Missing, missing, missing something? It has been three years and some months since this feeling appeared, and still it haunts me. Yes, differently than three years ago. I am grateful for that, although the tradeoff of missing my daughter is equally painful. But truly, ugly as it may seem, time does promote healing.
This feeling sometimes happens at the grocery store...I look around to make sure the children are all with me. The oddness of looking for someone I can no longer see is unsettling, disorienting. I still forget that she left in the chariot, dancing. Life seems more normal now, and the missing feeling catches me off guard. My friend put words to this feeling when she told me how for a few minutes she was looking for her daughter at an amusement park. Yes, that's how I feel, but I never find her.
Some days I think of life as if it never changed. For example, the first day of this school year, what would have been the first day of first grade for Kira. I stood for a few minutes outside the door of first grade. I looked at her classmates, all shiny, scared, and happy. I looked at the mothers I was standing with. The pain was too raw. I left for the safety of my vehicle with tears streaming. It was strange, with me standing there wishing I could see Kira inside. The other mothers stood there wishing their babies would not have grown so quickly. I felt oddly backwards, turned around.
One day this feeling hit me in the gut. I was sewing and the house was quiet. I woke the boy and girl from their naps and drove to school to pick up Marlea and several others. I think I must have been off in la-la-land somewhere. Marlea came to the van and the two other boys that ride along. They got in and sat down. For a split second I waited for Kira, then reality jerked me back again. How could I still wait for someone after three years at a place she had never attended? This action reminded me of people who talk about still feeling their amputated arms or legs years later, phantom pain. Yes, she was part of me, but gone from the reality I now live. Just harsh reality returning to my peaceful brain. And yet I was surprised at myself. Either way, I am thankful I can still feel and thankful I still miss her.
I love Christmas, decorating for Christmas, and Christmas music. Yet I am tempted to wake up Christmas morning and feel grumpy, the same as last Christmas and the two before it. I struggle to enjoy the joy in the day. How do joy and sorrow mix anyway?
My frustration is perhaps tinged with a bit of bitterness, or is it self-centeredness? God only has these words for me, which mellow me every time "I sent my Son, that is what Christmas is about." Simply and to the point; nothing else, just these words. How truly those words bring to focus the real meaning of Christmas, and really, life itself!
Oh God of this imperfect world: May your life and the Holy Spirit live inside me. Somewhere God, in this muddle of missing someone that is not in my sight anymore, may I grow more and more to appreciate the tears that must have run down your cheeks that fateful, yet wonderful day on the cross. May I more fully claim the redemption that became possible from your Gift in regard to my own wounded heart. But most of all Lord, thank you for the gift of your own Son to this grief-stricken earth. Thank you for your plan of the redemption, resurrection, and hope beyond the grave. O death, where is your victory?!