When I pulled into the driveway pausing for the door to raise, I noticed the stark new green against the dearth of brown. I smirked, almost angry at spring for thinking she could come.
I gave this world everything I had yesterday. I awoke and only prayed for others. I thought of others. It felt good while I pushed down the grief, willed away the sadness, and raised my head to the challenges of the day. However, I woke up empty this morning, empty and crying.
Yesterday's strength mocked me like an early spring weekend in January, and I lay curled up beneath her blanket, missing her and aching for the life we had.
I checked my email. Taylor's sweet Josie had written, shared her heart and gave me hope. A few hours later, KendalMay texted a silly picture that forced a smile - and wished me a happy Tuesday. At mid-morning, there was Aubrey's text and smiling face. Late in the day, my friend from childhood, sent her daily text - her one hundred and fiftieth or something like that.
This sequence happens every day. Many of you who faithfully read this could insert your names as well. Seldom do I feel like I am slipping or like I am drowning without someone's heart reaching out to me. It simply never fails. I shouldn't question it; I shouldn't be surprised as it has happened over and over again over the last five and a half months. Nevertheless, I do marvel at it.
After this morning's meetings, I picked up a book Ashley sent me, Jesus Calling, and read Isaiah 55:9-11: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty..." Next it presented our family verse: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to proser you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future."
My heart smiled - these young women continue to reach for me, continue to serve me.
After a surprise spa night from my friend, Millie, I came home to the arms of my husband. I apologized for being mean to him Monday night. Exhausted from Monday's feats, I could not be nice and could not be pleased. I was mean - mean and angry. They were the first cross words we have spoken since we lost Taylor - we've been so conscious of the forces working against us. True to his nature, Joey's burly arms wrapped me up, picked me up from off the ground, and told me I didn't need to apologize. He assured me we would be okay - even when we wake up and all the air has been taken from us, leaving us like flat pieces of paper. He assured me we would be okay, and we would just wait for the next good day, together. Being held against the strength of his heart is second only to the warmth I feel when I watch him hold our children. I love this man, and hate that I cannot take his pain, and that I am constantly turning to him to ease mine.
"For I know the plans I have for you..."
Duchess, KendalMay, Ashley, and Aubrey will "go light the world" because that is God's plan for them, It always has been. I am just so glad my girl had these hearts in her life to love her. My ache is that she didn't know how much we loved her, that I needed to have loved her better. When these girls come back to me that ache eases.
There's more to today, more that is good - but they are not my stories to tell. These other stories did convey to me, though, that God's hand continues in my life and in the lives of those I love. He takes care of us - even when he can't keep us from being sad, aching, and empty. He takes care of us because he has plans for us, because his ways are higher than our ways, and because his love and grace water and nurture us and those he has sent to care for us. They come from our past; they come from our present; they are waiting for us in the future, because God has plans for us.