avery has learned to say my name over the years...how Nathan, Will, and Brock come to know me as their aunt...I hold them all a little longer, spend more time reading stories and laughing with them...mostly because I didn't get enough of that with Billy and so quickly we take for granted that which is right in front of us. We think that it'll always be there. But the truth is we are allotted a short visit here on earth and promised eternity in Heaven with the Father, through the promise of His Son.
These are the blessings God has given us here on earth. Billy will always be a part of that and when God deems fit, we will see Billy again in Heaven...one day.
"Lord, you formed Billy's inward parts; you knitted him
together in his mother's womb. He praises you,
for he is fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; his soul knows it very well."
~ adapted from Psalm 139:13-14