I realized this as I unexpectedly cried while I drove up my driveway and spied the pot of mums dead in the dead of winter. Dead like my brother. They were a gift this past October from a kind neighbor who had heard about the pain I was in over my brother's steady loss of health. His days numbered on this earth motivated a visit home for me to see him and rub his feet one last time. My friend and carpool buddy had been in the loop driving more for me in my absence. The mums were an act of kindness during a hard time and now serve and a reminder of life missing where it once bloomed.
Today Eric's daughter will likely give birth to his first grandson. I can imagine he is hanging around the hospital room whispering encouragement to his loved ones, saying "take good care of each other." Life is amazing and hard. It comes and goes with so much goodness and difficulty in-between. I hope the new spirit entering that family will be just the healing balm they need to help them recover.
I have been swirling with memories of my young boys lately. We unearthed some family home videos of our little boys. So much happy crazy joy to behold on our 10 inch portable VCR. One wishes you could go back through time and live one or two of those days again. Baby Drew pretends to be a tiger from "our zoo." During a feeding session on his 3rd birthday, said tiger suddenly learns to feed himself picking up a slice of bread and carefully eating yet avoiding crust. Evan insists his name is Darth Vader and builds amazing Lego swords. Nathan learns to write the number 5 (the trickiest number for him to learn) in "11 or so" tries. Where did those years go? I cry readily at the thought of their passing. When things are taken from us we mourn their loss but we also neglect to feel the joy of the now due to our sadness! LIFE! EXPERIENCE! PAIN! LOSS! Why why why???
I know it will all make perfect sense one day, but a Mother's pain at the very thing we knew would happen (kids growing up and leaving us) is sometimes more than I can bear! Yet what did I think would happen to them if I brought them to earth and kept feeding them? Did I somehow not realize this was part of the deal? Why do I take this so personally? We want them to be good people and leave us right? It's what is best! I should be planning my fun times with Troy, we've only got 3 left at home and setting the table is so much simpler. Vacations can happen with more ease and less hotel rooms right? ...Right? There has to be a bright side to this. I struggle to be content with these perks. I want my little walkie talkie toting school walkers back!
Perhaps God wants us back with us too and that's why our time together is limited. We will all be together in the end. I'll hear my brother call me Kelly B or say "how's my beautiful sister?" once again. And I need to learn to enjoy my adult children more and not cling to the past. It was lovely but it was also a trial in it's own way. Why don't we remember the hard stuff as much? I just hope I didn't mess up too much. I hope in our future we can remain connected and close. That's why we really need a cabin or a boat right? Maybe texting and Skype will be good for now. I wish I could Skype my brother. What would he say to me? I am sure it would be some sort of message love. He'd tell me how great it is to be with your loved ones on earth and not to waste a single moment of it.
I love you Eric