As I sit on this patio I can smell the burnt marshmallow from the fire I built with my youngest son. I can hear the birds settling in for the night, as the sun sets and the moon rises above the hickory tree in the side yard. I sit and I stare off into the cornfield, as if something amazing is going to happen.
The reality of this scene is, I am having a hard time being a mom today.
I watch the flame of my eucalyptus candle flicker in the cool night air and I start to cry again. Today has been so hard to understand. The life of a young man the same age as one of mine was taken abruptly from this earth, leaving behind his parents to overwhelming sadness and grief. Their only child has been swept away to heaven, to be with Jesus, and all I can do is cry quietly to myself. I am not close to these people. I only know them as acquaintances. Our kids go to school together. They are active in the community because of their son. I am absolutely lost thinking about this situation.
As the week progresses there is a memorial service planned at the high school, one week after I started writing this. We walk into the gym, unsure of what to expect. The impact on our community is great. But what I see the parents doing is even more significant than the amount of people who have come.
They were greeting every single person who came in the door.
As I sit in my seat I watch the mom and dad, hugging, hand shaking and smiling at each of those guests who have come to pay their respects to their son. I am simply stunned at the grace with which the mom showed. The strength of this couple, standing up and celebrating their child in such a humble and heartfelt way. Making sure that each person who comes knows they are appreciated. The dad, staying strong yet not afraid to hug and squeeze each person as if to say we are grateful to you for being here.
The slideshow of this young man played and the gym filled up. The parents took their seats and the minister spoke, along with the coach who knew this child well.
It was another hard day to be a mom. Watching this family, these friends and this community I made sure to hug my boys a little tighter this evening. I called my adult children to tell them I loved them. I was reflecting on the immeasurable amount of strength only God could have provided today. And again, I wept, not out of sorrow but out of the overwhelming realization that God is really in control of everything, and that with him we can never fail, never be alone and never give up.
May God Bless this little family until they are reunited with their son to the right of Jesus.
May my prayers be a blessing for their sorrow is deep and their grief is wide, and it is the only thing I can offer them this morning.