“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. . .” Psalm 23:4
As I’ve written earlier, life has changed. A lot. With Jacob and the girls living nearby and with the Lord’s provision of a job for Jacob, I have a job too! I’m up early waiting in their front room until the girls awaken and we can start each day. They are in those last, precious days of summer – enjoying sleeping late most days and the relative freedom of a summer schedule. Next week this changes as the new school year begins.
I’ve been an avid and broad reader in the past and hope to be again. So far since Becky died I’ve found that only books on grief can sustain my interest. I’ve read a wide variety of these books from secular to faith based, from clinical to personal sagas, from high literature to common garden variety books. Each book has added something to my understanding of grief and the very evident fact that it is common to every person. In the past I’ve enjoyed books for the way they allow me to step into another’s life. I try to gain a perspective on how I would respond to that which is happening in the story. I’ve been especially fascinated with stories from World War II – this time when life in so many European communities was drastically altered in what appeared to be a permanent change. So many people with established routines of life, based upon a world governed by certain rules and societal understandings, were suddenly over-run by a military government with a completely new set of rules and expectations. For many of them, in a day, their lives changed from relative peace and security to fear and restraint and the ever-present face of violently controlling invaders.
On a personal level I think I can relate to the whiplash involved in this overnight change. The most basic of understandings have shifted in me. I will always be the mother of three, but now I have two living daughters. I’m not going to die before all of my children. I can’t promise my granddaughters that they are safe and secure and nothing bad will ever happen to them. No matter how ‘good’ I am, no matter how much I follow the tenants of my faith, life is a tenuous walk on a tightrope without a net. Everything can change in an instant.
I’ve been transported to a place called ‘missing Becky’ – a place that I would never choose to visit. But like those characters in my books whose lives have changed permanently, I am slowly adjusting. I fill my days with enjoying the ‘grand-girls’ all the while quietly longing for the day that takes me to the place that Becky has gone. I’m much more consistent in spending time in the Word and with the Lord. I pray nearly constantly about one thing or another. I’m puzzled and hurt and disappointed by so many things in this life, but I’m overjoyed and awed and thankful for at least that many more. If I could in my next breath I would go back to the lives we all had before Becky died. I can’t so I will walk following Jesus throughout my days and trusting Him for Becky, me and all the others that I love.
“The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” Isaiah 57:1-2