Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Snapshot of Buggy Sunglasses

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of those who are crushed are filled with pain and suffering. But a cheerful heart enjoys a good time that never ends.

When asked how he was blessed today, Christian answered, "My blessing is that I have my shirt off and Mom surprised me with Macaroni and Cheese because I was good at school today. So it reminds me of my birthday when I got the buggy sunglasses and my cousins and Daddy were here."

Remember those split moments of childhood where you can recall EVERYTHING about the scene? Details like- who you were with, what you were wearing, and the sense of excitement? Everything seemed so magical that, as a child, you took an emotional snapshot to keep in your heart forever.

A snapshot that you pull out now and again, when a certain smell or breeze or situation brings a rush of cheer that takes you right back to that split moment in time when you felt nothing but joy.

That’s the blessing that Christian described tonight.

I decided to give it a whirl. I closed my eyes and remembered that moment- he’s right – in both moments, Christian was special – birthday boy or boy who did well with school, he was being celebrated. In both moments he was surrounded by his favorite people. And, in both moments, he had his shirt off. I suddenly felt the joy of both moments as if it will last forever. And it can!

There are times when I feel so crushed by the heartache of loosing Tom. It takes a child's perspective sometimes to remind us that we can choose to recall cheer and keep it forever.

Christ tells us to have the heart of a child. We were given that heart- our challenge is to recapture that cheer and enjoy a good time that never ends.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Continuing Family Traditions in the Midst of Loss

Proverbs 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction…

He wasn’t there. And strangely, the name "Dad" didn’t come up as often as I had thought it would. And when it did, it was in joyful remembrance, with not an ounce of deep sorrow, just an occasional moment of thoughtful, "I wish he were here". It was our week in the cabin.

And yet, Tom was there. We honored him by continuing in his instruction. He was in every routine played out in "Dad" tradition- from how he looked after the security in the cabin, to how he balanced playtime with clean up time. He was in the new games invented by us this week, for each new inventive fun was a variation on the pureness of Tom’s nature.

I contentedly watched all four boys- seeing glimpses of Tom in each of them- Joe’s breezy logic, Brian’s serious creativity, Carter’s puppy-like frolic, and Christian’s wacky commentary. That cabin wrapped all of the children’s individualized reflections of Dad together into one small compact space where I could observe and relish them as a single unit that revealed the love of my life!

I felt surrounded by the warmth of him, and I knew that Christ was providing that security for me- allowing me to continue our traditional vacation in New England, in our cabin, the way we always had.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the beauty of New England. Thank you for Tom’s wisdom of keeping our vacation traditions simple, so that the fun we have is truly centered on enjoying each other- not on being entertained. This time with the children was incredibly relaxed, spontaneous, and full of Your character- exactly as Tom would have had it. Thank you for helping us honor him by continuing in his instructions and turning his traditions into ours. Because we focused on You, our vacation felt whole and complete, knowing that the boys’ father happily sleeps in You as we play the way he had instructed us to.