Thanks In ALL Things
It’s been a tough couple of months – April & May always are. These are the two months when the absence of my prodigal son (and his little family) really hits the me hardest. Family is everything to me and my other 3 children.
My previous 2 posts mentioned my prodigal son’s birthday and the loss of my dear friend’s son. This was followed by an incredibly heart-wrenching “Celebration of life” service – loss of life is always hard but this day was doubly hard. Not only was the life lost such a tragedy, but my prodigal son attended the service with his partner and walked right past our family in the church foyer, refusing to speak to any of us… It felt a like another knife through my heart. This had a huge impact on me, an my other children – like a double whammy. My youngest son, Ben, followed his older brother, Daniel, up the carpark in the hopes of making him talk; Daniel drove off. Ben yelled after him and Daniel returned only to argue and curse. Ben, the “gentle giant” peacemaker, then did something he would never usually do; he gave his brother a stern talking to about the importance of family.
He spoke through tears, “Listen to me Daniel! I’ve lost one of my closest friends today and the one thing this past week has really impressed on me even more, is that life is far too short to be angry and hold unforgiveness. You and Angie need to get over yourselves, and realise that you have a family who love you and have forgiven you. Even though you both turned your backs on us, after we all did so much for you, we have forgiven you both for all the hurt and pain you’ve caused. Family is the most important thing in life.”
A seed planted, I hope & pray, as Daniel would not ever expect his younger, easy going, peacemaker brother Ben to speak so sternly to him.
Later that month (April 30), I celebrated my birthday with our usual tradition of a family dinner at a restaurant. My birthday was followed by Mother’s Day (May 13) and my children took me out for “brunch” at a lovely cafe/restaurant. Both celebrations were missing Daniel, as they have for the last 4 years.
On May 22 my youngest daughter, Bec, celebrated her 20th birthday. Another family celebration, out to dinner, with big brother missing yet again.
On May 31, my grandson Matthew was 2 years old. As I have said in previous posts, I have only had this little man in my life for 5 short weeks and I have very few photos. We have missed both his birthdays, his dedication & Christmases. The image below was taken in March 2011 (age 9 months) in those 5 short weeks my son was back in our lives. He must have grown so much by now.
It’s been difficult for all of us and we have all felt a variety of emotions. The child who once placed such a great importance on his family, has no regard for any of us… it has been a struggle in the last 2 1/2 months to regain focus on my Gratitude Journal. It’s been a struggle to be thankful in all things, but I know I must. I know how much gratitude has changed my life, my marriage and my outlook on the future.
So, even as my heart feels like it’s breaking irreparably, I continue to count the things I am grateful for:
141. Someone to love & hold me when brokenness overwhelms me.
142. The closeness of family.
143. Photo albums to look through with my children & memories to cherish.
144. Phone calls from adult children – just because.
145. The comfort of Romans 8:28
146. The promise of Jeremiah 29:11
147. Chai Latte dates with loved ones.
148. Turkish Delight
149. Blue skies & fluffy clouds on Winter days.
150. Drives to the waterfront.