03-19-20 Happiest of Birthdays

To my dear sweet boy,

Eight years ago today I held you in my arms for the very first time. These days you don’t fit into my arms quite as well as you used to, but that doesn’t stop you from crawling into my lap and showering me with cuddles.

As I sat outside this afternoon watching you play Simon Says with the neighbor kids from a quarantine-able distance, my heart sank for you. When we talked about your birthday weeks ago I was secretly planning how we could get together with friends to celebrate the amazing kid that you are and then over the course of the past week our lives took an incredibly drastic turn.

I don’t know what the end of this looks like. I don’t know how long this will go on. Weeks? Months, maybe? In the meantime, I want to remind you (and me too) that nothing that happens in our lives ever catches God off guard. He is never surprised. He is never reactionary.

He is just. He is loving. He is fair. He is kind. He is holy.

If there is anything I can teach you in the months and years to come, I hope it is this… Jesus is all you need.

No amount of striving will save you, nor good deeds, nor pure thoughts. No amount of ignorance or apathy can pardon you. Only the death and resurrection of Christ can do that. So my prayer each day is that our Lord draws you ever closer to Him.

I love you my dear boy and Happy Birthday!

03-07-20 A Goal Too Far

When my father came out of the hospital at the end of January 2019, it took him a little while to gain traction with his recovery, but little by little we began to see improvements. And then something amazing happened… the days got longer, the weather got warmer, and my father got stronger. As winter melted into Spring and then Spring blossomed to Summer, I was in awe of the progress he made. He started going back to work every day and not long after that he began driving himself to and from the shop. It seemed we had finally gotten over the hurdle of his mistreatment.

He really did have a good summer. He was stronger. He put on weight.

It wasn’t long after the start of autumn that things started to unravel. He was placed on some new medications, which wreaked havoc with his system. He stopped eating as much. Then he started losing weight. All of his hard fought progress wasted away. It was difficult to watch.

Weeks later, as the days got shorter, my ectopic rupture happened and suddenly everything seemed to spiral out of control. I laid on the couch recovering as I watched my father shuffle around the house, trying to gain back his strength, but I could tell his heart wasn’t in it this time. I could tell he was getting tired. As I sat on the couch I thought, let’s just make it to spring. He’ll feel better in the spring. The longer days and the warmer weather will rejuvenate him once again. The winter will be hard, but if we can just get him to the time change, he’ll be ok.

A few short weeks later I sat next to him in the ICU holding his hand. I asked him to say hi to my babies in heaven, told him I loved him, and then, dear friends, I watched him die.

When I left the hospital that afternoon, the sun was already starting its descent. The weather was pleasant, an unusual December day, it’s warmth mocking the frigid weight that had settled on my mind. My father was dead.

Spring had been a goal too far. In the end, exhaustion had won. Sickness had attacked a body that had fought so hard and so long. With no reserve, his body finally gave out, and while he never said it in the weeks leading up to it, I think he knew. I’m almost sure he did.

Tomorrow the sun will set later. The weather is starting to get warmer. The trees are budding. The flowers are pushing through the thawed soil. Spring is almost upon us.

How I wish he was here to see it.

I miss him each day- more each day if that’s possible, but I can say with absolute confidence that given the choice, he would stay where he is, in the presence of his king, and in the arms of the ones who went before him.

To Christ be all glory in all things.