Monday, October 7, 2013

Farm Living Without Your Oldest Son

The night Elijah went home to be with the LORD. 
His bed remained empty. . . and for 10 weeks now that hasn't changed. 
10 weeks of leaning against the door frame, breathing in his scent,
wondering how this can be. . .
How can my son really be gone?
10 weeks of hoping to wake from this nightmare.

 It was his morning to help with  chores. 
Gary did them alone. 
There was no power, so he had to hook up the generator. . .by himself
But, that was the only day. 
For weeks now, friends and family have risen in the early hours to come alongside my farmer.
They have brought feed to the cows, fed calves. . .helped milk. 
Some have come for afternoon milking and helped with chores. 
Never alone. The support so encouraging.
We've shared breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
It has encouraged him. 

So, here we are. 10 weeks into a life without our oldest son.
There is nothing that seems right.
Everything looks and sounds different.
We are all trusting. . .
Wondering how to do this.

I drop the kids off at Youth Group and I head to the grave.
The waves of grief come.
I knew they would, I can't hold them in any longer.
It's been an emotional weekend.
I cry to God as I have so many times. . . Why didn't you intervene?
 I love you so much. You have my heart. . . Why? What is the purpose in this?
I have longed to serve you. . .
Why my son?
Today there is no peace at the grave.
It is dusk.
It is cold.
It is rainy.
I head home.

Elijah's place at the dinner table is empty.
I have tried setting a place.
I have moved all the "table clutter" to that spot.
Yes, I have table clutter, and house clutter. . .lots of it. 
It still seems wrong.
These are the things that break your heart, over and over;
that no one tells you about.
How can they? There are no words to describe this.
I decide to place a candle at his spot.
A symbol of light.
It brings me peace.
And fills the hole.

Elijah and the rest of the kids loved when we ate by candle light.
It seems fitting now.
Isn't God's love like that?
It illuminates the darkness.
Just a small light brings such comfort.
That's all it takes, one small light.
And I run to the only place that will bring the comfort I seek.

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Living without Elijah is hard. 
There is something missing all the time. 
Yet, day by day, God sends us encouragement, in the form of early morning risers for farm help, cards, flowers, Vermont Youth Dancers, visits from friends and sweets delivered to the back door. 

We continue to pray for wisdom, strength and guidance. 
I will light one candle at a time. . .
And He will raise us up, 

to more than we can be. . .

1 comment:

  1. Amen. I'm sure that you ave no idea of the power of your willingness to be open, vulnerable - transparent. The window into your journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death is touching many, many people. Some who don't know the Lord and are amazed at your faith; some who do know the Lord - and are amazed at your faith; and some of us who have walked that path before you, and wish we'd shared it for others as you have. You honor Elijah; you honor the Lord; and you bless your readers. Well done, good and faithful servant! {{{HUGS}}}