I * thought* it wouldn't be so hard.
I *thought* it wouldn't matter so much.
But it does....
More than I dreamed.
Time does make an absence more bearable but the emptiness does NOT go away. Those that say time heals all wounds...lied.
In barely over a week, I'll be back on the family farm. Enjoying family. Enjoying life. Enjoying being in beautiful TN, back to our roots. Back home. Being home feels even more important to us as the plans for our future unfold...and the fact the miles will be increasingly drastically.
Most importantly, I get to watch my "little" brother pledge his life to the one who stole his heart. Words can't describe how amazing it is to know he found the one his soul loves.
HE won't be there to welcome us home. He was bigger than life and his memories touch every single aspect of being back home. Many never got the chance to know him or realize how impactful he was to all of us.
We are thrilled that the wedding is going to be home on the farm and going to be spectacular...but...the absence hurts more than I imagined.
For our family, this is the first REAL event since Dad walked home with Jesus---and sending us into a whirlwind of change and heartache we didn't know existed. It will be the first time my siblings and I will all be together in one place (we all live spread apart). It's the first time we've been in a large gathering since his celebration of life and the first time we will see many family members. It's the first confrontation of our "old" lives colliding with our new "lives". Life has been divided into before Dad died and after...
The wedding celebration coincides with his birthday. I know had he been here he would have been thrilled to not have had to wear a monkey suit....not sure he ever forgave his daughters for forcing him to wear tuxedos at our weddings. :)
It's not going to be easy and my stomach is churning with nervousness of how the emotions will impact. I won't lie. It's been creating shockwaves that I just wasn't prepared for.
However, I know he will be there. He'll be looking down at his son that I know he is proud of. He'll be looking down with acceptance at the choice Matt made. I know he'd be pleased. I know he will be there in little physical details for those in the wedding party. I know he'll be there in intangible ways that those of us that loved him dearly will recognize. Many intangible ways....
(image credit to the bride-to-be....I stole it!)
I know this day will magnify the loss in our hearts.
It's a new season of life. A new season that is beautiful and worth celebrating. Love and hope.... nothing quenches those blessings. To see a new couple embark on their journey....well it's amazing....especially when you are a sap like I am. (Pardon me, if I wipe a few tears now!)
It's the beauty of another celebration as a daughter gets to walk down the aisle on the arms of her Daddy, feeling like a princess, despite his own physical battles. It's a huge victory and moment of celebration for them that they are very much deserving of. It's an emotional time for them as well.
I also cling to the beauty of Psalm 30:11
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy..."
and verse 5 as well
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."
I continue to embrace the mourning. I embrace the joy. I embrace the new beginnings. I will embrace the flood of memories. I will embrace and hold him close---because he most definitely never left my heart.
(And Kevin....I'm waiting to fulfill with great joy the promised dance!)