Crashing waves of dark and light
The turning of a calendar page
Such a simple act for most people. For me, the turning eleven months out of the year is no problem. But, there is always a but, the twelfth month is a harsh reminder. A reminder that the waves I don’t see now are swirling out there in the inky abyss and they will come crashing down around us at various times in the course of these twenty-nine days. I am not ready. I haven’t packed any lifelines – other than well-worn knees that ask God for divine portions of his heavenly grace.
I turn the page and see the young man born in this month. As great as my sadness is I can only imagine the dichotomous roller coaster he must feel. Celebrating the day God gave him to us, to the world, but (there it is again) a few days prior we mourn the loss of his best friend – our first born. The world grew darker when our little sunshine was dimmed. In a world where he was perfectly happy to be second to the big brother who was his world, do we now make him feel second even more so as we regroup from our sadness to celebrate his awesomeness.
The waves start to crash down. I confidently know that we are part of God’s melodic love song. Reed’s verse was shorter than we had hoped. But my heart’s song will always echo more. More. I just wanted more.
Like those waves of grief, I cannot stop the reverberation of more.
The cheerleaders, the well-wishers, the givers, and those on bended knee are still there. Their love carries us forward, even when we know the waves are coming. We prepare ourselves to be beaten into the rocks and to taste to saltiness of the waves. Somehow we are buoyed by those who remember.
Then an unexpected wave comes crashing down. I am caught completely off guard.
Stinging tears fall down. Maybe it is because I know the page turning will commence soon. Maybe the month I dread is on the next page. Time flies when you are having fun and sneaks in when you aren’t ready.
Everyone is gone from home and I sit and cry. I cry remembering all those long ago moments when the holes and scars and battle wounds didn’t fill our days. The days when life was simple, and we would spend half a summer day in our jammies and be filled with the wonders of the world.
Then somewhere deep in the cortical folds I remember the games we made up. The ones we played (momma and kiddos) on the white carpeted floor. The games where we would play for hours and fall out laughing from the joy of our silliness. I long for those days. I want to savor them, hold them in my aching arms and embrace them. The scent of childhood innocence still lingers here.
The memory of the game makes me laugh and smile, but it makes me cry even more. The simplicity of days. The joy of memories of days long ago, but days that God allowed us to have. The memories are too precious to carry alone.
I grab the phone and text the college son.
Having a tough grief day. Missing the days when we played “we are going to make a salad”.
In one moment, the university man remembers his time as one of the boys of summer, Stevens style.
That game was the best and me and Reed always had to be hair ball ingredients.
His response – reassuring and validating – was like manna of grace raining down. The lifelines I hadn’t packed God amply supplied. God’s grace. God’s amazing, providential, all-loving grace seeps into the dark crevices that ache for the time when this month wasn’t painful.
Once again, I am reminded that God’s light shines brightest in the darkness. Through it all – the pitch black of grief and the moments of silliness in our summer jammies and everything in between – God’s love has been in every moment.
And come what may in the tsunamic waves of grief and the turning of calendar pages; this same love will carry us through.
God once said, “Let the light shine out of the darkness!”
2 Corinthians 4:6a (NCV)