I wistfully observe as a small airplane buzzes overhead...maybe someone is making their first solo flight, maybe someone is taking some youngsters for a quick spin...the plane circles around the nearby Gardner airport.
I take a deep breath and catch the sweet scent of grass...it's height has very recently been dramatically adjusted. The yard looks great! My oldest daughter helped with this mowing and she takes pride in a job well done.
Some funny creature on the neighboring farm bellows out an intense protest that ricochets across the fields, interrupting the peacefulness for a short time.
The plane circles by again...straight overhead this time.
Everything about this scene reminds me of Michael.
Michael absolutely loved sunsets and relaxing in this very chair after a long day. He would watch the children play while he listened to music or talked to a friend on the phone. He would marvel at the uniqueness of each evening's view and think high and lofty thoughts that he would share with the family during our evening devotional time. Sometimes he would even ask me to take some time out from my household chores and join him for a few moments. When he did, I felt the honor of the request and did my best to set aside my work to enjoy the moment with him. Unfortunately, it didn't happen often enough...and now, well, I sit here alone...remembering.
Michael had also come to love flying and the many gracious people he met in the aviation community. His interest in it led to meeting the sweet lady who hooked him up with Angel Flight Central. And we benefited from their kindness many times! If cancer hadn't taken over, I have a strong suspicion that flight lessons would have been on Michael's agenda!
Michael always took great pride in our lawn. He worked so hard to treat, fertilize, water, and mow it. Ours was always the best in the neighborhood! We are continuing to do our best to keep it the same. We require some help from time to time, but it does our hearts good to see it looking lush and green this season just as Michael would have liked it.
And we would have chuckled together over the strange caterwauling...he probably would have come up with some crazy pun to share about the situation.
I miss him. I miss him so much I find it hard to breathe at times.
But that's a given. And all my readers know that.
I've probably already overestimated your curiosity about that subject.
So let me share some other thoughts...
Yes, we miss Michael. And the other day, as I left the cemetery for the umpteenth time, I was thinking along these lines.
"It just feels like he's, well, away for a while...maybe on an extended business trip. Ugh...I feel sorry for these military wives! I think I can finally relate a little to how they feel when their husbands are deployed for long chunks of time! That's kind of how this feels...like Michael's deployed and we can't communicate while he's gone....
"No. Wait. I'm the one who is deployed. Michael is HOME!!! Mission accomplished!!!
"I am the one out on the battlefield of this life...I am the one struggling to fulfill my assigned mission...the mission of guiding my kids to Heaven...and getting there myself!"
This thought has somewhat revolutionized my thinking and my grief processing.
It has given me new focus.
It has frightened me a little.
The devil doesn't make this easy...for ANY of us. He knows our weak points and fires at those places when we are at our lowest. He doesn't fight fairly.
But our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, also knows all about us! He created us! He "knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14).
He also gave us our assignments. He created them uniquely for each of us, based not on our own strength, but on His when we rest in Him....
So, when I begin to feel that somehow things got mixed up and I was the wrong person chosen for this task, I have to work to remind myself that God designed me and has led me through every big life decision I've made.
He created me. He gave me the personality and skills He wanted me to have. And all along, He knew what lay ahead.
He made me with a bit of an independent, "I want to figure this out" kind of streak...I've needed that because I've had to learn how to do many things Michael would have done - things I wouldn't have originally listed as part of the necessary skill set for being a mom and wife.
He made me with a desire to be at home...caring for my family and keeping the house - creating a refuge, a haven, a safe place for them during this tumultuous portion of their lives.
He has granted me a measure of creativity...which comes in handy when one is parenting four precious yet precocious individuals with different needs and personalities.
He has granted me with a compassionate nature as well as some insight into what others seem to need (well, sometimes at least...*wry grin*)...which aids me greatly when trying to help my children deal with this new knot in the fabric of their lives.
The best news is that this is not unique to me...God has done the same for each and every one of us!!
God equips us for what He calls us to do.
He has promised resources, and "all these things" are added to our lives.
He has promised strength for the day, and He is our "strength in the time of trouble."
He has promised wisdom, and if we ask, He "giveth to all men liberally."
He has promised mercy, and His mercies are "new every morning."
Because of these wonderful provisions our God has made for us,
we can celebrate the tasks He enables us to accomplish...
we can celebrate each other's victories...
we can celebrate who we are in Christ...
we can celebrate who we are becoming in Christ!
What is your mission? Are you taking it seriously?
He created you for it.
He equipped you for it.
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
May God bless each of you -
You have blessed me...