Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There are just some things

Since the weather is turning cooler-at least for the moment; it is Missouri after all-I started going through the clothes change. I found some Batman Pjs that I honestly don't know how I got because I don't remember Daniel or Jake wearing them, but they fit Andrew now and he's thrilled. He is currently wearing them. I put Andrew down for his nap today and decided to see if I could find Daniels old Batman costume from Halloween a few years ago. I couldn't find it but I did come across Daniel's last pair of tennis shoes. I vaguely remember putting them in his box. Seeing them again was hard. I know it's just a pair of shoes but they were his and, like with all the things he uses to wear, some just hold more memories then other things. It's usually the things that capture his size at the time before he died. 
I am also trying to learn to allow Jake to handle more of Daniel's mementos. He is currently sleeping with an old football Emily and Tanner gave Daniel when he was born. I am really trying to understand that sometimes the tangible helps the memory and you know I desperately want Jake to always remember his big brother, so I am biting back the notion something will happen to the ball and allowing Jake the experience.  
His shoes and his ball coupled with the changes and smells of a fall that is quickly approaching  is really playing with my heart. Fall is a very special time for me and the early part always makes me miss him more. There are just some things that I don't know will ever get easier. 
Thankfully, I've leaned it is far better to embrace what I am feeling then to push it further down. A good cry tends to make it less consuming and writing it down does, too. It's a good acknowledgment of what I am experiencing and it doesn't overfill my cup so I can go about with daily life. 
And today is a good reminder to myself that I am only human.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Death {and hope}

9/11 has specific meaning and memory for many of us. For me, it's remembering sophomore year sitting in history class after just getting out of gym and not quite understanding what the world trade tower crash meant to us as a society. It's watching the video footage again and again and sitting in English the whole week discussing the tragedy. Of being in proximity to some that knew of those or that had loved ones actually perish. Later, it meant feeling a surge of pride as I recognized the many that made and had made the decision to join the armed services. My Dad, my brother. And even later still, it was my own salvation on 9/11/2011 as I made my formal commitment to God as I was baptized and made anew. 
I had an impromptu heart to heart with someone near and dear to me today. Conflicting emotions due to the anniversary of 9/11 and the passing of a co worker who so bravely fought the breast cancer battle pressed in her mind.
With the thought of death and dying staring more boldly today, there was an opportunity to also share the hope that proceeds death. It's a fact of life; an event that must occur. An event that must be embraced even if it hurts. I have watched death settle in. I have watched the eyes bright light be removed and seen breaths stilled. But in it all, I have physically felt the life of God still my breaking heart. I have felt His great hands lift me from my sorrow and give me reason to move. I have heard his words whispered and even shouted into my ears, full of promise of something so much bigger. Death can be the beginning of something greater if you allow. It can bring about change in your life, bring perspective to your actions, bring peace to your heart. 
 I find myself reflecting on Romans 5 when I find myself burdened with the idea of death.
Romans 5:3-4 
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 
I know there is everlasting hope even when it feels like there's been an absolute end. 
1 Peter 1:6-7 
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 
No matter, God is there. Will always be there. There are no surprises, no feats he cannot handle. Death could not stop Him and He will not let death overpower us. 
And I have absolute hope in that.