Daniel has been on my mind so much lately. The second round of holidays are coming up and his 5th birthday. (Don't even get me started on how it's even possible that my oldest would have been 5. Actually, I'll probably start it on a separate post) Mentioning him right now almost always causes my throat to constrict a little because I just cannot believe it's been almost 16 months since I have seen him.
But this post isn't supposed to be about how much I miss him. I am really writing to remind myself about how different it is this second go around. I started to really notice it on Halloween. Probably because this is the first of the holidays that are rounding out the end of the year. I can think back to how disheartened I felt about celebrating without him and remember how much strength it took to work up a better attitude for the boy's sake and how much it just plain sucked. And this year, starting with Halloween, I felt more joy and happiness then previously. I was more present physically to enjoy Jake's readiness to play pretend and run from house to house and really watch and revel in Andrew's growth over the year. He absolutely makes my insides melt with pure love. That sweet little face of his. Those little men have endured more then they can really understand right now and to see them celebrate life and have fun and laugh with such abandon really touched the inner most parts of my heart.
And as November starts the days of thankfulness, I am reminded that time does not heal my wounds, but time surely does make them sting less and I am so thankful for the grace that God has bestowed on me. I may never have wanted to experience these hard parts of my life, but His love and strength gives me the ability to press on and appreciate so much more the better parts of my life. And now that we are starting to get over all the sickness I can manage my time off so much better and really start to enjoy the times I do have with my family. And really focus on what matters most because I have learned and been reminded repeatedly how swiftly these moments disappear.
"While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared."
I Kings 20:40
And really reflect on how true this verse really is. Because I can chose to flutter all around and focus on all the things that need to be accomplished, or I can take the time and revel in the things that are fleeting. Like watching Jake write the letter "h" and "t" for the first time and see his absolute joy over his accomplishment. These are the moments that will sustain me.