“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
Hi Becky and happy birthday!
Today within the halls of time and the hearts of those who love you, you turn 34 years old. I wonder what that means in heaven? Are you a forever 32? I’ve often thought the early thirties are the physical peak of our lives. Since someday our bodies will be resurrected, I’d be OK with being 32 forever along with you!
I’ve been thinking back over the almost two years since you died. The sheer weight of emotion over that time seems impossible. It should take a lifetime to experience and feel what has happened in 23 short months. I remember a year ago facing December and wanting to run away, to hide somewhere. I didn’t know how to ford the river of grief I saw in all of the ‘first’ experiences without you. But I was also very aware of others I love who had that river to cross and I would never run away from them. We made it through all of those firsts last year and actually found joy in our shared experiences!
Today we are at another ‘new’ place as we come to the second December without you present. But my, oh my, how things have changed! Just Wednesday this week I took Amity and Dara to celebrate your birthday at New Morning Bakery here in town. They got to pick any dessert and any beverage they wanted and we just sat and talked about their days and their lives. Every so often we’d share a little story about you, and then jump right back to what is going on in their lives today. What struck me so powerfully is how ‘normal’ they are in what they tell me about their lives and days. It is the everyday drama of an elementary girl and an early adolescent middle school girl. The plaintive questions of the early days without you: – ‘What is going to happen to us now?’ ‘Who is going to help Daddy raise us?’ – are no longer in play. The girls seem happy and secure in their new home. Dara calls me ‘Cheryl’ as much as she calls me Grandma and Amity talks a lot about the things that she and Cheryl do together at home. It is music to my ears and I’m confident to yours too!
Your Dad and I are thoroughly enjoying being Grandpa and Grandma to the girls again. Every Wednesday is early release time in the Philomath School District and I have the pleasure of alternating weeks of picking up one of the girls to spend time together. Often the time spent is simply getting a treat after school and then helping with homework. Sometimes we cook together or complete some other project. Next week the girls will both come over after school on Wednesday and help me put up our Christmas tree and decorate for the season. I’m so looking forward to this! Wednesday is my new favorite day of the week!
Jacob seems happy too. That heavy sadness within which he was drowning is lifted, although I know he still misses you like we all do. It seems such a paradox to me that if I could I would have you back to learn from and tease with and just plain enjoy, but I’m also loving this new family that Jake and Cheryl have made – this new normal into which they have entered. I’ve learned so much in missing you. Life is such a mix of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy. So often pleasure follows hard on the heels of pain and joy waits at sorrow’s doorstep. I’ve learned that God is able and sufficient and the great reverser. I can trust Him even in something that at times seems completely irredeemable. And somehow as I wait on Him and trust Him for here and eternity, He makes all things good. I love the way Julian of Norwich says this “And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” I know you are enjoying the complete and absolute truth of God’s ability to make all things well!
I love you and I can’t wait to see you again!