Thursday, October 22, 2015

A New Chapter

Displaying Rach&Jon_wedding-0413.jpg
Rachel and me on her wedding day. 

We love this beautiful young woman who Joey loved.
 We have shed many tears together after Joey's passing. 
She has traveled numerous times cross-country to be with us for painful holidays and anniversary days in the past seven years. 
She has loved each and all of us with tenderness. 
We fittingly call her our daughter-in-love. 

In September, she married a wonderful man.
He has tremendous character and strength.It's pretty hard not to have complete respect for the man who loved and courted this grieving young woman with so much compassion and sensitivity.

We are thankful for him, for her, for the joy of this day,
and for the future that's unfolding before her. 

Though a day like this can't help but be bittersweet, we also can't resist rejoicing with her.
She is the most beautiful soul and she deserves every happiness that life and love can bring. 
And new beginnings. 

So a new chapter begins with a most radiant bride walking down a grassy green aisle in sunny Southern California and we are thankful to witness it. 
And to know that this young woman's heart could be put back together again after a shattering loss. 
And that God's mercies never cease. 

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Beautiful Son

We came to Maui for Joey's birthday. 

He had the ability to make every day a celebration. He loved a party. 

We brought along two granddaughters, who are island girls at heart. 

They knew they were coming to honor their Uncle Joey's birthday. 

Joe had a slice of lava engraved to commemorate Joey's birthday and death day. It was something he had wanted to do for a long time, and he finally accomplished it on this trip, seven years later. It is amazing how much grief slows down the very best of intentions. 

The poem engraved on the lava stone comes from this poem, composed by Joey from magnetic letters, one random day when he was traveling around the country on his year long road trip. Rachel photographed it and then we re-found it after he passed. We were instantly struck by the foreshadowing, the wisdom and the comfort in this poem.  Life is full of  mystery, and we have felt that sideways grace even in our loss. These words have ministered to our pain many times in the past seven years. 

So we decided to place it near the wall outside our condo. His ashes were scattered in the waters beyond. This was his favorite view in Maui, and in the days after his death, many people laid flowers here in his honor. It is the right spot to memorialize him. 

The memorial stone surrounded by flowers.

This is a picture of Joey and his sister and brother-in-law taking in this beautiful view  below eight years ago. 

We like that we have a permanent place that honors his beautiful life. 
Tonight we dine at his favorite Maui restaurant.

Though it never gets easier, we are comforted in laying this stone.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Son. 
We love you forever. 
Aloha Oe.
Till we meet again. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Sunrise Prayer

Summer Sunrise off Sandbridge in Virginia Beach,  July 2015, 6:00 am

Thinking about my life so far.
Thinking about my journey through grief.
Hoping to lift my eyes to bigger things.
Hoping I will be changed for the better.

Thinking about the relentless tide of sorrow in this world.
Thinking about the temptation to only see that.
Hoping to tame discouragement into the corner of its cage.
Hoping to make room for the free birds of joy, peace, and grace.

Thinking about the goodness of this life, the miracles that slip in silently.
Thinking this is the nourishment that sustains me.
Hoping hope will overcome the heavy weight of narrow vision.
Hoping to have eyes to see the holy magic in the world.