Joy intermingled

As always, when life seems to stand still in the midst of heartache and loss, it keeps on moving and there is forever joy mixed in with the pain.

For instance,  my kids have been loved on and cared for more in the last 3 days by other members of our family than me and they think it’s pretty cool.  They are aware of what has happened but cannot process much of the reality of it.

Rylee tells me “Mama, are you sure this really happened?  It doesn’t seem like it could be real. Is Grampy really gone?”

Her words take my breath away and I respond on my knees at her level…”I feel exactly the same way.”

The boys still think it’s funny when someone farts at the dinner table.

Or when Kyler comes out of the bathroom having taken all his clothes off.

Or when they see Audrey pick up the cat by her tail.

The smiles will return for us.  The laughter that fills this home will come again.

But for the moment grief lives here and I know that is okay.

I thought I would faint with heartbreak as I watched my mother-in-law wring out and hang her her husbands clothing on the line to dry.

We don’t know how to walk this road.

How does one summarize the life of someone so dear in a couple of paragraphs?

Aren’t we too young to know how to do this?

Are we ever old enough to know how to do this?

Probably not.

The news that long time friends of my parents after 12 years of trying to get pregnant and two successful adoptions, are pregnant brought joy-filled tears today.

Finding an appropriate dress to wear to a funeral in a few short minutes of looking off the clearance rack  was one pleasant little gift of the day.

Abundant food, enough to cover our kitchen counters and table and two chairs left me sobbing in the kitchen yesterday.  I’m pretty sure food=love.  In a very complicated way actually, that food was like a piece of healing to my heart.  After a less than wonderful departure from our 10 years in ministry at church last fall, it was hands from that community that brought food to nourish us on this incredibly painful road.  It is so like God to bring things full circle….and rarely in the way I expect.

Although I missed the girls getaway with 3 of my best friends in Denver this weekend, I was blessed beyond measure to know that many there including my favorite author Sally Clarkson (who put on the conference) were praying for our family to get through these days.  Sally even sent me her latest book, signed by herself, which again was a sweet gift in the midst of it all.

God is good, all the time.  There is a constant swirling together of joy and pain.  In these moments of deep sadness its easy under the weight of it all to miss the good.

But it is here.