Two weeks ago I sat down and started to write. But as so often happens in airports, gate changes, flight changes, and life just got in the way. Distractions seemed to abound, including an unusually nauseating flight, and I never finished my thoughts. But as the week progressed, I realized I needed to take a minute or twenty and finish processing...

June 17 -

Last night my brother graduated from a fairly elite school within the Air Force. It was a big deal, like black tie gala big deal. So my sisters and I all flew into Las Vegas to celebrate with him. By all accounts it was lovely. Except that it was so obvious that his greatest cheerleader was missing. Each time they thanked the families I felt my eyes fill with small salty tears. Every time i looked over at my brother and his sweet wife, I missed my mama terribly. And then I missed my son. Because any time we get together as a family, the ones that are missing are more obvious.  The tears don’t fall as heavy or as frequently as they used to, but our hearts are still heavy from the weight of the scars of loss. The funny part is that my sweet George Mason wouldn’t even have been at this gala. (Floor length gowns and 3 course dinners aren’t exactly toddler friendly) but it wasn’t about his lack of presence last night, it’s the reality that he will never be here. That him and my mama have been to as many family moments as they will ever be. They will now become memories at new gatherings. There won’t be new ones, just old stories and the feelings that reminiscing good times bring with it.

It probably isn’t made easier that today is Father’s Day. A basically made up, Hallmark holiday, that simply serves as a punch to the gut when you’ve experienced loss. I have a father. But I don’t have a mother. That sucks. My husband is a father. But he doesn’t have all of his kids to snuggle and celebrate with. That sucks. Loss sucks. And missing my son today aches. Though I’m so glad it’s an ache. A solid missing him and not mourning him. It reminds me how thankful I am for the partner I have in Adam. That even though our life the last few years has been shaken and broken and shaken some more, our commitment to each other and our love for our Savior remains consistent; a strong foundation on which all of our doubts and frustrations can be placed and God can brush them away with the grace that can only be expected from the Alpha and Omega.

June 28 -

There are many things about our story these past few years that are dark and heavy. They are deep valleys that on the worst/hardest days I often wish had turned out differently. But on the days where I point my heart (and my head) towards Jesus, I experience light in the darkness and comfort despite the weight of grief and sorrow. I’ve said it before and will say it again and again, there is no joy like knowing Jesus. And even though I often find myself questioning God’s goodness and asking Him why all of these things have happened. What good will come of losing my mom when I was 38 weeks pregnant with her first grandchild? What good will come of burying my day old son? Can He really be working all things for good?? Really? But thankfully , God doesn’t discourage and downplay my doubts. He welcomes them. Because His truth is truth and my doubts and frustrations always end up proving that. He’s a big God and he can handle the punches I throw at him. I don’t know when, if ever, this side of heaven, I will see and feel the good that comes of losing our precious son, but I know that God meets me where I am. And that missing my son and not mourning him is a huge gift from a Heavenly Father who cares deeply for his child. I’ll take that as my new mercy for today and continue to give it to God when my heart hurts and my mind is sorting through all the different whys.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” - Isaiah 61:1-3