“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
I am the soul of ambiguity stewing in layers of grief this morning. We are four days into the school year and I miss Becky more than ever. The foundational layer of grief, the one upon which all others are built, is just plain missing Becky. I still find myself thinking “she’s gone, she’s really gone” at times. I still don’t want to believe it, but it is impossible not to believe. Then there is the layer that misses being Grandma. The girls and I have had such fun in the past as I exercised all of my Grandma muscles on them and their cousins. For the first time in years I find myself exercising the Mom muscles again. This morning I flexed them as I told the girls that they had to go to school even though they both wanted to stay home. I pushed and cajoled and ordered them out the door even though I honestly wanted to let them stay home and we would all just cuddle on the couch all day. In true Mom fashion I know what is best for them, but my heart aches to keep them near and love on them. Thank heavens I have the history of my own girls to look back on and I know that faithfully doing the ‘right’ thing will serve both them and me well in the end.
It is a bit harder to be the ‘strong mom’ with Amity and Dara. They’ve suffered a huge loss and both are seeking stability in a world that keeps changing. Amity dreamed last night that she was in a place where she wanted her Dad to be too, but he wasn’t there. She hugged him hard and long this morning – clinging as much as her almost 11 year old self allowed. Dara is beset by little anxieties – but not so little to her. She is a lot like her mom in that regard and will need lots of coaching and coaxing to overcome her inner worrier. I know that this part of me that wants to be soft on the girls needs to be put down because the girls need strength and stability so much. On the other hand I need to listen to the soft side and strain every intuition to try to understand what is going on in the girls and discern how best to be a help to them.
I am in a love-hate relationship with my new role in the grand-girl’s lives. And I suspect they might feel the same way if they could articulate it. They may miss ‘me/us’ as much as I miss ‘me/us’. Life continues to change as the level of our living together shifts to accommodate the gap of who Becky was to all of us. “Lord – You are in the midst of this place in our lives. Help me to get over the life that I had, the life that I miss, the life for which I long. Give me the deep trust in You to live the new life and to see the beauty and joy and good things you have for all of us in this new life. Don’t let me miss it by living in a land of regret.”
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:3-6