Two years ago on this day, my first grandson died. We lived our worst nightmare that first month. The first year continued to be hard, all the firsts without Harper- Christmas and birthdays and Mother's Day and vacations. But I guess that maybe I thought after that first year it would get easier.
I didn't anticipate that, really, it doesn't get easier. Not really. There will always and forever be a hole in our family. Last month, I sent Advent calendars to my grands, and I had to rip up a card, and then an envelope, when without even thinking, I wrote Harper's name on both. I do that all the time when naming my grands. I never really know what to say when asked how many grandkids I have. I have four, but not everyone knows how to respond when you mention, "but my oldest died." This year, my second grandson turned the same age of his brother, and all of the sudden I realized, "He's going to start doing things that Harper never did..." And such begins a different season of grief.
On this day, I'm a little bit short of breath, remembering my guy. But I want to make sure, I do not grieve as those without hope. In response to a grieving mother, John Piper wrote about honoring God even in our sorrow, that "at every moment of the lengthening grief, we turn to him, not away from him. And therefore, the length of it is a way of showing him to be ever present, enduringly sufficient."
This I know to be true.
I think that perhaps, most of all, we want to believe that the loss of our dear one was not in vain. Harper died of a heart condition that was not discovered. But his death gave opportunity for all the kids of the family to be checked for the same abnormality. And so, although we mourn, we were also comforted when Harper's younger cousin was found to have the same heart condition, and had it corrected by surgery. In a strange way, our loss perhaps saved a little one and for that, we rejoice.
But more than anything else, I trust the sovereign God, and respond with the saints of old who when asked "
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him."Even still, miss you much, Harper buddy.