2013 has brought the 9 year & 5 year anniversaries of Ryan & Brandon’s deaths. I have been surprised at the depth of sadness I still feel at times. I am also amazed that God’s grace continues to be sufficient…I can’t begin to imagine our lives without Him.
Believe it or not, I have discovered a few things. Life can be hard, but that’s when you really need to take inventory, remembering the positive aspects of your life. I can fondly remember sticky faces and hands when my children were small, the cuddle of their sweet-smelling bodies next to mine, sleepless nights, cries during the night (especially during thunderstorms!), Christmas mornings, & Sunday school. There are still times when I have to redirect my thoughts to more positive memories…I acknowledge the fact that I miss my boys, but I would never want to bring them back. How selfish would that be?!
I have experienced milestones in the lives of friends and our extended families…showers, weddings, births of babies, and college graduations. I have ached for the future with our boys that was taken from us, yet attempt to find happiness in the joy of others. Sometimes that is very hard! I have watched our own daughter grow into a responsible, caring adult. I guess if I were to say anything to parents (especially mothers) experiencing the “letting go” of an adult child, it would simply be to dwell on the concept of “addition.” As our children become older and begin to separate their lives from ours, we should be proud of their bid for independence. When your child brings home that “special” someone, look upon that person as an extension of your family, not as a separate entity. Welcome them into your home as your child. If you do that one thing, you can’t go wrong. After all, we would never (most people) mistreat our own children.
Then, we come back to Laura. I don’t say much about Laura because I want to allow her some privacy. I can’t help but think that her two “big brothers” would be so proud of the young woman she has become. She is very focused, has shown good judgment by the decisions she has made, & places value in godly things. Is she perfect? Of course not, but she is an awesome young woman whom I’m glad to have as a daughter! Although Laura has never been interested in nursing...passes out quite easily at the sight of blood, she has always been available to take on much more than many young women her age, including driving me to the hospital (appendicitis) or a doctor’s appt. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of life, I believe she has attempted to look at the blessings in her life. What an amazing person she is! ♥