Sunday, September 1, 2013

the gap

My little sister and I watched the boys play from our back porch swing vantage point at my in-laws house while Jack and his dad and our eight-year-old football fanatic watched the games yesterday.  We had both attended a funeral that morning so I suppose the fragility of life was fresh on our hearts.  Our dad and his untimely death eleven years ago entered the conversation. We talked and laughed about humidity and fishing and football and parenting, but it was good to remember my dad with my sister- especially as his grandsons played in the dirt with sticks. 
We talked about all the "coincidences" before dad's car accident.  Karen was in college in Alabama and had moved back home to finish school.  Not only did she live under the same roof with him again, but she went to lunch with him, went shopping with him, and had unusually good quality time in general with her dear ol' Dadoo.  Jack and I had moved to Kentucky that year.  Mom and Dad both flew up for a weekend visit and it was one I'll never forget.  We didn't do anything really remarkable except that we did all the things that Dad wanted to do- a seminary campus visit (including a silly photo op with a John Wesley statue), we ate well, and we even rode an old train.  He loved- LOVED- trains.  When I dropped my parents off at the Louisville airport that Sunday, I cried and cried and told them I loved them. I didn't know why I was so emotional. 
thankfully- and I use this word with great intention- Asher had an accident in his clothes, so we had to rummage around for something and he ended up in some of Jack's old overalls
 So maybe those things are coincidental, but like I said, I think not.  I think the Lord prepares our hearts and maybe gives us little gifts, little pockets of quality time together so that we can always remember.

 Not unlike last night when we watched our boys play. 

So I'm thankful- for this memory of backyards and boys and a sister with whom I remember.

And I'm even thankful for the gap....

“Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God doesn’t fill it, but on the contrary, keeps it empty and so helps us to keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from Letters and Papers from Prison

1 comment:

The Rupps said...

Yes. And yes again.

God did this for me when I miscarried our second child. The Holy Spirit gently prodded me awake at midnight, and I right away asked Him why. A moment later the miscarriage began.

I've always believed He woke me to say, "Something is about to happen, daughter. Something bad. But it is not outside of my Sovereignty. I am here with you. I love you."