Posted by: Rachel | May 9, 2014

Light and Shadows

Today was turning out to be a very nice day. I wasn’t driving the school van for the first time in nearly two weeks so life felt a bit more relaxing. I was enjoying time with my children. At some point I realized how much I enjoy this stage that the two youngest are currently going through. Delilah is just learning so fast. Her current fascination is shadows. She notices her shadow all the time. Today she was talking with the neighbor man and suddenly she said ‘You have a shadow!’

Atticus is becoming quite the little man. We have some issues occasionally because he is maturing faster than his communication skills are progressing. He didn’t worry about the neighbors shadow, but rather looked at him, and then at his own shoes. Then he pointed at his shoes and said ‘oose.’ He is so very proud of his shoes and points them out to anyone he meets.

A few weeks ago I was really slogging through life. I wasn’t taking my meds because I ran out and didn’t get more in time. Everything was depressing and awful. Having just gone through that experience made this happy day seem so much better than usual. This afternoon Atticus was getting fussy ready for his nap so I went outside and sat on the swing under the cherry tree. It’s blooming so beautifully right now. The ground below is becoming dotted with pink petals. I sat there swinging with my son, and looked up at the canopy of blooms above me, the sun casting dappled shadows through the branches. Life seemed good.


Then the mood of the day changed.

Our children attend a private school, with grades K-8. Adjacent to their school is a high school. While the two have separate administration and staff  there are many students who graduate from 8th grade and then attend the high school. Every year the graduating high school seniors take a trip to Grenada where they assist with mission work. I remember seeing the large group gathered outside the high school on Thursday morning when I dropped off the children at school. It looked as if they were all praying, and my first thought was that it’s not National Prayer Day. Then I remembered that they are leaving for their trip.

Late this afternoon I received a phone call from a friend who told me that one of the senior boys drowned while swimming on their very first day in Grenada. Apparently the group had finished a project ahead of schedule and decided to go swimming.

I don’t know the young man or his parents, but his grandparents attend our church. My heart just grieves for what they must be going through. My three youngest children were playing outside when I heard the news, and I wanted to gather them up and bring them inside and not let them out of the house again. I’m not an emotional, crying type of person, but I felt the tears sting my eyes when I told Alaina the sad news. She was reading a book on her kindle and I gave her a tight hug, thinking that never will I allow her to go on a senior trip. I don’t know exactly why, but it seems so much worse that this boy was so far from his family when it happened. Not only do they have to grieve this sudden loss, but I imagine the logistics involved will be quite burdensome. How exactly do you go about transporting your child back to the proper country in a case like this?

I ache for the parents of the remaining seniors, too. How they must wish they could embrace their children right now, to cry with them and soothe them.

This class is well aware of death, and the frailness of life. They have a classmate, J, who was unable to travel with them because he is being slowly ravaged by cancer. I don’t think that they expected that he would outlive one of them. And so it is especially heart breaking that while they have all been preparing their hearts for the loss of one classmate, they are now losing someone else.

It seems so cruel, young men, practically still boys, having their bodies harbor a thing which is trying to take their life. I know of two other even younger boys who are currently fighting cancer too. I don’t know them personally, but Facebook has a way of making us aware of all the people who are ailing. A friend’s nephew who is the same age as my oldest daughter is being treated for cancer. I try not to think about it too much. It’s scary to think that our children are not promised health and long life  just because they are precious to us.

I feel a bit rambling. It’s hard to think coherently at this time of the night. But it is even harder to sleep when things like this happen.

Tonight as Earl came home from work and backed his truck in the driveway he paused at the front door. I picked Atticus up and handed him in the open window. It has become a routine thing, Atticus sitting on Earl’s lap as he backs the truck down the rest of the driveway and into the garage. Tonight he played with all the buttons and levers as I told Earl the sad news. I looked at my son, sitting with his Daddy, the sun slowly fading in the sky behind them,  and I hoped that God would never take him from me.



  1. Yes its so sad and just on wed eve a father backed over his son. They live across from B B’s on scafferstown. The boy would have had his 3rd birthday on thu. Gods ways are not our ways!

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