When I was laying down for bed last night I got this sudden thought “Oh my gosh – Owen’s one year anniversary is coming soon – I didn’t miss it did I?” What a crazy thought. It’s on May 26th. What is today’s date? End of March … ok it’s still a month and a half away.
I’ve been so consumed with life – with my own struggles, with Little Warrior events, helping with other’s weddings, taking care of the triplets, invested in Jaden. I got scared that I was forgetting one of my children. It was the same kind of panic I’d have if I suddenly thought I forgot Jaden’s birthday.
Why doesn’t it hurt more? I think about it all the time. It still takes my breath away. But I feel like I’m so wrapped up in life and myself that I don’t remember the stabbing pain anymore. Why? I know I should be thankful for this … but it feels wrong. Will happiness always feel “wrong” now? Will I ever feel like I have the right to be truly happy again? Will the guilt of enjoying the triplets ever go away? I can’t help but to love them up and giggle at their silliness. I can’t help but think “Lord what would I do if there were still three of them? I can’t keep up with two!” Shouldn’t I be sad that I only have two? Shouldn’t I still be praying for God to give me my son back?
I don’t want to say that Owen’s death was a “good” thing. But look at the things his death accomplished. Healing for others in pain, life for two little girls, Little Warrior events that have so much life and happiness in them. He accomplished more in his death than most people do in their entire lifetime. How can I not be proud and happy for that? Maybe I’m saying it wrong – I do not rejoice in his death, but rather I rejoice in the story his death tells. We have this concept that death is sad and dark and scary. I saw all those things … but when those feelings pass, and you have the belief in an afterlife, the pain is replaced with joyful memories and everlasting life.
Life comes and takes up more and more of my attention and heart. But isn’t that what my maker wants me to do? Live? Be his servant in this world … on this earth. Grow into the child he made me to be. I keep thinking of the scripture that tells us to be like the children for they will be the first to enter the kingdom of God. Children are sad for a short while – then they are off to the next thing, laughing and smiling, running and jumping. They fall and skin their knee. They shed endless tears until their parent scoops them up, places a band-aid over their wound, kisses their boo-boos and then sends them on their way. There is still an entire day of sunshine to enjoy.
Perhaps the same is for God. We fall and get bumps and bruises. He scoops us up in his grace and mercy and kisses our ouchies. Then he sends us on our way. We have the rest of our lives to live. We have sunshine still left to enjoy. The injuries become scars, never truly forgotten and worn all the time. But they are just reminders of where we have come from, the battles we have fought. They no longer hurt because they were never meant to be permanent. Just a lesson … a trial. Then we move on to the next battle to fight. The next bike to fall off of.
2He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.3 And he said: ”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.