Sunday, March 27, 2011
Doors and Windows
This weekend, our family went to a local eating establishment for dinner. While sitting fireside, eating chicken pot pies and salads, a little family was seated next to us. It wasn't long before the youngest member of their party drew our attention. With a headful of platinum blond hair and big blue eyes, their petite built son strongly resembled Bennett. As he waddled around our table in the dining room, our family's attention was riveted on him. Ashton was the first to personally engage the boy, jumping down from his chair and talking to him, just like he spoke with Bennett. I looked at David and David looked away. I knew what was happening. I wasn't surprised to see his eyes glistening with tears when I finally caught his glance.
The engagement continued through our meal. As we were finishing our dessert (double cream lemon pie . . . delish), I noticed that the mother was intently watching our family's interaction with her son. Not wanting her to get the wrong impression, I turned around and asked the age of her son. "Eighteen months," she responded. I could of guessed that. Our Bennett was small for his age and he was 19.5 months when he was called Home.
I continued. "He's just adorable. Our family has been quite taken with your son because our youngest - about his age - passed away in January. We have been watching him because he reminds us so much of our Bennett and we miss him so. Thanks for sharing him for a few minutes."
I smiled at her warmly and then turned to address the waitress that had brought our check. As we were waiting, the family packed up and started to leave. The mother stopped by our table. "Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Sometimes you don't realize what you have. Things get so crazy and you just get so overwhelmed. But it's nice to be reminded of your blessings."
I responded with a smile and "Be sure to hold him close tonight. We miss that so much."
Some might find our fleeting yet personal interaction odd. And yet, it didn't feel so at all. In fact, as we have become "acquainted with grief", these interactions have become a common occurrence. It has been said that when God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. Well, when Bennett's life on Earth suddenly ended, a door was closed. A huge, heavy, heartbreaking door. One we were not ready shut. And yet - in His infinite wisdom - our Loving Heavenly Father has seen fit to open so many windows. We have had so many interactions with people around the world. From Australia to Dubai, Taiwan to Calgary and from New York to San Francisco. Though oceans, borders and land divide us, the human experience of Heartache, Grief and Loss are the same. Indeed, we are One.
There is much choice involved with Grief. And while there may be fleeting moments of complex feelings, the overall experience is up to you. You decide what the take away will be and what you will become because of it.
"As for me and my house", We have decided that we will not be bitter. We have decided that we will not be angry. And We have decided that we will not be resentful. Most of our friends and family will not be asked to walk this path and for that we are grateful. We would not wish this upon anyone. But they will be called to walk paths that we will not walk. Both seen and unseen. We cannot compare and we cannot judge. God knows all. And we will experience the things we need to experience to become who God knows we can be. It is our choice - however - to choose this path. To seek to understand and learn or decide to be angry. To choose healing over resentment. And to choose Light over Darkness.
We WILL Love. We WILL Laugh. We WILL have Hope. We WILL remain strong in our Faith. And we WILL be grateful for ALL things . . . both good AND growing.
Doors and Windows. Windows and Doors. What you become from your experiences is entirely up to you. So we are looking for windows.