Last year at this exact moment I was getting ready to leave for my son’s memorial service. It’s pretty unreal to think of that. In some ways I think I’m still in shock. Learning to live this new life I didn’t ask for – learning to integrate my baby’s death into my life – well it’s taking quite a while.
But I’m not crying this morning. I’m melancholy and reflective but I’m not distraught. Part of learning to live this new life is accepting that I can’t stay in the depths of despair that I was in the first several months after his death. Sometimes I welcome that realization. Other times it’s gross. How can I just go on with my life? Isn’t being distraught somehow “the right thing to do” if I really loved Drey? Learning the answer to that question is “no” is an ongoing lesson.
So why aren’t I experiencing the ongoing gut wrenching grief that dominated my life for so long? Truly, what do I have to live for? Yes I love my husband, my parents, my stepson, my friends. Yes I am blessed. But is that what I live for? No. Sadly I’ve learned my loved ones can be taken away in a second. I have a great home. Oh I know – I have my health. Hmmmm… for how long? Nope – I can’t place my hope there either. My hope is in God. My hope is in eternity. This life is not all there is. I love the one parable in Matthew and how it concludes… Matthew 25:23 shows that God praises us for when we allow Him to work through us. He does the work – but we get the praise! “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Can you imagine hearing those words when you are face to face with our perfect God? That is where I place my hope. In knowing I can delight my God as I chose to depend on Him. Not to earn His acceptance – that’s already a done deal because of Christ. But I have hope because He loves me. It gives me motivation to love others. I want my life to count for His glory. I feel it so deeply sometimes. I feel it so deeply now. I can’t help but to smile! Yes, my pain will remain for a while longer. I have made a very, very large deposit into heaven and since I’m still here I will ache. But I have joy, too! Yes. This moment I have joy! I’m learning to treasure these moments and to praise God for them. I may be crying in an hour… but for right now I have joy!
I started this post a bit sad and melancholy. But as I read that scripture and prayed throughout my typing my sadness transformed to joy even if just for a moment! I experience joy because of the sunshine, my dogs, my iPhone and even my purple nail polish. I experience joy for simple things BECAUSE I have my hope in God. These past few weeks I’ve experienced joy because of Drey’s friends and how they honor him, love him, and remember him. Look at the below page from the 2013 TWHS yearbook… what a blessing! Thank you Bethaney, thank you everyone! I love what you wrote about Drey. It’s always what I’ve thought about him – but I’m Mom. I’m biased! To read how you felt about Drey meant so much! And for it to be included in such a permanent place – thank you!