One year ago today my baby boy (and only son) was married. That day was a blur of emotion, but I remember sitting down after the guests had left and feeling the energy of love lingering. The room had been filled with different personalities, different families, different beliefs, and past arguments that evaporated, if only for that one night, all because the strongest feeling in the world – love, has that magical power. Nothing else mattered that day but the celebration of love.
My son left for military training soon after, his newly wedded bride showed her true colors of independence and strength, trading in her bridal white and wearing it in the most beautiful color of brave. Not long after Connor’s return, the family came together in that same church where they had recently walked the aisle, but this time shrouded in grief and sadness with the sudden accident that stole the bride’s best friend, her only brother. That grief still raw and sadness still deep, likely to forever loiter.
Life continued. New experiences abounded with new homes. New jobs. Promotions. Vacations. Book releases. Television appearances. So many new additions for our family, and then in January the newest addition, a baby boy – our first grandchild.
Life stopped. Dotted in the middle were losses. So many losses. The blur of the that time not forgotten, because grief never lets you forget, but we continued to conjure up love so not to surrender to the sadness. There were days, we, like chemists, weighed the portions so there was always an appropriate balance.
Physical pain for months and months finally lent a diagnosis for my husband – multiple myeloma (plasma cancer). Last week he began a treatment plan that offers a positive outcome. Life. Yet there’s a tone of grief which still hides in dusty corners. As we all deal with world changes due to a novel virus and dodge the debates to quarantine, or not. To mask and glove, or not. To open up the world, or not. To go out in the open world, or not. To fear. Or to not. COVID-19 isn’t the biggest fish in the vast sea of our life, but it’s a fish invasive to our circumstances. Our new life means we do have to mask. We have to not go out into the open world. We have to slow down life. We have to limit the amount of people we see. We have to hold back hugs. Often holding back our tears. Because all we want right now is comfort. To feel that same love we felt one year ago back in that room, when nothing felt impossible. Some days the emotional grief over bounds the physical pain. The absence of a hug. The kiss on the cheek. The absence of company. The absence of distraction. The absence of what we knew as our normal. Gone.
This morning I remember a room filled with love, and in reflection ask for that energy to fill our hearts, if but momentarily. Because love is powerful enough to make doubt, fear, and grief surrender.