Thursday, March 13, 2014

I was so excited to visit Rob's grave today. He loved the Hill Country and our impromptu drives out to see wildflowers. We loved finding new "mom and pop" cafes or just picnicking along a lonely back road on lovely days like today.  So I put together a big bouquet of silk flowers, including Indian paintbrush and bluebonnets, all wrapped in a western bandana and even found a small basketball to honor his love of March Madness and off I went to decorate his small piece of sod.
And there it was, his new bronze headstone! Placed without my foreknowledge, his full name stared back at me with all its finality. And that relentless date of death, glaring in the afternoon sunlight... Totally unprepared!
My visit didn't go as I wished, my sweet time turned into anxious conversations with cemetery employees over a list of wrongs. They even warned against leaving my flowers as they tried to correct their oversight.
Plans foiled, disappointment and frustration colored the afternoon, but in the midst of my own tears, I was drawn to a young father and daughter leaving the funeral home. He gently leaned over her and whispered, "Your mom would be so proud of you." 
I quickly snatched my own grief, because honestly the thought of that precious 'tween making 
arrangements for her mommy was more than I could bear. What wisdom her father displayed through his own pain!  What unspeakable story produced their grief?  Did it include the ugly "C" word? I'll never know, but I can't shake that brief encounter into another family's brokenness. 
Yes,  another lesson learned.   My life will never be the same, I am forever drawn to the hurting ones and this strange world of loss. My own trials are preparing me to walk deeper on a 2 Corinthians 1:4 journey, no suffering will be wasted. 
I'll have another opportunity to decorate Rob's resting place with Texas love, but I'm reminded that the sacred moments don't often repeat themselves. Whether it be a simple word or smile or a "fall on my knees" assignment, I've been enlisted...forever!

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