i know it is. i feel that it is. i hear that it is. i know that the 4th is coming .....and i'm dreading it as much as i was dreading seeing seth for the last time. i can just physically feel it coming. tears are just below the surface. patience with the kids is gone because i'm so on edge. i'm so very tired - always so tired. it's that emotional tiredness. that grief tiredness. i'm so scattered and yet so focused on what's coming in the weeks ahead.
it's still the little things that catch you off guard that hurt the most. little things like shoes. a few weeks ago we were sitting in church. we've now put lydia and ben in the nursery. i love that and i hate that. i love it because i can get something out of the services again and i hate it because we're back to just 5 kids in the bench with us. it was this one Sunday when i looked down at the boys on the other side of greg and saw only 3 sitting there again, but this time luke had his feet up on the pew in front of us and he was wearing seth's old shoes. i physically gasped and then sat forward to peer on the other side. i don't know what i was looking for....did i count wrong, was seth really there and this was all just a horrible, horrible nightmare? little things like shoes brings it all back to the surface for me.
and yet it's in church where i feel such peace. this morning was a perfect example of how our family at church has come around us and grieved with us....they making sure that we know we're not doing this alone. greg was at home this morning since he was up all night catching babies. so the kids and i went....me and the 5 kids sitting in the pew. i was doing just fine until we sang amazing grace. the last verse has always choked me up...."when we've been there ten thousand years. bright shining as the sun." this time, though, i fell apart.... just a little bit. so here i am trying not to make a scene and yet feeling so alone without greg and all of the sudden i feel a hand on my shoulder from a dear 'sister' of mine. a few minutes later another hand, this time with a much needed hanky. it reminded me of my grandma's hanky's - it was almost as if grandma was there encouraging me and telling me that she was not only with me right there, but telling me that seth was ok too. i can so picture grandma with seth. i picture that the day seth entered Heaven - grandma would have been one of the first to meet him i'm sure. she'd cup his face with her hands and tell him "welcome Home, sweetie, i'm your momma's grandma and i'm so glad to finally hold ya myself!" (i wish you all could have known my grandma.....an absolute beautiful soul). all from a silly little hanky. our family...our Ridgewood family surrounding us with their love yet again. we are so very blessed.
the other day i had a devotion that was just the picture of our grief. "james vernon mcgee says that when a shepherd seeks to lead his sheep to better grass up the winding, thorny mountain paths, he often finds that the sheep will not follow him. they fear the unknown ridges and the sharp rocks. the shepherd will then reach into the flock and take a little lamb on one arm and another on his other arm. then he starts up the precipitous pathway. soon the two mother sheep begin to follow, and afterward the entire flock. thus they ascend the tortuous path to greener pastures. so it is with the Good Shepherd. sometimes he reaches into the flock and takes a lamb to himself. he uses the experience to lead his people, to lift them to new heights of commitment as they follow the little lamb all the way home." i pray that that is happening. we've told the kids several times in this last year that for some reason God had this happen in their lives. we don't understand it yet, but maybe someday they will. seth's death will have shaped their lives in such a way as to hopefully bring glory and honor to God. that's my biggest prayer....that through all of this pain that we've endured - that God is glorified. i remember saying that in the hospital a year ago. i needed to know that we could glorify God even when He chooses to take a child back. i needed to know that I could glorify God so that way i know that my faith was secure.....was true. what selfish thinking that is! i was worried about my faith. when will i ever get this right?
it's coming......the 4th is. people have asked what we're going to do. i'm not sure. i don't know what's the RIGHT thing. i don't think there IS a right thing. all i know is that i pray in whatever we do we will be able to honor seth and glorify God in such a way as to make them both proud.