Saturday would have been our daughter Ruth’s eighteenth birthday. Instead, it marks the ten years she’s been gone. What more is there to say? Except that I am still unable to comprehend her absence. Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine how she might look, what hurdles she might have overcome, what goals she might have held for her future.
“Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” my first-grader recently asked. It’s a question I’ve heard from my children before. A decade ago, when our 17-year-old son, Gabriel, was also in first grade, he faithfully asked God to help his little sister, Ruth, who had cerebral palsy, to walk and talk. I did too. Day after day, it was crushingly painful to see those prayers seemingly go unanswered, and I struggled with what to say.
After a decade of working to write a memoir about how God changed our lives through our daughter, Ruth, it seemed that I had come to the end of everything. I had already done everything in my power to see it published and could do no more. My best efforts to find a publisher who shared my family’s vision of helping other children through Ruth’s story had failed. Miserably.