It really didn't seem appropriate to post on any random topic this week.
It's been three years.
I remember saying many times during the first few days after the accident that we were going to blink, and it was going to be a month and then three months and then a year and then several years since that one moment in time. And it happened. We blinked, and here we are coming up on the third anniversary of the most horrible day of our lives, the day a line was drawn in the sand separating our lives into Before the Accident and After the Accident.
And guess what? The saying, "Time heals all wounds." is a big fat lie. Time will never heal our wounds. What time does--and I hate that it does--is that it takes away the can't-catch-my-breath sting. Time continues to put space between the last touch, the last sound of his voice, the last birthday celebration, the last practical joke, the last time we were a complete family. And instead of making us feel better, it quite often makes us feel worse.
What is true is that pain and tears can sometimes feel good.
They confirm the depth of our emotions and the love for a boy that we will not see again this side of heaven--a boy who will forever be 11 years and 1 day old. We don't ever want to forget that love.
So we continue to go through life precariously close to the edge, knowing that without the hope we have in Christ and His salvation, we would surely plummet to a state of constant despair. And somehow we find joy amidst the sorrow and moments of distraction along the way that allow us to laugh and still make memories with those who remain.
Nate and Noah also lived life precariously close to an edge, but it was not an edge teetering on despair. It was an edge teetering on abandon--total and complete abandon to their Lord and Savior and to their boyhood. They were two boys so full of life, with a willingness to dream big, love much, and risk all.
This week, three years out, may we all be reminded to continue their legacy to also Live Like That.
Three years. So much in three years. Some days three years is an eternity. Three years since I heard his voice. Three grades in school missed. Six dentist appointments. 36 hair cuts.
Other days it is like yesterday. Like surely it is a bad dream, and I will wake up.
Regardless, I have learned a lot in three years
1. Time doesn't make it better. Load. of. crap. Life moves on so therefore we must, too. This year Kenzie passed Nate's forever age. And in six years, Jett will pass that age, too. Life just keeps moving.
2. Memories are priceless. Don’t underestimate such a small thing as a memory. It’s the silly stuff that makes us laugh when we have nothing to laugh at.
One July, we went to a day camp as a group. There were ziplining, a blob, and swimming. We all claimed a spot as a group and just enjoyed the day. Made memories. Remembering the dads ziplining and blobbing kids are the big memories. But it are the small memories that make us laugh. While there, the June bugs were awful. They would hit you and practically knock you down. Noah would duck and swerve, trying to avoid them and yell at the “July” bugs. It was a memory. To this day we call them July bugs. Small memories.
3. Grief looks different for everyone. Some of us get weepy when the boys names are mentioned. Some of us like to spend time at the cemetery. Some of us don't. Some of us quietly move through life and keep it in. Some of us do life better now. I recently had someone that saw me quite regularly before the accident mention they hadn't seen me since the accident. They proceeded to tell me that it appears I need to get right with God. Grief looks different. But one thing is for sure, grief is impossible to survive without a relationship with the Lord.
The thing that hits you after a tragedy is that time doesn’t stop. People still go to work, and the sun still shines, and the dust still gathers. It makes you want to throw open the windows and scream “Don’t you know my world just ended? Don’t you know my heart is torn apart, and I don’t think I can put it back together this time? Don’t you care at all?”
And slowly you find a routine, and a month passes, then two, then two years, and then you’re here. Three years and your scar still aches. The weight of loss still holds on to you, but it’s different, familiar, rising to the surface less often than before. Three years and you still miss his face. Three years and sometimes you still feel like a plate someone threw to the ground in anger, shattering every part of you.
It hurts and it is an ache I will carry with me all my life. The ache of grief as well as the aching need to let Nate and Noah’s legacy shape me into someone better than I am now. To not become apathetic or angry, but to live with the abandon that they lived with.
I miss them. Nate, I miss you. I miss the creativity you brought to every aspect of your life and the times of laughter we would have over silly things. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. And every day we’re a little closer to meeting again, and every day I want to rejoice in the fact that I even have that possibility. Rejoice in the love of the Father. For the love of the Father brought you home, and His love will bring me there, too. Thank God for that.