Do you remember the book "Go, Dog. Go!" by P.D. Eastman? Well, I do. I've only read it, say, a million or two times to all seven of my children over the span of close to twenty years. It's a great book.
But life can read a bit "bookish" at times.
Do you see where the blue dog shouts, "Go around again!" in the picture? That's when this life feels bookish, the days going 'round and 'round. Only, unlike the excitement of a Ferris wheel ride, life spins sickeningly fast, excitement turning to nausea, and we simply want off the ride.
This grief journey began as a Tsunami, then quickly transitioned to a wicked roller coaster ride. The roller coaster ride eventually jerked to a stop and threw us out, only to land in line at the Ferris wheel. Life has become a series of "Go Around Again" stops:
- Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, etc. Any family gathering where Matt is absent.
Matt's birthday, May 2
- as well as my birthday, his dad's birthday, and his siblings' birthdays. Again, any event where Matt is absent.
- July 29, 2011
These "stops" are rough, the jerk a painful transition. However, I've learned a few things that have helped with the Ferris wheel rotations. Perhaps the greatest, for me, has been to plan ahead for these significant "date stops." Whether it's spending the day at home in bed crying or getting out to participate in an activity to honor our son's memory, it has helped to have a plan. Either way, the dates suck, but having a plan provides purpose and the mild comfort, at least, of feeling in control of an event that is very much out of my control.
Matt's birthday is in two weeks, his 21st. We have a plan for the day. Our hearts continue to grieve deeply the loss of our son, but we are held by the truth that Matt is alive in heaven. This earthly life is temporary for all of us. Because of Jesus, we have hope and grieve with hope. Like Jesus, we endure because of the assurance of the joy that awaits. While we may "go around again" on the Ferris wheel of grief, we rest in the Grace that goes with us.
On Matt's birthday this year, his 21st, I'd like to give away 21 Mocha Frappes. Will you join me in remembering Matt? On May 2nd, would you send me a picture, post a reply, or email me with your story of how you blessed someone with a Mocha Frappe in memory of Matt and in celebration of his 21st birthday?