|"Bebe" and her Great-Grand Makiah|
Together in Heaven this Year
This was Bebe's last profile pic on Facebook.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I am sitting here in our office (we use that term pretty generously in our house) sipping chamomile tea with honey because that’s what Peter Rabbit’s mom gives him when he is sick. I am trying to win the match against a second round of the cold that has given half my house bronchitis and one a diagnosis of asthma over the last few weeks. I am staring at a pile of little girl’s coats- leopord print, silver vests with pink hoods, hounds tooth with a fluffy collar, a coat that could be little red riding hood’s- piled high on the old wooden box that serves as our filing cabinet of sorts. They aren’t in their usual place hanging on the little, wooden hooks that line the walls of our closet under the stairs because a certain two year old decided to climb the shelves in there while I was at work. And the shelves collapsed. And all of our games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and speech therapy stuff came crashing down. It really was organized so nicely. But the little one is fine so that’s what counts.
In the corner of the room is a peace lily that was given to me when Makiah died. It’s sadly drooping and begging for water. Our black and white cat, who has a mustache just like Charlie Chaplin, has been staring at me through the window to remind me he needs a meal. I have 298 emails in my inbox and 10,000 mismatched little girl socks piled outside the laundry room in hopes of finding a mate. But the kids are all in bed, and my sweet husband is doing the dishes. At last, I have found my way to a computer to write.
It has been woefully too long since I wrote anything. The date of my last blog seems to chide me nightly as I try to fall asleep with my sick Little who has needed momma more than ever. There were pieces of a Christmas blog swirling about in my thoughts for a while, but I guess the end of January is a little too late for that.
And one of my dear grandmothers has gone to be with Jesus. She left the Saturday before Christmas, and it all seemed to eclipse the holidays. Except for the children. The children are gloriously free of the sort of baggage we adults like to hang on to. I should have written a tribute to her, my grandmother, I mean. Barbara Gwynelle Smith Arnold. She was an ER nurse who loved to square dance and taught the grandsons how to burp. She was smart and witty and loved to laugh almost as much as she loved her family. I can see her now sitting at the end of her kitchen table with the orange leather spinning chairs right out of the sixties. She’s sipping her coffee and laughing at something with that slightly raspy maybe I sneak a smoke every once in a while voice. But we never caught her.
We knew she was dying, and she told me last spring that she had a dream of heaven. She could see her parents waiting there and a little blond haired girl. She said it seemed so close but there was a line she couldn’t cross. It wasn’t quite time.
I think of her often and fondly these days. No longer trapped by the cares of the world or burdened by her failing health. She, too, is gloriously free. And Makiah spent Christmas for the first time with a family member she knew and loved on earth. Bittersweet.
Sometimes we let the little things weigh us down… or freak us out. Like the other day when Abby began screaming hysterically over a tiny little bead. Well, the problem was not really the bead itself… mostly it’s location. Namely her nostril. Oh yes, both twins had found beads (from a bracelet of mine that a certain two year old, yes the same one who climbed the shelves, had broken a few hours earlier), and decided that they fit nicely up their noses. Until they couldn’t get them out. Normally, I would have panicked, too, but this exact scenario had happened to my best friend when we were five. My dad was the hero who thought to tell her to blow her nose. And the trick still works all these decades later!
Maybe it’s all about perspective. We took the girls to the movie theater for the first time as a family to see Paddington Bear this week. As we left, Alena said, “That sure was a great t.v. in there!” And this morning I decided to sit in the nursery to watch the sun come up and sip my coffee. It’s upstairs, and I could see so much more of the beautiful streaks in the sky that usually hide behind the trees. When we focus on God in worship, He elevates our perspective into the realm of the eternal. We are eternal beings. He has set eternity in the hearts of men the bible says. And sometimes what seems like an enormous obstruction in our hectic lives, just needs a little of His breath, His Ruah, to blow it out of the way. And we, like a small child, just need a little awe… and a little more thankfulness.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. “ Colossians 3:1-4