Saturday, June 07, 2008

Remembering a good friend and celebrating the new normal

Noah is trying to hold on just long enough to finish his last bite of "burger cheese"
Just barley made it!

Today we headed to see some good friends. We have been planning for a while to go to Amanda's new home that she had built for her and the kids after Erik died. We have talked about it so many times and just have not nailed down the time to go. I am really glad that we finally just set a date and that we were able to make it happen. Our families had talked about having a BBQ when E was born and Noah came home. We have learned the hard way that tomorrow is not promised to us and that you should not put things off. Erik was killed in a tragic accident the day before we returned home from Guatemala with Noah. We never got to have that BBQ. Ironically we are only a week away from the 2nd anniversary of Erik's death and Noah's gotcha day. Two years ago we drove those same winding roads with a new baby (he was 6 months old but he was new to us) weeping as a family over the loss of such a great man. Our family was finally complete as another family was torn apart. We were trying to bond with the son that we had prayed 8 years for and trying to comfort our grieving daughter. At the same time we were parallelized with grief ourselves.

Today was full of first and new normals. We went to the cemetery for the first time where Erik was laid to rest almost two years ago. His grave is so peaceful and it is just what he would have wanted. The home that Amanda had built for her and the girls is amazing and full of charm and love. One of the new normals was the new man of the house. He and Amanda were married about 6 months ago. He is kind and he loves the Lord. He has been so good for this family. We can tell that he really loves the girls and that they love him. It was a blessing to be in their home and see how God is putting together a new puzzle and filling their home with joy and laughter once again.

We had a wonderful meal and great fellowship. It was so good to see the two girls and how much they have grown. It felt as though they had never left. Kayla and C would play in the yard every day and wait for Erik and James to come home form work. Amanda and I looked forward to watching E and Noah playing in the yard one day too. Today it was like the kids had always been together. Since Amanda moved right after Erik died and E was only three weeks old we did not get to know her like we had hope. Never the less it was like we had seen her everyday. She gets that from Erik.

Today as we drove home we were reminded of that time when our hearts were parallelized with grief and that with God all things really are possible. There is hope and there is a peace that surpasses our understanding. God continues to heal this family and ours as well. The memories are easier to process and the new normal...we have learned to accept that sometimes that is what life deals you.