I saw a funny meme today that said something about this being a unique leap year. 29 days in February, 300 days in March and 5 years in April.
Can you relate?
For the most part we have done well.
Thankfully the falling head over heels back in college thing was spot on and we have remained quite happy to be together for the past 39 plus years so that’s a good thing.
We are painfully aware that others are not doing well and while we continue to shelter in place, there are multiple emotions and battles against despair as Russ and his team deal with the repercussions of what is happening. We think of all the businesses and jobs affected.
We hear of earthquakes, tornadoes, illnesses, accidents, births, deaths…on and on that others are dealing with on top of the pandemic and our prayers are lifting constantly.
Texts and FaceTime, Zoom and What’sApp and record amounts of time spent on social media keep us connected to friends and family. News is watched in small doses, enough to stay informed – yet not enough to induce panic.
And the grief, like all grief, comes in waves.
It pops up in unexpected places and catches me off guard and suddenly I am in a puddle of tears for what we have lost personally.
Please hear me.
I am sensitive to the truth that others have lost income, family, friends, businesses, investments, security. I also understand that the things I am missing are things some people never had nor never will have.
But my grief moments are mine and they need to be acknowledged and mourned in the way God wired me to be transparent before Him and then to feel His hand wipe the tears. To feel His understanding and yet His nudge to get up from where I am and move on and do whatever task is next as He heals the hurt inside.
Yesterday afternoon I was on a chat session involving a charge on our credit card that I needed to clarify. The customer service rep needed the VIN number for our car, so I ran out to the glove box and retrieved the paperwork.
Later in the evening I was putting the day away and took the document back out to the garage.
As I gathered up the owners manuals and insurance info I had pulled out earlier, I found the bright green cardboard sign bearing our Joel’s name that gave me the right to pick him up from preschool this year.
At least a couple times a month, his mommy and daddy’s work schedule called for me to be in the carpool lane when his cute self was being dismissed.
As I sat in the front seat holding that sign, I could picture him obediently walking alongside the teacher with eyes that were glued on me and a smile a mile wide. That gap toothed smile that melts my heart into pure goo.
When he got the okay, he would scurry into my arms and I can still envision him insisting he needed to take off his coat, unload his backpack and share with me all the papers and stories as we drove along while also convincing me we probably should go to McDonald’s for lunch because Cadawine really loves their french fries.
Here’s the raw and painful truth.
I will most likely never pick that little boy up from his first year of preschool again.
Right now, unless you have a heart made of stone…you are thinking about your own fill in the blank for what will never happen that you thought was going to happen.
You are identifying with the heartache of the “I won’t ever ____________” have this moment again. And it can cut deep because it ended before you had time to prepare for it.
And it’s not just Covid that steals time from us.
Death and sin and aging and loss are the pattern of life on planet earth.
Oh yes, I know ….so is birth and mercy and forgiveness and grace and youth and gain…but we cannot have one without the other in the cycle of days that make up the years.
And it is a delicate thing to balance acknowledging grief and mourning well and then embracing the new and the hope of tomorrow.
It is a matter of wisdom to sit for a few moments in a car and hold a little green piece of paper and mourn your grandson’s first year of preschool that he loved so very much and debate whether you should just pitch the thing, or slide it back in…just because it hurts too much right now to throw it away.
Because you know that little man and his family are also mourning the loss of things.
And yes, it is still resting on top of the owner’s manual…thank you very much.
I wiped the tears and headed back into the house and folded some more laundry. The regular routines bring me back to the present which is where I must live.
I cannot imagine doing this without the God of both comfort and hope walking it out with me.
May the Lord bless each one of you and meet you in all the seasons of life in real and personal ways as we …. you know…journey onward <3