Sunday, September 17, 2017
ANOTHER BIRTHDAY PASSES
Yesterday my 2 year old turned 35. That's how I view it from my earthly perspective. There's been no, "Now you've turned 3!" then "Now you've turned 4!" and so on and so forth. It's just like he's stuck forever in my mind at "2" turning--this year--a robust 35 years old. It's been very jarring to me as the years have progressively increased and the span of what Michael "was" and what he "would have been" contrasting so enormously now.
After the yearly jolting, I take up my mental word-armor, the remembrance of how none of that matters--at all--in the grand scheme of things. All my angst may be perfectly normal but it's still "earthly thinking." Jesus once reprimanded St. Peter because he (St. Peter) was only thinking along earthly terms--not heavenly terms.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." (Matt. 16:23 NIV).
What does it matter that Michael (or Lisa) didn't live long in earthly years--if I truly believe (which I do) that he's in Paradise and Perfected and Paired up with Jesus and happy as a lark as The Father sees fit? I remind myself to stop having "merely human concerns" and get myself back on track. Otherwise I'm a stumbling block to myself. If I get on the sad track, it speeds along at a furious pace and leaves me feeling nothing but drained of energy. Stop! I'll tell myself.
I had the electric candle I bought years ago turned on yesterday. I couldn't help but notice how cheap the fake flame looked. Nowadays they make them so much more real-looking. I did a quick assessment of whether I was failing Michael in some way by choosing to keep it instead of buying a brand new, more realistic-looking one. Again, earthly thinking about something that matters not a whit in reality! In Michael's reality!
It was on actually just prior to it being Michael's birthday as it was another day of getting to bed way too late. I wouldn't be asleep at midnight so why not light it now and place my favorite photo of him near it--now? If it wasn't lit and it was after midnight and I could light it but chose not to . . . would that indicate I didn't care? Again, earthly thinking needing redirecting. I still need to redirect even after what soon will be "33" years since the wreck that killed them all instantly. Old habits die hard.
I know almost nothing about Michael. That's the plight of those of us whose children die very young. He had a lot of sweet qualities about him and also an impishness. He was easy to please. He had a hearty laugh. When he turned two, at his party held at my in-laws, he helped a little girl he had never met before who was struggling to blow her balloon up. He told me when Lisa was crying if I was out of earshot. He was willing to sit cuddled tightly together next to Lisa in a spacious baby stroller that was really just designed for one. He liked to paint; his last picture--painted shortly before the wreck happened--resembled an angel with wings spread. He liked the Sesame Street character, "Ernie." He was brave. While at a friend's house, the friend's grandfather dressed as a clown and dropped in for a visit. The friend cowered in fear as Michael stood his ground, more curious than anything else. He burned his tender arm on my in-laws' outdoor grill after an impulsive reach . . . and didn't even cry about it.
What has helped me the most to survive the wreck, was Michael being obedient to whoever told him to repeat after them, "Going Home to be with Jesus!" numerous times in the two weeks before the wreck. That, and how he always pointed out beautiful rainbows to me . . .
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