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It’s in the Air

 The smell of May Day trees.

Burgers on the grill.

Apple trees in bloom.

Green grass and sun to be… just be.

Spring is coming. It’s in the air. I’m about to put all the coats and boots away from winter ~ not that we really needed them this year ~ and we got the water hoses and sprinklers out so it means we’ll probably get a big blizzard but nevertheless… Spring is coming.

It happens every year, thank goodness.  The long, dark days of winter stuck out of the cold, or trudging through the cold, whichever you prefer, slowly turn to long luxurious light filled evenings as Summer approaches here.  It’s slow, but you can feel it in the air.  Time marches on, Seasons change.

Thinking of Spring after a long Winter reflects how I feel about this last year.  It’s been a tough one, folks. I admit that.  A lot of days have been just getting through, with the heavy heart from grief.

A year ago at this time, we just returned from visiting my family in Missouri, and with last hugs around my father’s neck after a blessed Easter break together, I walked away in tears, wondering if that really could be the last time I would be with him on earth.

It was. Dad died quietly at night in early June, surrounded by my Mom and my siblings after fighting lung cancer with every last ounce of who he was. If I ever knew he was strong, it was seeing him fight so hard.

I last heard his voice less than two days before, a phone call as I sat in my car in the parking lot on Sunday, after leading kids’ worship before meeting my family for our usual lunch date.  I heard his strong voice ~ he must have mustered all sorts of strength to be able to speak the way he did ~ say ‘I love you’ and then listen as I told him good bye the final time.

It was dark, even in having the hope that I would see Him again in heaven, even knowing He was finally free from pain, the struggle over.  Grief was dark, and I missed him immediately. I often wonder if it was such grief because I lived away, and missed so much of living with him.  Missing all that makes the dying hard.

We spent three weeks ~ me and the kids ~ at home with my Mom after all being together to celebrate Dad’s life.  ALL… meaning my whole family, sharing memories, laughing, making memories, going through Dad’s stuff, remembering, enjoying the Missouri sun together, family.

And we came home to SUMMER in full bloom, school out. Busy. Wonderful.  Hot.  But I had a sad, heavy heart to face it, get through.  And we did.  We made the most of it, and oh so much love surrounds us.

But now, Spring is coming.  As Christians, we hope for the day when things are always bright and shiny as we celebrate life forever with our Savior.  We long for the day when all his promises come true…

I Will Wipe Away Every Tear… For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever…

No, grief isn’t over.  My heart is heavy as we approach the anniversary of Dad’s homegoing. My heart hurts for my Mom who faces her life without her beloved James. My kids and their cousins who won’t know their Poppy as well. Great-grands who’ll never get the joy of meeting him.  No, grief, it’s not over, but just like Winter ends…

Spring is coming… Have Hope.  And hang on.

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