Monday, September 15, 2014

We are all His

This post is a little heavier than my recent room-update, pregnancy-symptom chit-chat, but I feel compelled to share a little reflection of my thoughts today, as perhaps there's someone else who may need the same reminders as I.

You may remember that I wrote about my Grandpa back in April, and asked for prayers as he and my Grammy transitioned from life at home to an assisted living facility.  I guess I didn't tell the whole story back then, or share that the root reason for his health problems is cancer - a cancer he's fought longer and harder than anyone thought possible, but one that is now taking its toll.  When I talked to my mom this afternoon, I learned that he's experienced a pretty significant decline this week.  Thankfully, he's not in pain, but he's slowly slipping away, and we're all preparing ourselves that he might not have much time.

It's hard to see our loved ones sick, hard to see them beyond the abilities of modern medicine, hard to face the reality that none of us are guaranteed even one more minute on this Earth.

It hit me hard today to hear the news, in part because I've been blessed by a life where I've never lost someone close to me.  All four of my grandparents are still living.  I had a good relationship with one of my great-grandmothers (we would mail snippets of fabric from our recent sewing projects to share with one another) who died when I was in 8th grade, but even she was more removed than a grandparent who I saw at least once a week for most of my life.

It also hit me hard because of the timing of the circle of life.  His life is coming to a close as we prepare to welcome baby Julia.

And the whole thing, as I said, makes you think of your own mortality.  I am thankful for a healthy pregnancy and good doctors and facilities that make childbirth fairly safe these days, but I still can't help but be reminded that giving birth is among the more dangerous things I'll do this year.

It's hard to think of living without loved ones - those whose deaths we anticipate, and those whose loses are completely unexpected.  It's also hard to think of the lives of our loved ones if something were to happen to us.  I sometimes wonder if my sweet girl would know just how much I loved her if something were to happen to me.  Or I ponder how either Justin or I would make it alone, having built a life so mutually dependent on the other.

All of these thoughts were swirling through my head this evening, and an image came to mind - an image that brought me great comfort throughout my childhood.

My mom had a statue of a little child leaning into the palm of God's hand.  Whenever one of us was struggling with something in particular (like my long challenge with some serious anxiety as a child), she would bring it into our room and put it on our dresser to remind us that we weren't alone, that God was always holding us.

I've tried to remember throughout my parenting that Anna belongs to God, and that we are watching her and caring for her, but ultimately not nearly as much as he is watching, caring, and protecting her.  It's a good reminder at every stage of parenting - from the moment of conception until our children are old and gray themselves.  As much as we love them, God loves them more.  They will always be in the palm of His hand.  And us, too, in our frazzled, worried states, are held there just the same.

All of our loved ones, each and every one of us.  We might be frightened by the unbearable losses that we experience or anticipate, but our loved ones are held - in their life and in their death - just as we are.  God will not let us go, will not let them go.  We may feel alone, confused by His timing, unsure of His love, but He is there.  We are all His.

Fontanini 4" Girl Palm Of My Hand Figure

This is not the exact same statue that we had growing up, but it is the one that is currently on it's way to our house to sit on my nightstand, in hopes that I never forget that my girls (or I!) are so secure in the palm of God's hands. (source)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Em. We'll keep your grandpa and family in our prayers.