The title of this blog post is also the title of Mary Beth Chapman’s book about her family and her journey of grief after the tragic loss of her and Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter Maria. I won’t give away all the contents of the book, because it is definitely worth a read if you want to know more about the Chapman’s story or to read first hand her heart wrenching journey of a mother losing a child, but she chooses to SEE her daughter in things around her since her life ended on earth. You see Maria completed a drawing with a flower and the word SEE that Steven and Mary Beth found shortly after the accident. I sure hope Liz and the boys have met Maria. Maria is a bundle of energy and someone that Fischer and Ben would relish having fun with! I too like Mary Beth understand and embrace choosing to SEE.
Shortly after the accident and the funeral services, many rainbows were sent to us over several days and weeks. Rainbows! God’s symbol of promise. To further understand the significance here, Lizz and the boys home going service was on August 2nd. AUGUST! August in Texas means that the grass is brown, our flowers and gardens are fried, and 100 degree weather has set in. Rain is somewhat absent in the Texas climate in August, so when I state that we received several reminders of God’s love and of our family that lives in heaven, we all felt it through the rainbows that we received in those early weeks. What was even more special is that many times that rainbow was visible from Lizz and Sam’s house in Salado, out their front window and on their front porch! We all knew it wasn’t a coincidence. Lizz had asked Jesus to send the rainbows for us, to comfort us, and if the storms had thunder we all felt it was due to Benji (Benjamin) stomping on the floor of heaven! I will never hear thunder again without thinking of Ben running in heaven!
Then we approached Christmas 2012 and as many of you are aware, John and I decided not to have our “traditional” Christmas this past December. This had traditionally been a holiday where all my children, their spouses and grandchildren were at our house on Christmas Eve. For that reason we thought it wise to do something different to help us manage the 1st holidays absent Lizz and the boys. So, we decided to go on a cruise over the Christmas holidays with some dear friends. While on the cruise we were packed in an elevator going to dinner, and there was a small girl, probably 3 or 4 dressed in her party dress, holding a doll and had these beautiful big blue eyes, fair skin, and dark thick hair. Remind you of someone? Well, it did me, when she was that age. We began grinning at each other, which led me to start talking to her. She didn’t reply, but continued to look at me with those beautiful eyes. As the elevator opened, and I told her goodbye, she looked at me and said: “Ciao!”. I had been sent an amazing encounter with a beautiful Italian girl at Christmas.
And then last week, I had finished running a very special 5K (more in a future blog post!) and was at home in the backyard and out came a green lizard. Some folks are probably saying “So what?”, but to me, it brought a heart full of joy, tears and a smile. You see, one of the things Fischer always wanted to do when he came to my house was to go outside and look for lizards. I live in a light stone house and they love to cling to our brick and sun on a beautiful Texas day. Fischer would love to look for them, catch them and hold them in his pudgy little hands. So, on this special day, I reached down and scooped up the lizard. At first, the lizard was NOT happy with me and he turned from a beautiful lime green to a dark brown, but after a while he turned back to his beautiful green and I sat and enjoyed this wonderful reminder. I later opened my hand and instead of him darting away, he just stayed there, perfectly content. Even after I sat him down in the grass beside me, he stayed beside me. And I knew that was Fischer’s gift to me….that he had asked Jesus to send.
Here are pictures of Fischer and one of his many lizard friends he would find:
And my lizard friend that Fischer sent me on April 13, 2013:
Then this past weekend Saturday, April 20th, I went to the cemetery to pick up Ben’s birthday balloon memorial wreath I had placed out there to honor his 3rd birthday. When I picked it up, there was a baby quickit (cricket)! There was just one……not two, not three, but one. (Please read Ben’s 3rd birthday post for why “quickits” have a special meaning) I picked up the “quickit”, and when I opened my hand, it too, stayed on my palm for the longest time. I again knew that was Benji and his way of sending his love to me.
Throughout this past 8.5 months, I have had lady bugs appear in my office on my blinds and have had butterflies surround me many times in various places. This past weekend, a Facebook friend and previous classmate, sent me a book recommendation: When God winks at you. I haven’t read it yet but plan on doing so soon. Because I do believe that He hears my prayers, and understands my deepest cries and when I need to feel His presence and Lizz and the boys the most, he sends me wonderful “winks”, reminders of wonderful times that fill my heart to the brim of such amazing joy. So, even in grief my friends there is also immense joy.
So, I too, like Mary Beth Chapman, choose to SEE and I seem to be surrounded with reminders of Lizz and the boys…..of God’s amazing love for us even in the most difficult and heartbreaking of times. May those that read this blog, choose to SEE God’s love and the reminders that he sends to us to affirm that love. Some people may feel this is a bunch of malarkey……but this I do know…..my heavenly Father cares very deeply about me. So much so that he sent his Son to die on a cross. Therefore, why should we be surprised when he sends us daily reminders of his love for us and brings us “winks” from those we love that now live with him?
I’m sure I have missed some of those “winks” that have been sent to me…..may I never miss another one!
Here’s to Choosing to SEE!