an image given back by a reflecting surface;
an effect produced by an influence;
a thought, idea, or opinion formed;
a remark made as a result of meditation.
There are many things in life that give way to times of reflection - the loss of a loved one is one of those times. Reflection about the events involved, reflection of the life lost, reflection about changes we would make if we could go back in time - or what we want to change from this point on. There have been many times of reflection over these past weeks. Some of those reflections are still taking form in our hearts; others can be put into words. From my heart to yours I share the following reflections.
* We will never be the same again. And we don't want to be!
* Things that seemed so important have suddenly taken a backseat to the truly important things of life. People - and relationships - are at the forefront of our thoughts. They are what matters most. Time together is precious and of high value.
* There is no way to describe the importance of words of encouragement and endearment. Words like 'I love you.' 'I'm proud of you.' 'You're special to me.' 'Thank you for the way you touch my life.' Words we often hold within our hearts and don't say - for some reason.
* Time together is never time wasted. Family get-togethers are being planned like never before. Vacation and camping trips together are beginning to be part of our thoughts.
* Our daughter is a strong young woman. Her courage and grace in the face of grief amazes me. She is taking one step at a time on this new road and she flexes with the need of each moment to help the children and herself begin to move forward.
* God daily brings someone or something special her way to give her hope. People from near and far - known and unknown - are praying and giving of themselves in ways we never dreamed possible. The generosity shown is incredibly overwhelming. At times nearly unbelievable.
* In the middle of the storm we will still praise God. While we don't understand right now, we know we can trust Him. Now and always.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I Corinthians 13:12
Postscript: Dear friends - Words seem totally inadequate to express the depth of gratitude in my heart for your kind words of comfort, support, love, friendship and encouragement over these past days. You have reached into our hurting hearts in ways you may never know. Your comments and emails have blessed me more than you know. 'Thank you' doesn't seem to be enough! Our daughter and the children are slowly moving forward. She is working through a lot of details that need to be cared for. Things like business and practical things like cleaning and rearranging her home to meet her needs as a single mother - things like rearranging shelves so a short person can reach them without the help of a tall husband. She is walking through her grief with healthy thoughts and with a eye to the future ahead. God is providing for her needs and the needs of the children each day. While she is continually conscious of the needs of the children she is aware of the importance to take time for herself. The children have returned to school. Last week was a struggle for them to get back into school but by the end of the week they were all on the bus and at school at the same time. My sweetheart and I are spending much time with them. Our phone seems to always be involved with conversations back and forth. My sweetheart is helping with practical things that our son-in-law would have cared for. We gladly give our time, our energy - our hearts - to our dear ones. Our son-in-law's parents live just three blocks from our home and they have been an incredible source of strength and help while their hearts are breaking by the loss of their son. God is truly at work! Every day we are aware that His hand is holding ours as we walk the new road ahead. A road with twists and turns and unseen challenges. I love the words of the old Gospel song that says, 'Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand but I know Who holds the future - and I know Who holds my hand.'
I am trying to catch up with your comments and emails. They mean so much to me and to our daughter. I plan to print them all out and make a special little book for her in the near future. And I will return soon to more regular blogging - at times, I'm sure, I will look back and share more reflections from my heart. But then, isn't that what friends do when they are together?
With a truly grateful heart -