Conversations With My 4-year-old

Ellie gets creative

Hi Friend!

Hope you are having a great week! My 4-year-old daughter, Ellie, and I were driving back to Dallas last week and we had a very impactful conversation that I felt compelled to share with you. For those just joining our journey, almost two years ago we lost my husband and Ellie’s dad, Andrew, to cancer.

ELLIE: (out of the blue): Mom, why can’t we see God?

ME: Good question, El. I’m not really sure why. I think it’s one of those questions we will have to ask God one day when we get to Heaven.

ELLIE: Does everyone die? Do they all die from cancer?

ME: Yes, El, at some point everyone dies, but not everyone dies from cancer.

ELLIE: Like everyone dies at the same time?

ME: No, all at different times.


Ellie is really confused at this point and asks me the same question over and over and over because she thinks I do not understand her question.


ELLIE: Mom, are you going to die?

ME (uneasy about answering this question): Yes, sweetheart, some day.

ELLIE (bursts into tears): I don’t want you to die, Mommy. I want to die with you.


This officially breaks my heart and I start crying, too. I’m trying to console her and let her know I am healthy and plan to live a long life, but that I do not know what God’s plans are for me.


ELLIE (through her tears): I don’t want God to take you while I’m a little girl. I just hope He knows, I just hope He knows.

ME: Hope He knows what, baby?

ELLIE: That I’m still a little girl.

ME (crying): He knows, baby. Ellie, I just want you to know I’m so sorry you lost your daddy and that you had to go through that.

ELLIE: Was it your fault, Mommy?

ME: No, sweetheart, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. I just wanted you to know I’m sorry.


This is the first time Ellie and I have shared tears over the loss of her dad.


ELLIE: I don’t want to talk about dying anymore, Mommy.

ME: Ok, sweetheart, we don’t have to talk about that.

Not sure what your conversations are like with your 4-year-old, but I’m never prepared for what comes out of her mouth. It’s so amazing to me how much some kids internalize and the depth of their thinking at such a young age. As painful as these conversations can be, I’m grateful for the moments when we can connect on an emotional and spiritual level. I always want to know her heart and how she is feeling even when it breaks my heart. I learn so much through watching and talking to Ellie and daily she challenges and inspires me to be a better woman and a better mom.

On Father’s Day, I asked Ellie if I could pray with her before she went to sleep. She agreed and about 10 seconds into my prayer she asked, “Mommy, can I pray?” I said, “Of course, El.” This was her prayer: “Dear God, thank you for making us happy even though we don’t have my Daddy.” My heart was filled with so much love as we drifted off to sleep.

If you are willing to share, I would love to hear about a meaningful or impactful conversation you’ve shared with your child in the comments below. Thank you so much for spending time with me today! Sending you lots of love. Blessings!

P.S. If you want to see the precious gift Ellie’s daddy left for her before he passed away go to to get your copy of The Ellie Project. I truly appreciate your support!

6 Responses to “Conversations With My 4-year-old”

  1. Tonya Solis

    My heart goes out to you and El. I thought I would share with you my grandsons thoughts now if his PoPo. Aiden speaks of his PoPo out of the blue… Mind you…he was only 2 when his PoPo passed away. Now 7, he told me that his PoPo is his Angel and that He protects him everyday. He said ” I can’t see him because he lives in a different realm but he watches over me and protects me. The realm he lives in is called Heaven. I miss him but He told me he is Happy there. He lives with God now.”

    • Bailey Heard

      Tonya, your post melted my heart! Aiden sounds wise beyond his years. His words are so powerful! Thank you so much for sharing this precious story with me! Blessings.

  2. Stephanie

    I was about 11 when my mom had her first stroke. My life as a young child was not what it should’ve been. I had to help take care of her, clean, bath and dress her. She has her big stroke when I was about 13. I had to move to Cuero with my Aunt and my mom went into a nursing home. I would ask my mom why did this happen to us why couldn’t she get better and we could live together again. Every time I would visit her it hurt so bad knowing she wasn’t coming home with me. Most of my friends didn’t know and never met her. She didn’t like people seeing her in a wheel chair or sick. My mother was a proud, strong, loving and kind person. She would give you the shirt off her back and then some. She passed away when I was 16. I remember that day when I was in gym and my Uncle had come to the school to get me and my cousin. She had gotten worse and we had to go to the hospital. When we got there she didn’t recognize me. She said she had had a son and I was my Aunt daughter. That moment killed me. The whole time I prayed to God to help her get better. Make her my mom again. When I left her room I knew God would be taking her soon. I was alone. Well it felt like it. None of my friends from school had lost a parent. Or had a parent that was sick. I struggled to remember my struggled to grieve and understand. But all those prayers of asking or begging God to make my mother better. He answered. He took her home. I’m 36 now and let me tell you I am still grieving but knowing she is with God and waiting on me is all that I need. When I get to HIS home she will be waiting there. And then I will get to know and meeting the mom I have missed. I say all this because my family didn’t know how or what to say to a 16 year old girl going through puberty, proms, boys, death and friends basically all at the same time. I prayed a lot. Every night my prayers were the same. I wanted to grow up and have a family that I didn’t get to have. My father had a new family and had been gone since I was a few months old and never knew really. God answered my prayers and then some. He gave me an amazing husband and 2 beautiful daughters. During the beginning of our marriage we struggle to conceive. So once again. God was our light. We had to have an IUI for our first child. But knew it was in Gods hand is if want us to have a child. We didn’t want to go through anymore so we put the idea of another child out of our heads. Little did we know 4 years later our prayers were answered. What I have learned in my life is God does not answer your prayers when you want them, he answers them when you need them. God gave my mother peace. God gave me a family I had always prayed for. He also gave me strength, courage, and the knowing that you should never stop praying.

    My conversations we mostly with God and he was and still is my best friend and my guide.

    • Bailey Heard

      Stephanie, I was moved to tears by your comment. I could feel your emotion through your words. Thank you so much for sharing part of your beautiful and personal story with me. I’m so inspired by you and your faith and your trust in God during a truly challenging time in your life. I love when you said you wanted to create the family you didn’t have and you did! It’s women like you who inspire me daily to keep the faith and to keep moving forward trusting that God is in control! Love you so much Stephanie and truly appreciate you sharing your heart with me! Blessings.

  3. Sondra Wineinger

    Bailey, Thanks for sharing that wonderful touch the heart conversation. Ellie is an amazing little girl! Blessings!

    • Bailey Heard

      Hi Sondra! Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad you were touched by the post. Thank you also for the kind words about my sweet baby girl! Blessings Sondra 🙂