This week has been a bit crazy. My emotions are all over the place.
On the bad side of the scales:
1. A sweet 6yo local boy died this week after a long battle with brain cancer. We sat on Highway 11 yesterday and watched his funeral procession pass. This morning on Facebook, I reviewed all the pictures from the family's long journey and wept. Little Thomas J's casket was transported to the cemetery on a fire truck.
2. Yesterday my Dad's first cousin died. Alan was injured at his birth and spent the rest of his life with the mental capacity of a one year old. His mother, my great aunt Doris, died a few months ago. I remember when I was a teenager and Alan was in his thirties, I would sit and play "This Little Piggie" with his toes. He laughed every time. Alan was being transported from his group home to a routine doctor's appointment when, for some reason, the transport van left the roadway and hit a tree head-on. Alan died instantly.
3. I haven't seen my Dad-in-law in a week. He's been in a lot of pain and hasn't wanted visitors. I miss him. I hate knowing he's hurting.
4. I've gotten emails and calls this week from several friends asking for prayer for their children. Everything from drug use to school problems to rebellion. Some of the kids I know and some I don't, but their parents' heartbreak is real and profound and easily felt. I hurt for them, for their children and then fear for my own children's hearts.
These things are from the past week; in the past month I've held a friend whose son committed suicide. I've cried with a friend whose husband is struggling at work. I've listened to my own child struggle to understand why a supposed friend would try so hard to be hurtful. This kind of pain lingers in my heart, making me tender and raw.
On the beautiful side of things...
1. Gracie got to go on her first Youth trip, a truly momentous occasion. She agonized over each and every outfit, folding and unfolding, repacking and rethinking. We bought her first floppy beach hat. We discussed boys and difficult friendships, doctrine and fear. I adore seeing my kids grow up and taking their first real steps to adulthood.
2. Jevon is here. We met him in England back in 2009 when he was just sixteen. He was our unofficial tour guide and sidekick. We kept in touch a bit, then on our second trip in 2011, a full-blown family connection bloomed. We have Skyped (the best use of technology ever!) and Facebooked and kept in touch. He is currently sitting at my dining room table watching tennis on his Mac and chatting with me.
3. Our friends took us to an Atlanta Braves game after we picked Jev up from the airport. It was really, really fun. Or as Jevon says, "proper fun". He had his first corn dog and enjoyed it. We took lots of pictures and laughed a lot!
4. We've gotten to eat out several times, which if you know us is kind of a big deal. Chick-fil-a, Charlie's, Wal-Mart deli, Del Sol. Yeah, that's a big deal.
5. Chris was off this week. I got to hold his hand and sit beside him and talk to him all week. *le sigh
6. Emma has come over and that always makes me happy. She is so open about her feelings, struggles, sins, victories, etc. It can hurt to see her hurt, but she is a gift.
7. John Ponder spent most of the week with us. I love that boy.
8.Gracie came home from the beach. Oh how I missed her!!!
As you can see, this week was full of ups and downs. I have wept and laughed, cheered and grumbled, struggled and exulted. When I said that to Jevon, he said, "Well that's real life now, isn't it?" So true. God has been good this week.
The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.