Previous posts detail some of our adventures with Deste since that day. Sometimes, we wonder how much he remembers from the old days, back when we first got to know him when he was just 3 years old, and a patient in our hospital.
Last night, Ruthie came in his room while I was tucking him in for bed. She started talking with Deste about how special he is and how much she has loved him for so long. She asked him, "Deste, do you remember me from the hospital? Do you remember how I used to come down and play with you?" He looked up at Ruthie with the biggest, most tender eyes, and said ever-so-clearly,
"Yes. I remember. I remember EVERYTHING."
Ruthie and I looked at each other with our mouths open - we were not expecting that answer! He was so young! How could he remember all that?
Ruthie asked, "Well, what do you remember, Deste? What do you remember that we used to do together?"
Deste grinned at her and said, "FANTA."
Oh, how that boy used to LOVE it when Ruthie would come down (every day!) and buy him and his buddies an orange fanta, as seen here above. It wasn't really Fanta, but an orange drink of some kind. We tried it and didn't find it at all appealing, but the little ones in the hospital thought it was awesome.
We laughed and laughed! That was Deste's favorite thing back then. Ruthie would come down to the hospital and buy an Orange Fanta for not only Deste, but for many other little kids at the hospital, as well. In fact, she used her entire $5 a week allowance on those Fantas for kids. Hey, why not share America's problem with kid tooth decay all over the globe? (ugh.) Seriously, the kids just loved this luxurious treat that Ruthie would shower on them almost each day. She had a little "posse", as we called it, of his buddies with whom she played for hours every day. I guess she (and certainly I) wasn't sure if the kids would remember those fun times for very long, but at least, it turns out, Deste certainly does.
After "Fanta", he said, "And Bread. You always gave me bread. And you gave bread to all my friends. It was goooood."
And then he said, "And you took me to buy clothes. And I got to pick them out myself. And you gave me a big ball, and we played and played with my ball every day.
And I went on the swings. And you took my picture every day on your phone."
He certainly did remember everything after all! His little eyes twinkled and he gave Ruthie a big hug goodnight.
I guess it sounds like a little thing, but I am so glad he remembers those times with Ruthie. I'm glad he understands we have loved him for a very long time.
Fanta may not be good for teeth, or for any other nutritional need - but evidently, it is good for the heart. That, and time spent together, spelled L-O-V-E to him.
Those sticky, sugary orange Fantas lodged in someone's memory as a sign of how very loved he was, and as a sign of his friend Ruthie's generosity, because not only did he get Fanta, but because she loved him, all of his little hospital friends used to get Fantas, too. And bread.
Help me be like Deste, and always remember YOUR blessings, O Lord. Help me to never forget your good gifts to me, your faithfulness and love. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17.
1"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed."
I pray I will one day, or even today, be able to tell God, "I remember everything", about all the GOOD things he has done for me. I pray I'll remember all the ways He has shown me, in little tangible or intangible things He has provided, like an Orange Fanta, that He loves me, that I am worthwhile to Him, and that He is willing and able to provide gifts to other of my friends, through me, because of HIS generosity. I pray he will remove any and all bitterness from me and fill me only with thankfulness for all he has given.
Is that your prayer as well? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below! :)