I realize now that almost every day I utter that word from the depths of my heart: “Why, Lord.  Why did you take my baby?”  I don’t really mean it literally, because it all seems so clear to me why Emma is not here.  How can I question the sovereignty of the Lord when my sick little girl experiences no pain, is completely healed, and enjoys the best that everlasting life has to offer.   It is just the only word that my heart knows to put to the pain that sometimes seeps in.  The word that rises to my lips when my arms feel empty, when I realize that I can’t see her smile, when I face the reality of going on without Emma, and when I remember how good it was to be her Mom.  It is not why did you give Emma the best, but why did it have to involve such pain for me.  Why can I not still hold her, sit by her side when she is sick, comfort her when she cries, fight for her life when she threatens to lose it, hold her and play with her, teach her to eat, talk, and crawl?  Why did you give me this charge only to take it away from me so soon?  How long will it be Lord before I see her again?  Will I get to experience any of what I missed?  I don’t have any desire to leave my life here.  You have given me other commands, other responsibilities, other joys.  Elise makes sure I know that she is glad that I am here.  It is as if she understands that I could leave too, just like Emma, and she is thankful that God has granted her a mother who is present. So, I don’t want to leave until he tells me my job is finished, I just wish that Emma’s job hadn’t been such a brief one.