Late last night I posted the following on my business Facebook page:
“I just wanted to check in and say I haven’t forgotten all of you. I’ve been pretty quiet lately due to some pressing family matters. We’ve been away from home a lot lately, visiting with my husband’s family as his dad dealt with difficult health issues. He went to be with the Lord early Tuesday morning. He was a beautiful man who brought joy to so many. I’m blessed to have been his daughter-in-law and for my children to have called him Papa. He will be sorely missed but cherished in our memories.
Please pray for Joe’s mom, Christine. They celebrated 56 years of marriage this year. That’s a long time to have your best friend by your side and then have him suddenly gone.
I’ll be “back” as soon as I’m able (and have something worthwhile to write).
Go hug those people you love.”
It was getting late (after 12:30) and I figured I should go to bed even if I wasn’t likely to sleep. It’s been a difficult few weeks for my family. Fist seeing Papa so sick, and now, having to say goodbye. As I was tidying up our family’s stuff for the night (we’ve kind of taken over Granny’s lower level) I noticed that Joe had sat down to look through some family photos. Soon, Lydia (our 14 year old daughter) was looking along with him.
As I laid in bed in the next room I could hear them talking.
“Now, this lady here, she…” and Joe would proceed with a story about someone who has touched his life in some way.
“Is that Eddie?” That’s her dad’s cousin who she just met last week after he drove 5 hours on his motorcycle to come and sit up all night in the hospital with his Uncle Bill.
And the stories went on. Joe’s been really busy helping his mom with arrangements, as you can probably imagine. Finally, in the stillness of a late night, Daddy and daughter had a few minutes to connect.
A few minutes after Joe came to bed I thought I heard Lydia crying. Joe said that she was crying and that he had held her for a while and thought she’d be OK. I just couldn’t not check on her so I went and sat with her for a minute. I asked if she wanted me to stay until she went to sleep and she said no, she’d be OK. So, I kissed her head, told her I love her, and went to bed.
And laid there listening to my girl as she cried herself to sleep.
It hurts to lay there and hear your child crying herself to sleep. But the reason for her pain is beautiful. She was hurting because she was loved. Someone she had loved and was loved by, was gone.
Roots and wings.
We give our children wings; encouragement, resources, and room to grow into the person God intended them to be.
And we give our children roots; knowledge of who and where they came from, and a sense of belonging, significance, and connection. <-Tweet This>
Of course root-growing doesn’t happen in one evening over a few photos. It happens throughout life; as we connect with the people God puts in our lives, as we take the time to share our stories and our dreams, and to see to each other’s needs and show genuine interest in each other’s lives, as we respect those who are old, and cherish those who are young.
It hurts to hear your child cry herself to sleep. But it would hurt so much more to know that there is no one in her life worth crying over. I’m thankful that my children have roots. Those roots will give them the freedom to spread their wings, and fly.