It appears that spring really has come to the Shuswap. And its first sign? Not buds on the trees and bushes, not little flowers popping up from under last years fallen leaves, but tiny flying insects that look like baby mosquitoes just outside our kitchen window. How unromantic. But on the positive side, there is also the chirping of the birds who eat those little bugs. Oh to be higher up on the food chain, huh!
The wonderful thing about spring for me is the signs of new life. After a long cold winter (which we didn’t have this year), the fact that life begins anew gives my heart the reassurance that there is life after what appears to be death. In that respect we had a sign of spring that arrived two days ago. The book “Surviving the loss of a Child” by Elizabeth B. Brown showed up in our mail box. At first I panicked thinking that I’d gone on a spending spree that my mind just could not recall. I went and checked my online purchasing records to see if I did in fact purchase this book. It was a relief to discover that I had not. Which then leads to the next question. Where did it come from? What angel disguised as a friend sent it to us? How are we ever going to find out so we can say thank you?
To me it was a sign of spring, of new life because I have a sneaky suspicion that Bernadette inspired whoever it was who sent it to us. She must have been listening while I was telling Marc what kind of book I was looking for and yearning to read because who else would know what I needed at this moment? I mean the book was next to perfect! It was written by a mother who lost her daughter a week before her 7th birthday! We lost Bernadette five weeks before her 7th birthday. The two little girls seemed to have so much in common, right down to wearing tutu’s for fun. There was an immediate connection. The families had similarities as well. Elizabeth had a daughter away at college at the time, we had Joseph away at college. They had a sixteen year old son, we have a seventeen year old daughter. They had an unexpected new addition to their family, a two year old son who turned out to be a huge blessing, and we have Zoe also an enormous blessing. Plus Elizabeth was a woman of faith, married to a man of faith. So there was enough in common that I felt this woman would know what I’m going through. It was perfect. I devoured it in just over 24 hours.
One of my favorite Scripture passages that I see played out time and time again in my life is from Genesis: “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” Every time there is an unbearably hard patch of road, or even just a rocky one, God has always sent me a ‘suitable companion’ to help me through. Many of those companions have become dear friends over the years. Receiving “Surviving the Loss of a Child” was another example of God sending a ‘suitable companion’ to help me. It is always so reassuring when you discover you’re not alone in your sufferings and hard times, that God does His best to break through and show you He is there for you.
Over the past little while Marc and I have learned of people in our faith community and community at large who have lost a child and with each story we feel more secure in the love that surrounds us and holds us up. We are not alone. Others have gone through this and they have survived. They have moved forward, never ever forgetting, but moving forward, taking each day as it comes. And God is telling us, “And you too will survive this. You are not alone. I will take care of you. I have been taking care of you all along. I will continue to take care of you.”
On that thought, I must go attend to a smiley little one who wants to terrorize the house, but I will come back to that last thought later for it is one I wish to get down before I forget and I never want to forget.
To the one who sent us ‘Surviving the Loss of a Child” thank you for allowing God and Bernadette to inspire you to send it to us. It will definitely be ‘a suitable companion’ to help us on our journey through these next years. Thank you!!!!