It has been a glorious day. We had the kind of weather that stirs something in me and makes me want to grab the kiddos and go to the nearby historical nature preserve, to soak in the outdoors. My kids would probably groan and roll their eyes at me, long nature walks are just not very exciting to them. Sigh. How did I end up with such city slicker kiddos?
They do enjoy going to a national monument near our house, because the trees are so climbable. In the past, when the weather turned beautiful like this we would often grab a picnic lunch (read: McDonalds 🙂 ) and go and enjoy the trees and the tranquil view of the river there. The boys would only eat a little bit of their lunch, itching to kick off their shoes and tackle the trees. Not to be outdone, Jenna would try the trees too but they were too high for her. She would beg me to lift her up on a tree, and then sit there perched like a little miss madam. Until she got bored with her spot and wanted to try another.
We haven’t been back there since January. Or if we have, I don’t remember. Much of last spring is a fog to me now.
I was pulling out of Walmart this morning thinking about last night’s post. It brought back memories of a precious conversation with pastor Rob, who had lost his daughter tragically a few years ago. It was our first face to face conversation with someone who truly understood where we were at and it made such an impression on hubby and I. Rob’s eyes sparkled as he spoke about the precious deposit that he now has in heaven, and how Rebekah’s presence in heaven makes him want to go there all the more. He spoke about knowing Jesus in a deeper, more intimate way through his pain, and his face shone. “It’s just the missing”, he said, shaking his head. “The missing hits me every now and then.”
He said ” the missing” as though it should be written with capital letters. The Missing. As if it is some familiar beast, worthy of a name.
I have been experiencing days of great normality recently. Every day contains a few moments where somethings sparks a memory of Jenna. It always unearths a deep sigh of longing or brings a smile to my face. But they are normal days, with normal challenges and normal emotions.
Then, unexpectedly and unbidden, The Missing steals into my life and makes me sit at my computer for hours and weep. I don’t resent it. Actually, part of me welcomes it, because it reminds me of my sweet little muffin, and my love for her. The missing brings acute memories and makes me feel close to Jenna. It’s bittersweet.
I have found that if I allow myself to miss Jenna for a while, to cry over the loss, I am so much better equipped to stand up again, sword in hand, and be normal again for a while.
Perhaps the missing will visit less often as life goes on, though I am certain it will pop up even many years from now. But you’ll notice I am not writing it with capital letters anymore. I’m doing it on purpose. There is one whose name is worthy of capital letters, and that is Jesus.
The missing may have it’s night, but joy will come in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)