December 2011: visiting the Vatican in Rome
The day has come: the day of parting. Eric is back at work, my dad is back at work, Emily will work from home for the remaining two weeks of her internship. I am finishing last-minute errands and tasks (such as burning CDs of my sister Julia's favorite music) and then at 6pm tonight Lena and I will leave for Sicily. My mother is savoring time with each of us before life takes on its new pattern.
I honestly feel like our whole family is being carried along, held in protective arms, so that even while walking through or past Julia's room I feel only a gentle sense of missing her and like there is a pillow to lean into protecting me from hard, sharp grief. More than ever any previous time in my life, Jesus gets all the credit for anything beautiful you have seen in our family. We will all claim this!
We have loved this week together as a family, at home, with no other obligations and only rest and quiet time together. We have been studying the Word together each day, remembering and healing, laughing, cooking, going out to eat, watching movies every night, playing with Lena, and learning to navigate life as a new family without our giggliest member. This week has been balm on our wounds. Do you know that part in The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe where Aslan gives Lucy that cordial that she can pour on wounds and they heal right up? Well, our wounds aren't healed yet--and probably won't completely heal this side of heaven--but Jesus really has been pouring His mercy upon us and strengthening us for the road ahead.
And so today here we go, back out into the fray. Please keep us in your prayers.