Monday was Matt's oldest sister's birthday. Her 16th birthday. I should have been joyful, but I wasn't. I really, really struggled. Seeing her turn 16 was so painful. Painful because it means that in less than three months, she will officially be older (lived longer) than Matt. Painful because Matt's not here. Painful because he didn't get more than 16 years and 4 days less than 3 months. I feel like the worst mother in the world for feeling like this on her special day, for not being able to be 100% joyful. It completely sucks.
I hate that grief is soldered to any joy I now have. Before my son died, joy was untainted. Before, I could experience joy without feeling grief. But now? Now, joy is no longer singular. It doesn't show up without it's companion, Grief, lurking in the shadows. Yet I look at my daughter, and I am so thankful for her. Thankful for every day God allows with each of my children. I cherish their uniqueness. I see time fleeting and my children growing so quickly. I ache because I really do know how short this life is.
Yet I am comforted because I also know that this life is not all there is. Eternity awaits for us. But until then, I remind myself that it is what it is. I can either find the blessings and cherish the sweet moments, or I can focus on what I don't have. I can look forward (with patient hope) to seeing my son again, or I can wallow in the past and miss the present. I want to savor the moments I have now while looking ahead to the promise of eternity. It is what it is, but it is not without hope.