To give you an idea of how my childhood and my thought processes at the time were much different from those of my peers, I'll share with you a story of which I was reminded after reading Suze's blog post for today.
Before I was born, my brother Jerry David was still-born. The day before he was born, my mother noticed that he stopped kicking and she had a sharp pain in her belly. After Mom adamantly insisted the doctor deliver the baby, they discovered the umbilical cord had become tightly wrapped around his neck, crushing his windpipe and ceasing blood flow to his brain. In my family, we have always been very open about both the good and the bad, so from a young age I knew my brother Jerry was in Heaven. Then, when I was five or six years old, my sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. Again, my parents were very open about the fact that Jodi might die, as treatment options were few and bone-marrow transplants were still experimental.
I was already writing short stories and poetry by this time, so I wrote this story for my mother to comfort her (I've updated and edited it a bit, of course. It was much more rudimentary in its original form. What do you expect for an elementary-schooler?) :
Jerry was scared. He used to be in a warm, comforting place. There was a lovely voice that would sing to him, and little hands he could sometimes feel patting outside the room where he lay. But now it was cold, and quiet, and he felt all alone. Jerry began to cry.
Suddenly a kind voice said "Why do you cry, my son?"
"I'm scared and alone," Jerry replied. "I used to be somewhere nice, but now I don't know where I am."
"It's okay," the voice replied. "You weren't quite ready yet to be born, so I brought you here. Soon you'll be somewhere safe until you're ready for the world."
The baby asked, "Will there be people there?"
"Not quite," the voice replied. "Just others like you, who weren't quite strong enough to be in the world yet."
"But I'll miss the singing, and the cuddling," Jerry said. "I won't get to feel the little hands of my sister, or the big hands of my mother and father anymore. I won't get to hear my mother's heartbeat."
"I see," said the voice. "You'll miss the love, won't you?"
The voice said nothing for a time, and Jerry thought he had been left alone again. Slowly he began to realize his surroundings were changing. Where once there was nothing, now shapes were beginning to emerge. He could feel that he was lying on something soft, and when he looked at himself, he could see he was now covered in a downy fur.
Suddenly, he was lifted from behind up into the air, and was squeezed around his belly.
"What is that?" Jerry cried.
"It's called a hug," the voice replied. "You wanted to experience love while you waited for your time to come to Earth. I've placed you, and all the other souls like you, in the best places you could possibly be to experience unconditional love."
Then Jerry heard a little voice which he had heard long ago in his mother's womb. He was turned around, and there he beheld for the first time the face of his big sister.
"Come on, Teddy," the girl said. "Mommy says it's time for us to take a nap."
So it was that God placed the souls of the babies lost too soon into the stuffed animals of the children of the world, that they could experience love while they waited for their time to come to earth.
BTW - Hate to go all adult on you after that bit of fluff, but of course I have to state "Neither the above story nor any portion therein may be reproduced without the express written permission of the author - i.e., ME".