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The Garden of Unanswered Prayers by Lili Nealon
 

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  • Last night a little child died. I did not know her well, but I have prayed for her for two years.

    A little child died. Her sister. Her daughter. His daughter. Her niece and her cousin. Their grandchild.

    Somehow the order of life is reversed at a young person’s death. And this little girl, she was too young not to ever again see the sunrise and the sunset and the snow covering her mountains. She was too young not to ever again have a temper tantrum or a fight with her sister or a halloween walk as the moon shines over Boulder.

    Each night as I put my head on my pillow, I uttered her name and her mother’s name. Each night for two years. Each night with the faith and the hope that there would be a miracle. Even in the last week, her fate almost sealed, I prayed for a miracle.

    And last night, the little girl died.

    I am not unfamiliar with premature death, sadly. Prayers whispered in the still of the night. Hope and faith which turn into despair. I have been mad at God so many times and yet I still reach out and I still believe that God is listening and standing by.

    The garden called paradise has a special garden which I call the Garden of Unanswered Prayers. In it, a new flower is planted each time a prayer is not answered. A new species of flower, unique in all the world. It is the largest garden in paradise. God’s favorite.

    I like to think a new flower was born there today, adding to the multicolored flowers which bloom without ceasing.

    A little girl died last night. She loves her bright yellow flowers with the sweet aroma of linden trees.
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