This week has been marked by sadness. A week where my close family saw death for the first time in quite awhile. Where I went to a funeral of someone I have known since I was a little girl. I prayed as I looked at a man in a casket, the picture next to him reflecting a young man in Air Force garb. In that face I could see the shadows of my stepbrother in genes passed down. I sat with tears in my eyes as the man who helped raise me, the one who drove me back and forth to late night play practices in high school and tied down tarps around my ridiculous amount of clothes in the back of his pickup truck to take me to college, mourned the loss of his father. In those moments, as he recalled memories of his own childhood so much more of my own came into focus. How he fathered me, thrown into being a stepparent of a child years older than his own. How he did his best despite having little of a role model. How he has risen to the occasion and been an amazing grandparent to my children even though his blood does not run through their veins. It has left me with memories and feelings to sift through and sort out. Something that I had not expected.
Then today happened. This tremendous loss of innocent young lives. Seemingly senseless violence perpetuated on the most helpless of victims. And I sit here numb. Unable to process any more. Tears threaten to come, but never do. A sob in the back of my throat that has been threatening to release and yet does not. In a way I wish that I could just let out a wave of emotion. To have a release. Instead I sit typing. Pouring out words into the internet, hoping that they give me some relief.
The boyz got off the bus today and I anxiously awaited their arrival. Having them home under my own roof seemed vitally important today. Their sibling bickering was a welcome clanging in the background, reminding me that they are here and present. Seth went and acted in a church production tonight telling the Christmas story. I hope he helped to convey God’s love to those searching tonight. His younger brothers piled together in Gabe’s room, a mass of pillows and blankets and precious stuffies. Their giggles and excitement for their togetherness contagious.
As the house has stilled for the night I keep myself busy. I listen mindlessly watching old episodes of television dribble on Netflix as I pin and stitch my way through mountains of pink fabric. Placating myself by creating beauty in a Christmas present for my niece and goddaughter. Yet I cannot escape the thoughts that so many little girls will not be with their families to open gifts under the tree. So many boys will never again camp out on their brother’s floor. So many funerals are being planned for this coming week. And now the tears come.