This weekend we went to a family wedding on Saturday night. I do love a fun wedding and the reception was at the Rococo in downtown Lincoln, which was a super cool venue. We got Dekker up at 6:45AM and he was ready for an early nap, then we all traveled to the church. He had been asking for Papa and Nana for several days, and it was so fun when he woke up from his nap to finally say "We get to go see Papa and Nana!" He was so thrilled.
We got to the church and just like in the movies, he jumped out of Dave's arms and ran straight to his Papa. His little tie was blowing in the wind, his long sleeved shirt tucked into his khaki pants with leather loafers-- are you kidding me-- he was adorable! He sat on Papa's lap and took the entire wedding in like such a champ-- he barely moved he was snuggled in so well. At one point in the wedding I looked over to him and silently thanked God. I just love that kid so much. And I'm so thankful to the gift-giver for such an incredible gift.
When the wedding was over we blew bubbles at the bride and groom and headed to the car for the reception. But Dekker was beside himself. We peeled him out of my Dad's arms while he hysterically called out, "Papa, Papa." We tried so hard to explain that we will see Papa VERY SOON, like in 5 minutes, and that we are going to the SAME PLACE, just taking different cars. We said that Papa is driving his car and we are driving our car and we will get to spend lots more time with him in a SHORT WHILE. He was barely comforted by this, and the reunion at the reception was sweet for sure!
I am knee deep in grief, loss and bereavement literature at the college in preparation for one of my classes. So this might seem kinda morbid... but I think waiting for heaven is a lot like that drive to the reception. I can hear God saying to me... "Stefanie, you (and Grandma/Grandpa/Uncle Don/Baby Rowe/Etc) are going to the SAME PLACE, just taking different "cars." You will see him/her VERY SOON." And that is true. Just that my definition of Very Soon is a lot like Dekker's-- as in, I'd like it to be yesterday, right now, or in the immediate for-see-able future. When you understand the final destination and have full faith in an eternal God, the "short drive" seems a little more bearable-- it is a matter of confidence in the destination ("Heaven is real") and perspective ("Even many many years on earth compares not to eternity").
Well, all that being said, I'll cry at the next funeral I go to. It is still so hard to understand grief and loss, and I know that "buck up therapy" rooted in "Why are you sad? You'll see her again someday?" is really not helpful. At all. But today, looking back and ahead, I think God taught me something about perspective while I wrestled a sobbing Dekker into his carseat.
On the Journey,