It's not like life would be just fine if Dave were here. He would be saying all the wrong things, just like he always did, in serious crisis situations. And he would certainly not be giving me one more ounce of sympathy than what was minimally required. But he would be here, doing everything he could, (with a bike ride or two in between) and he would be here for our kids. And he would be steady, as I rock like a southbound train.
Strangely enough, it seems that in the biggest waves of grief, I also receive a peek into the silver that God is drawing around a cloud or two.
On Friday night, my family joined a host of other families at our pool for dinner. For a small slice of the night, we reminisced over some Dave moves at the pool. Like the the giant back flop he did one night when trying to execute a flip. Or how he would load all three kids on his back and swim all the way across the pool. Dave's absence was thick, as he lived for nights at the pool. But when I watched my kids throughout the night, they were not lacking. Dave's friends all had a part in my kids' night. One let my girls sit on his lap for 45 minutes while they ate pizza. Another rallied Spencer to have a water gun fight with him. Another tossed my kids around the pool and one more just let my kids hang on him in the deep end.
|2012 - A typical Friday night at the pool.|
|2014 - Terminator Spencer|
|2014 - The girls (and Josh) getting some pizza and some love.|
Before Dave died, I sometimes hated sitting in church, because it felt like it was all these perfect looking people, pretending to have perfect lives, and then they went home to their perfect little homes. But now, my family really sees what the church REALLY looks like, when it is living out the call of the church. It looks like the pool on Friday night. It looks like meals showing up long after I should really have needed them. It looks like friends sleeping over, when I need drugs administered in the middle of the night. It looks likes friends kidnapping me to go to Bible Study, because they know it is what I really need. It looks like families taking in my kids to spend the night for the 5th time, because I can't move. I mean, my kids are experiencing what it really means to be a part of the body of Christ. What a gift.
Example number two. Seeing as how it is Father's Day, I asked my kids what is one thing they loved about their Daddy. Maci rambled about some things that never really happened. Leah said that she just loved that he got to be her Daddy. And Spencer said, "I love that he loved Jesus and worshipped Jesus, which means that he is in heaven and that means that if we love Jesus that we will get to go to heaven someday and see him." Then I asked if there was anything hard about him being gone. The girls said that they were sad, but Spencer said he was starting to get used to him being gone. But then, (and this is the point of the paragraph) Spencer said, "What about you, mom? What did you love about Daddy?" I answered. Then he asked, "Is it hard for YOU that he is gone?" The fact that Spencer, at seven years old, can look outside of himself and see people that are hurting, feels like a result of the hard he has experienced. He just continues to amaze me with his heart for Jesus and his heart for others. I can't imagine that he would be that far along, without all that he has been through. Again, what a gift with eternal value!
In conclusion, (going back to my 5th grade writing roots there), it's been a week. A rough, grief filled week. But it has also been a week. A week with these two HUGE gifts. And let me tell you - I have needed these gifts.