One of my colleagues, a woman I admire and respect just about more than anyone else, lost her 22 year old son last week. She talked about her kids often, and it was easy to see they were her whole life. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind since, and cannot comprehend how someone goes on after the unfathomable loss of a child that young. Everything else has seemed so trivial, so small since receiving her email, yet, it's made me go through the motions this week in such a different way. As a mom, I now feel empathy in a way that I believe only a mom can feel. Unspeakable tragedies like these knock the wind out of you, as you realize that in a matter of seconds, your whole world can turn upside down. It's easy to choose fear when you look in your babies' faces and realize that we can't really control what happens to them, that we can only do so much to protect them from this world. But thankfully, there is a God that is much bigger than us and that in times when life is completely upside down, we can trust and find hope in His promises. This world is a temporary one, and I'm reminded in moments likes these how important it is to be deliberate and intentional about how we choose to live them. I went about my week feeling a little more present in the little things. I concentrated on their faces a little more and drank in the details - Cruz's voice, Mila's blue eyes, the way their hand feels in mine when they reach up to grab it. I listened to them closer, played with them more, put my phone away and studied Mila's face when I rocked her to sleep. I read one more book to Cruz, snuggled a little longer, and stayed up well past midnight to reconnect and laugh with my husband.
Social media has given me a chance to get to know Lynn's son a little bit more this week. He had the kind of smile that could light up a room, and it was easy to see that people were just drawn to him, the kind of person you just wanted to be around. There is a picture of him hugging his mom and their eyes are just lit up with happiness. This picture exudes a relationship I pray I have with Cruz someday. And I have a feeling these small details and little moments will be the fuel that helps Lynn get through the days to come. God gives us so much beauty in our present, beauty that helps us navigate this temporary world, especially when it feels dark and hopeless.
Some of my good things documented as of late...
142. Saturday morning breakfast and way the sun seeps through our windows.
143. Sunday dresses and the way she looks at him as if he is her biggest hero in her little world.
144. Bare baby legs on patchwork
145. Open-mouthed smiles and curly slide static cling
146. That first warm-enough day for the park and an unexpected play date with cousins
147. Her squeals as she chased them. And the rubber ground that broke her many falls.
148. The way they passed they fruit back and forth, back and forth.
149. The way she loves to watch me get ready in the morning. Especially when she flosses her teeth.
150. Unexpected house warming gifts from dear friends.
151. The way she sits, just the way I used to.
152. Kiwi Crates with Cruz and his patience with a little sis who wants to be a part of everything.
153. Progress. Making their rooms cozy.
154. Window seat chats before church.
155. And tiny little ponytails secured with a bow.