It's been a tough week. There is a time for every purpose under heaven, and this has been a painful time.
My wonderful dad-in-law died last week. He was in hospital with chest pain, and Pete thought he'd be out within a few days. Perhaps he'd get another stent put in. He survived a heart attack 20 years ago, so has had a lot of fantastic "extra" years to spend with his big family, doing the things he loved. He was talking to a nurse about the next adventure he had planned (a trip somewhere with his beloved wife Val) when he went suddenly. We're glad he didn't suffer for long.
The children understand that they won't see Grandpa again. Elijah's first comment was that he won't be able to go fishing with Grandpa, when he gets his first rod at Christmas. Jasmine found her twin lavender bears, to give to Grandma to help her feel better. She says the one a few millimetres taller is Grandpa, the short one is Grandma. Their understanding of death is calm, logical, innocent and faithful.
Last week, time stood still in some ways. But we carried on with activities like FBI, gymnastics, playdate, housemeeting (church home-group), a birthday party, and I helped Pete for his turn teaching Sunday school. The kids have kept us moving and positive, when we could have just curled up. Pete has dealt with it in his own quiet way, and I've been there with all the hugs he needs. The Lord has held us up through the emotional and mental pain of loosing someone so special.
Words have been hard to find. Mostly, I just physically hurt for the people I see hurting around me. Max's children, grandkids, his best mate. My thoughts swirl, peaceful but persistent until my head hurts. Even in 'normal' times I struggle with the temporary nature of our existence, the paradox of a purposeful yet vaporous, vain life. As always, I'm trying not to dwell on unanswerable questions which could easily consume my mind and time.
But life goes on and is a gift from the Lord, which I'm thankful for, and I will follow where He leads. The sun is shining, the breeze is warmer than last week. Pete is planning our upcoming snow holiday and discussing whether we'll also go camping in the bush or near the beach before summer, or both. I'm reading Jessica Watson's book about her amazing journey, marveling at her clarity and determination, and wondering what goals my children, Pete and I, will set for ourselves in the future.
I spoke to my own Dad last night. He too had a heart attack a few years ago. When it started he asked a workmate to drive him to hospital, and calmly walked in. He didn't tell us about it until a week later, after he'd recovered (or perhaps we found out by accident, I forget) ... no need to worry anyone he said! He's good now but still working too hard. I'm glad for his friendship, and a zillion life lessons and skills he's shared with me over the years.
As usual this week, I've read blogs, familiar and new, which have been as always, inspiring, touching and interesting. I just haven't commented much. I joined facebook, for the second time, and will probably, again, close my account before I get caught up in the vortex. I'm just not good at small-talk or brief bytes of conversation, it makes me nervous. I can see why many people like it though.
For someone "lost for words" I've written a lot. Hope I haven't rambled.
Time to get dressed and play in the sun.
See you again soon!