It’s the perfect pre-Fall morning. I sit outside with a light sweater and a cup of warm tea. The children sleepily eat their cereal inside at the table while watching their favorite show. The baby has already been awake, fed, changed, wrapped into a baby burrito and tucked back into her swing for her morning nap. This is my time. Time to think. Time to pray. Time to plan my day. And often my time to process what has happened.
It’s only been 7 weeks and 1 day since that awful morning I got the message on our family fb group. My mother, who lives in Iowa messaged the family to say she just got a call from dad that my 19 year old brother had fallen from a windmill they were working on and he was badly hurt. The ambulance was taking him to the hospital. He was unconscious and unstable. My mom picked up my youngest sister from work and they headed out to meet my dad and brothers at the hospital 3 hours away. That's all the information they had, that's all the information I had. The next 50 minutes was excruciating. I paced the living room floor with the baby praying and trying not to think the worst. Panic threatened to set in as I went through the motions of caring for the children and making cookies. The minutes ticked by like plodding work horses. Then my phone dinged once more. The blood drained from my face as I re-read the message again and again, not willing to believe it. I crumbled to the kitchen floor with cookie dough still sticking to my hands.
The next week was unlike anything I’ve experienced in my whole lifetime. I’ve never known the presence of my kind Father in such a real way. My husband came home from work and we packed up and drove to Iowa. All 8 ( I mean seven, I keep forgetting) of us siblings traveled from various places throughout the world and met at mom and dad's house. We have always been close, but this, this brought us together like nothing else. We cried together, remembered together, laughed together, grieved together and healed together. We were blown away with the loving support of friends and family around us. We were covered in prayer from hundreds of people who reached out to our family. We felt surrounded in a bubble of peace. Our joy was real even as our hearts broke. I never knew it was possible to feel such sorrow and such peace all in the same moment. Agony and joy. Loss and victory.
It still doesn't seem real. It’s hard to remember he is gone.
When I think about him he is not in a box in the dirt on that beautiful breezy hillside overlooking the Iowa corn fields. No, that's not what I think about when I see his picture on my refrigerator. I see him more alive then I am, dancing with Jesus. Experiencing the fulfillment of his faith. In a moment he began truly LIVING. Being completely unhindered and undignified in worship. How I crave knowing this freedom and knowing Jesus like he does now. I am jealous of his reality. I do not leave this moment in time unchanged.
May my words be spoken more gently, my touch be more tender, my kisses be softer and slower. May I look into your eyes longer, may I hold you a bit closer.
May I be more patient, generous, understanding.
May the dirty floors, unfolded laundry & unwashed dishes leave more time for stories, snuggles & teachable moments.
May I call home more often, put a note in the mail, send a thoughtful text, have a friend for tea...to tell the people I love, that I love them.