Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Company of Those Who Understand

On our first day with our special visitors, after the children were off to school, we adults were able to gather together for brunch. I can't describe the deep comfort that came from being around Kevin. I felt peace like I haven't felt for a year. He carries so much of Joey's spirit with him, since they've been best friends since the diaper stage, it was almost as if Joey were with us, too. When all these young adults get together, their humor and laughter brings back the best memories, and it was a joyous reunion.

We got to sit for a couple of hours-- eating, talking and remembering. I missed Joey profoundly, so obviously absent from this gathering of some of his closest companions. It was an unusual mixture of emotions--deep comfort and intense longing at the same time.

I don't think I could have done this without the 16 intervening months we've had to do some healing. I think we all felt some trepidation, not certain whether the reunion would send us back to our original grief. But it didn't and we were comforted in being together, much more than we ever expected. I knew there would be emptiness when they left, but I decided to focus on the gift of this present moment.

Of course, baby Josephine also did her part to keep us in the Present. She stole the spotlight whenever she was awake! She's a bundle of squirmy delight and funny faces. Best of all, she holds so much promise for the future.

Here, Melissa and I being grammies together. My beautiful friend Melissa has walked with me so patiently over the rough road, through the valley of the shadow of death. She is such a compassionate and sensitive person, that I felt completely comforted and understood being with her. Melissa was also kind enough to share Josie, even though she hadn't seen her for a while herself, and thanks to her generosity
... I almost met my Josie cuddle quota!

Ecclesiastes 9:7
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.

8 comments:

Jeri said...

Beautiful friends, family, and memories to share. A sweet healing balm.

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for posting these words and photos. It makes my heart so happy for you, and for all of your guests!

flowergardengirl said...

I don't know French but do your wall words say---Love to eat at ( your address?) How appropriate to pose in front of that wording. All of you are barefoot. Oh, I noticed too that Rachel has a plate of yummy eggs and is that fresh tomatoes? Food comforts the soul and you sure fed them well.

Looks like if ya'll were going to heal together then you were going to do it on a full belly. Love it! Our family gathers around the table too and we don't leave for hours.

I've been ask to write an article on biscuits--that's right---the history of biscuits in my family. I guess the request was made to me after this person saw so many references on my blog about food and history--funny huh? You just can't have one without the other.

Breaking bread together is a fundamental fellowship activity.

A Maui Blog said...

oh such tender, tender moments! love reading this Karen.

Gannet Girl said...

"I've decided to focus on.."

And therein lies the courage required to transcend grief, and the balm of good friends with whom we can talk and remember.

Anonymous said...

I knew the visit would be good. As with our visit here. Great guest speaker on Fri night, a new worship leader that was visiting. He was awsome with a new song that went straight to my heart. Sun. was the 29 birthday of Hope so it was a big production. Love the things that make me happy. I saw happiness in your face as well with
all your friends. You are so blessed.
Love Sharon

Maisha Bonnie said...

Karen, this makes me sooo happy!!! :-) my love to you and Joe and the rest of the family...

Anonymous said...

What a blessed time you must have had. I love the picture of you and Melissa being grammies. Josie is so beautiful. I'm sure the brunch was a sweet time of fellowship. Nothing like the love and understanding of special friends who love you and Joey.

Love - Viv