(image @ elsabags.blogspot.com)
It’s funny how three little girls separated by five years can have such differing opinions on the exact same happening in life. Personality, age, temperament and individual uniqueness all certainly attribute to the differences in response. Each of my little girls are growing into their own little person. They see life through lenses specific to them and interpret life accordingly.
Life hasn’t been all that easy for them.
Their little eyes washed of a certain innocence have filled with tears pushed out of them by grief and loss. When they lost their mother, they somehow simultaneously grew tightly together and stood distinctly apart.
It’s been the greatest stroke of grace to watch much of their lives end, float in insecurity and find current pushing them into a glowing new horizon.
And all in three years.
So if you’d sit with one of my daughters at some point and ask them to describe the last three years or ask them to illustrate emotions in a drawing, you’d get differing, not opposing but layered, responses.
And they’re all right.
Where they converge together is back in today, right where we are now together. We are not disillusioned. We know that life may very well always be hued a shade of grief in some capacity.
Here’s what I’ve come to know and respect about loss and life disappointing: in the stitching of life fragmented into pieces, redemption looms to renew and hold together all separated.
Loss can happen in many ways. What is common is life fragmented into pieces that no longer fit as they should, or did. People lose everyday, and many people stay lost in their losing.
Life must be sutured and mended or we remain floating in questions without satisfying answers.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
It is He, always.
Redemption, life again and unbound smiles once separated from happiness returning in diverging answers to my youngest’s question: when do we call her mom?
Nearly a year ago a woman slipped into our lives with an ease and attractive compassion that surprised me. There’s much to navigate through as a widower with three little daughters but the choosing and acquainting of us all is only the beginning. The girls feel new inviting them into a brighter, warmer day, but they struggle with how to let go without forgetting their mom whom they’ve been grieving for nearly three years now.
We turned a corner recently when we all sat together, us newly engaged. We talked about what it will be like having a mom who will never replace their mommy. They listened to her assure them of no competition between her and their mommy and a new ease entered their eyes as they watched grace speak to them.
Blended families must go beyond a roof connecting them, further than rules and boundaries defining them and deeper than shared names identifying them. They must allow their pieces of life separated to be stitched together and time for true togetherness to mend complete.
As we look forward to marriage and family, our prayers center around grace filling our growth. Many years lie ahead, some trying, but so much promise somehow known by One before tragedy and circumstance.