Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heaven on earth

March 31, 2013
When Betty took this photo Easter Sunday morning, Uncle Jim gently corrected her for taking the photo with so much light behind us.

I think the image is just right. I love the bright light, I love our joy, I love those tulips -- my favorite flowers, I love that Cooper and Katie are so healthy.

And it brings to mind another photo, taken the morning of Steve's memorial service. Aunt Ami took this one.

Sept. 12, 2009
Oh, my heart. Look at how tiny our babies are. Seven-year-old Katie is now almost as tall as Cooper was then. And our now-11-year-old Cooper ... I'm reminded of Will Pry's words during the memorial service -- he's got his Daddy's long legs.

That 2009 photo reflects about 18 months of fitful sleep for me. By August 2009, I was surviving on about four hours pieced together each night. I hadn't had a haircut in who knows how long.

When Steve would allow himself to wonder aloud how I would manage our family without him, I would always tell him that I would be fine. And I wasn't just saying what I thought he'd want to hear. I instinctively knew that Cooper, Katie and I would be OK.

And somehow we are. Certainly not without stumbles and scares and doubt along the way.

I sometimes struggle with taking risks or making changes as the only adult in the house. I continue to rely on help from others. (I expect I always will.) I still don't get quite enough sleep. (But when I do sleep, it's solid, soul-restoring sleep.) Our lives will never be perfect. (Of course, we were never promised perfection.)

Overall, though, I'd say that the three of us are doing the best we can without Steve. And when I look at that Easter photo, I see little glimpses of heaven on earth.

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalm 30:5)

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