When you are in the midst of sadness brought about by the death of a loved one, God has unique ways of showing compassion and kindness through the acts of everyday life.
With the loss of my mother earlier this week, there has been a certain sadness within me that comes with the parting of the ways between parent and child. In my case, it has not been a devastating sadness simply because her passing was not unexpected. She was elderly and in very frail health for quite some time. She had run her race and it was time to go home.
Tonight, we were reminded that life continues even though a loved one has passed, life continues on in the form of thee little girls who are the very definition of living.
Aliyah, a soon to be ten year old, is curiosity itself. Filled with wonder for the world in which she lives, she communes as easily with bugs in a little plastic container as she does with human beings. She wouldn't harm one of God's creatures for anything and takes the passing of a squirrel as a personal loss. In addition, Aliyah consumes books and all reading material in the same fashion as a connoisseur of fine wine. She doesn't just read the words on a page, she savors them, finds the little nuances of the story, and takes them into her heart. She is a true artist of the English language at this tender age.
Kierah, nearly six years old, is sweetness of life. She smiles and this grandpa's heart melts away. She will enthrall you with stories of her favorite characters from the "Little Mermaid" or spellbind you with tales of the every day activities of one of her favorite dolls. She is the epitome of what a child should be. Her insight to life is plain and simple, love those around you as much as you can and all will be well.
Then there is the baby of the household, Noe. Noe is independence wrapped up in twenty months of life. Always on the go, this little engine is the very embodiment of independence. Twenty months going on twenty years, nothing stops her. This little dynamo will rearrange chairs if the seating chart doesn't suit her. She chatters away as she goes about her business with non-stop energy that leaves most adults breathless.
Most of all, however, an evening such as this, reminds us that God's comfort comes in the form of family. The unconditional love that abounds will see you through anything if you but allow it to do so. When you are together, you know that no one, living or dead, is left out. My late mom would have reveled in this evening. She would have smiled from ear to ear and laugh countless times at the antics of these three precious reminders of God's gift of life to us. She would have talked about it for days and how she thought everybody had a good time and how wonderful her great-granddaughters were.
In the midst of this amazingly clear, moonlit spring evening, I had the feeling that my mother was right there with us on the walk in the shadow of the rising moon. She was on the floor with the girls exploring the world of childhood characters that reflect the innocence of a child's view of life. And she would have delighted in the chatter of a family living life to its fullest and cherishing each and every moment, fully aware that this life is but a fragile journey to the next permanent and glorious existence that she now enjoys!
To Josh and Melissa, thank you for creating a family whose foundations are firmly planted in love and mutual respect for each other. You are what parenthood is all about, the self-sacrificing, self-giving, selfless love that is indeed eternal. Grandma would have loved to have been a part of this special gathering. And I firmly believe that she was!