I had two fair-haired little boys, and two more now as grandsons, so I read on with my heart galloping. The article, from 2011, was featured on nbcnews.com. It took nearly 100 years to identify that baby boy, but with the help of DNA and some persistence, they finally did. Sidney Leslie Godwin was 19 months old. He had boarded the ship with both his parents and five brothers and sisters. All of them perished.
I have not stopped thinking of the last moments for those parents and those children. Every mother I know would die for her children, and I imagine little Sidney's would have too. Yet she died but could not save him, nor any of the others. I know that when my first was born, I promptly began having nightmares about losing him, about the house catching on fire and me unable to get to him, about him becoming ill and me unable to cure him, about someone stealing him from his crib and running off with him, about every possible way to lose a child I had ever heard of. So now I sit and wonder about little Sidney's last moments, and his poor mother's, who could do nothing to help.
I imagine that is not too uncommon. But as I look out on some parents I know and see the ways they are raising their children, not teaching them about God, not taking them to their Bible classes, allowing the entire family to miss the assembly of the saints for every little thing that comes along, overlooking the inappropriate clothing they must wear for the activities they want to be in, refusing to say no to television shows, movies, and video games that are unsuitable for a child of God, it seems obvious that few, if any, are afraid of their children losing their souls.
We know that we made mistakes. We have even heard about a few of them from our boys. But I doubt they would deny that we taught them as much about God as we could, enough to make sure they knew it should be the most important part of their lives. Many parents worry about their children making a good living, but frankly, the most important thing to us is that, as I write this, they both have their spiritual lives in order. If not, I would be having those nightmares again, knowing they were lost and unable to "fix it" like Mamas are supposed to do.
We will probably die before they do, but if we were to die knowing they were not in a right relationship with their God, it would be a horrible death, no matter how easy it was physically. That would be the greatest hurt they could ever do us.
What about you and your parents? Does your life break their hearts and leave them in agony? And what about your children? If you have not taught them about God, you might as well have thrown them out into the icy waters of the North Atlantic without a life preserver. At least that horrible death would be quicker than what awaits you both.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments (Ps 103:17-18).