Last Friday I was driving two crabby girls around in the back of my car waiting for them to either lighten up or fall asleep. I had 10 minutes to spare before I had to be someplace, so I stopped by my old "sure-fire waste 10 minutes" place-- the cemetery. I like to go at least once a week, mostly a few times. It had been a few days and I drove on in hoping I could escape the car a few minutes to visit Liv's patch of grass. Before I even pulled the car up I saw it and my breath caught in my chest and the hysterical tears began.
I hadn't been expecting it. They hadn't said that they would call when it came in, I just figured they would. But they didn't, and I couldn't pretend like I hadn't seen it. Thanksgiving to Christmas had been the time frame-- I guess it came a little early. Nevermind that they forgot to attach the vase...
After I finished my hysterics, a phone call to Brian and my mother, and a visit to Liv I really looked at the headstone. It seemed a bit plain, but then again, thats kind of our style. All the information is correct and I began to really focus on that sentence at the bottom. We really struggled for a while with what to add to the stone. We could have put the "you will be missed", "she was beautiful", "and angel among us" type sentence and none of that would really be wrong. But Brian and I thought that we would be the ones looking at it-- not Liv. We will always remember her silly, ornery attitude, that she was SO beautiful, and what her short life meant to us. We thought, though, there might be days-- either days or decades from when this stone arrived-- that we might be tempted to feel entitled, to wag our finger at God, or to be angry with Him that he shorted our family. We thought that lyric from Liv's song would remind us of what we really need to know when we visit her.
We needed to remember that the promises of God are certainly true all the time and are the ONLY thing we can really trust in in this life. He does not promise a happy, easy life obviously. But His promises are so much more expansive and long lasting. They are promises for the soul and not so much for the body. Those promises are what I am thankful for. Late at night when I'm thinking of Liv and the loss that we an incurred when she left, I have NOTHING else but the promises of God to hold onto. He is faithful-- all the time. It is against His nature to ever be contrary to that. There is so much consolation in His word-- not only consolation, but joy.
So, Happy Thanksgiving.