Sparkles and Sorrow

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It’s been months since I’ve seen you. Week after week has passed since I’ve been allowed to talk to you. And yet not a day goes by that we don’t think of you, pray for you and sometimes allow ourselves to wonder out loud about how you’re doing.

But tonight, as I reached into my coat pocket, my hand looking for shelter from the cold, there you were. Tonight you came crashing into my heart in the form of a sparkly Jojo bracelet.

As the wind whipped across my face, it felt like I had just taken a punch to the gut. I thought we had boxed up all of your things as we had been instructed. And yet here you were, a piece of your sparkly self tucked away, waiting for the moment to remind me of the imprint your left on our lives.

We haven’t been able to share much, or really anything about what happened. In the blink of an eye we were a family of 4. And in the next moment, we weren’t. There was hell and high water between those moments, and we didn’t make it out of that storm together.

We have grieved deeply this year. I have wept into the wee hours of the night over you, over the situation, over the choices we had to make and the choices we didn’t get to make.

This year crushed me. In so many ways, my soul curled up inside me as I wrestled with pain I didn’t know existed.

If you haven’t lost a child it may sound dramatic, and while we only had her for a short time, we had jumped fully in, loving her as our own. That’s what we do, because that’s what He does.

I have come a long way this year. We have come a long way as a family. And yet, my heart is still tender and even raw as I fidget with this sparkly bracelet in my pocket.

Love has a way of doing that. Pulling you in and wrecking you when you lose it. Grief has a way of sneaking up on you too. Reminding you in those unsuspecting moments that you are different then before, with a few more scars and hopefully a little more faith in what you can’t make sense of and what you can’t quite see.

I still don’t have all the answers I wish I did. But I know this one thing is true. Our “yeses” this year have made it the hardest year of our lives. And yet, we wouldn’t change a thing. 

I wholeheartedly believe none of them were a mistake, but rather ordained. When Jesus showed us His love, it broke him... literally. And we have done nothing even remotely close to that. But what I strive to do with my life is love wholeheartedly. Even if that means being broken along the way and ending up with some scars I didn’t want.