This week, I experienced another first. Fischer would have started Kindergarten this week. The long awaited day that Fischer so looked forward to would have arrived. He would have become a Salado Eagle! Since Fischer’s birthday is 10/1 and he would turn 6 soon, he would not have started school last fall like some of his friends and playmates did. I loved seeing all the school pictures, my granddaughter’s 2nd grade school picture, sharing in all the joy for this new beginning with friends and family and yet there is also this tug on my heart. What would Fischer have thought about this week? What would Elizabeth have felt? There would have been the craziness of getting school supplies, new shoes, clothes, packing lunches and not being able to sleep due to all the excitement! Ben surely would have missed his big brother and would assume that role with Hayes while Fischer was at school. Oh how I would have loved to have seen a picture of his first day of Kindergarten! What would he look like now two years later?
And I have now come to recognize this is the dichotomy of the bereaved. These events have a double edge to them. And through this, I choose joy in celebrating with friends and family the accomplishments and new beginnings of their children, and yet there is the absence of these milestones that I will not get to experience with Fischer, Ben and Hayes. I am very aware of those that will and do say: “Julie, get over it…..do you really have to share this, or think it?” And if I am going to be true to myself and to this blog about my grief journey, the answer is yes. It is something many if not all of us parents think about when the unthinkable happens. We are forever changed by it and therefore these events cross our mind. I choose to handle these events by acknowledging them, embracing them, and honoring them.
To other Mom’s who lament that your children are growing up or going off to college…….I encourage you to choose JOY! Each year that you start a new school year, move your child to college or celebrate another milestone is a tremendous blessing and for those of us that will not get to experience these events with some of our children/grandchildren so wish we could. You see, many of these events highlight for us our loss. My prayer for you if you are struggling as your children are moving out, growing up too fast, starting school, college or somewhere in between, is that you make a conscious decision to choose joy. Be intentional in everything you do with your children. Learn to soak in every day that is given to you, yes, even in the chaos…the good and the bad…..because dear one each day is a precious gift.
So, today to honor this first for the Fischman, I will lay this wreath and ask Jesus to hug him for me until I can one day.
I don’t know if there is “school” in heaven. I don’t know if we know everything and don’t need to “learn” when we get there…..but this I do know……they are in the presence of the best teacher EVER……Jesus Christ….and therefore I choose JOY. The joy that comes from a place of confidence…..that I know who holds me and my future and it is the one that has inscribed me in the palm of his hand! (Isaiah 49:16).