My brother Phil spent three days here. While here, I remembered that Phillip was an 8th grader when our mom passed away, the grade Merit is in now. That, alone, could make me cry for ten different reasons.
I'll list two. I can't imagine leaving this earth and missing out on my kids growing up. I can't imagine an 8th grade boy navigating life without his mom.
Both of my sisters were engaged to be married, Matt was in his junior year of high school, Phil in 8th grade. There seemed to be a lot to look forward to, things that needed our mom.
Today's blog post didn't start out like this. It started out with something as fun as thrifting and the sale we had in the shop last week. But moods shifted and concern set in and different conversations happened. I don't write a post like this because I think I have it so rough and I don't write it for sympathy. I write it for an increased awareness, compassion and kindness for ALL of us.
There is a sting that comes along with the death of a loved one that doesn't heal. And sometimes the pain subsides and then it can hit us hard, sometimes in a new way.
I had this really weird "exemption theory" as a child. When I was young my BIGGEST fear was losing my mom. My grandparents had already lost a daughter, my mom's sister, so I thought we were exempt. As I reached adulthood I realized one family can do a lot of grieving when another family may not be faced with as much.
Phil is SO good with kids. So good. Gets down on the floor and plays, laughs, he connects with all four of these kids. Uncle Phil is a famous name around this house. For that I am so thankful.
These days I am so happy to feel so loved and to be able to love. These are good days, with joy and some tough moments. I try to ENCOURAGE, it is something I want to do, I love to do. I also feel misunderstood at times and today, sad.
When I wake up tomorrow and make breakfast, drive my kids to school, set up for an Art show at the museum, do laundry, pick my kids up from school, go to Merit's basketball game, take Willem to practice... I will remember that there are many people feeling sad or misunderstood. There are so many that need encouragement. There are 8th graders without their mom. There are children and adults missing their parents. My sister is missing her son. And I will encourage and love and share kindness. I will pray for those I see hurting, and when I do these things, peace begins to fill my heart.
This picture makes me smile! We are often in Lynden the first weekend of August and my dad and Phil like to take the kids (mine and my sisters') to the Threshing Bee! This is them a year and a half ago, all getting ready to go! My bro in law Rob too
Uncle Phil with Ingrid
Oh and this girl who has had more pain than anyone I know, is still someone who encourages! She laughs! She has to face these upcoming holidays missing many! One of those sweet souls being her son.
But, thankfully, she knows God loves her. She knows she will be reunited with these loved ones some day. She knows it is important to work at a marriage, love your kids, encourage your friends and LAUGH.
As the holidays approach, a lot of people have hearts hurting. Many because someone is missing around their Thanksgiving table or a stocking may be hung for a child who has heaven as their home. But we can encourage, love and pray. We can work to make this world a better place.