"This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
I sit here on our lawn with my three boys, Jason, Caleb, and Emet. Today, my birthday, has been a most wonderful day, even if rather ordinary. I guess there is most often something that makes one feel unique and special on their birthday. It was a sunny and warm Monday. The boys and I went for a walk with Grandma Marion on a country road not far from here, then on to visit Mr. Harold, Marion’s friend who is in a nearby adult care home. He gets so much joy from having Caleb and Emet visit. He seems to light up like a Christmas tree. It’s funny how little effort it takes on one’s part to bring so much joy to a lonely old soul – an hour every couple of weeks or so.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, though I’ve thought to 1000 times. This pregnancy has been a bit rougher than the others. Of course, everyone insists this means it may be a girl. I guess I could agree. It may be. I suppose I have a 50 / 50 chance! However, though one may think after two boys I would be desperate for a girl, I’m not. Sure, I’d love a little girl as much as anything, but I so treasure my two little boys and their Papa, that I’d be overjoyed to welcome another one. Jason is such a wonderful husband and father……the best I could ever imagine. I can’t imagine any young men not profiting from being raised by such a man. The world will truly be a better place because of him, if all he is ever know for it being the father of his sons.
In the past few weeks, I’ve once again learned several lessons about life. A dear friend passed away suddenly at age 34 from a blood clot going to both sides of her lungs following a c-section to deliver her fourth child. Four little children, ages 5 and under are left without their Mama. These little ones are blessed to have such a wonderful grandmother who is willing to spend most of her time two states away in California to help the now widowed father raise his four young children. Two other children I have been following recently passed away from brain cancer. Another family we know recently learned their son who seemed fully recovered from leukemia last year now has to fight the entire battle all over again, with only hopes and prayers for the same clean result and healthy son they had just one year ago….and then hopes and prayers that they won’t have to face the same trial all over again. I know it is not healthy to allow yourself to drown in these matters, yet prayer and thoughtful reflection do produce fruit, so I do allow myself to ponder the meaning of it all, and how I can live my life differently with the current blessings I have of health and life for both myself and my family. I guess what I’ve put together from it all is that life is truly a gift, and is certainly not a guarantee. There must be something we are to learn and gather from our time on earth, however lengthy or brief. There must be a purpose to our lives.
As for me, this whirlwind of sad events has almost slowed my life down to a fast-forwarded movie in slow motion, if that makes any sense at all. Both boys seem to be developing and changing in leaps and bounds……especially with Emet, some stages only lasting a few short days. Yet, as fast as it is all going, each moment, each tiny part of every day – each laugh, each tantrum, each teasing smile and poorly pronounced, but proudly attempted word, sticks to my mind like glue. I treasure every moment, and pray that if it is my last with them that I will have a storehouse of treasure from which to draw and that's I've been the very best Mama I can be.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not wallowing in fear of the next moment, though one’s mind could easily turn there. I simply cannot make heads or tails of why sometimes we escape from certain tragedy and sometimes we don’t. For example, in all practicality, Jason should not be walking or running. His accident three years back which crushed his vertebrae nearly always paralyzes. His neurosurgeon said it was an absolute miracle the way his spine was protected from being severed. He'd never seen anything like it. And without a full face bicycle helmet (and how many people even wear those?), he would very likely be dead. Jason runs 6 miles twice each week and ran the 2008 Portland Marathon. He climbs trees, rides quads, and throws our boys into the air. My life should be so different from what it is now – but it isn’t.
Julie was healthy and strong – absolutely nothing wrong with her. She was pumping milk for the baby, eating dinner, and chatting with her husband and planning to come home from the hospital in a couple of days. Blood clot to her lungs a few hours later and she’s gone.
Joshua was 12, only son of a single mother. He’s gone.
Jeananne was 16 – just turned. She’s gone.
Luke, still fighting, a true champion. He’s 8.
One could ponder the significance of such tragedy for a lifetime. However, one thing is certain. There is something to be learned in each of our own lives from such things. The longer we live, the more of it we’ll see. And, hopefully, it will begin to dawn on each of us. I guess that is why it is the young that are reckless – thinking they will live forever, that they are invincible. Life is precious – so let’s make it meaningful, extracting each joy and pain from every day, and apply it to our hearts so that we can somehow become better people for it. The God of creation remains who He is, and He remains faithful to those who trust in Him. Even if we don’t find life to be fair. Even if we're real with Him and tell him just how unfair we think it all is. He created us, I guess he knows our limitations. I suppose there are just some things our human minds will not ever be able to comprehend here on earth. I’ll choose to follow Him though, versus a life of bitterness and emptiness…..a life of no hope for the future. What do I really have to lose? "...for I will turn their mourning into joy And will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow." Jeremiah 31:13
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I think I will go there.