Intertwined: Sunshine and Snow
I've got a birthday coming up--and it's one of those birthdays. Let's just say I'll be the same age as Barbie and leave it at that.
Milestone birthdays are usually times of reflection--and that's even more true this year. I continue to walk alongside my friends whose son, Ian, just died after battling cancer for 15 months. One thing I'm relearning is that life is full of moments filled with both sunshine and snow.
I told my husband Rob that I can't say Ian lost his battle with cancer. Ian never gave up fighting cancer. Every day Ian faced cancer with courage and wisdom beyond his 13 years. At Ian's funeral, his older brother, Wes, said that Ian lived believing that you don't sweat the small stuff--and Ian believed cancer was small stuff.
What an amazing truth to learn from a teenager.
At Ian's funeral, there were moments where tears flowed and laughter was shared--sunshine and snow. Sometimes tears and laughter mingled together. As we watched a slideshow that captured oh-so-precious glimpses of Ian's too-brief life, I found myself smiling and crying at the same time.
Perfect moments caught by the camera and treasured by those of us during a painfully imperfect moment.
A short while later, we stood with the family by Ian's graveside. I know that mingled in our tears were questions of why and how and when--Why did this happen and How do we go on without Ian and When will the pain lessen? I was comforted by the minister's reminder that the God I believe in asked "Why?" when he hung on the cross for the sins of all men.
As my family walked back to our car, I held my daughter's hand. I could hear Christa saying something.
"What did you say, Christa?"
"Honey, what did you say?" I leaned down closer to hear her.
"Nothing," she repeated.
"Were you singing?"
"Yes," she whispered.
"Were you singing Ian's song?"
Tears came again as I witnessed my daughter trying to grasp hope in the midst of a painfully imperfect moment.
As we continued to walk to the car, I joined her in singing Ian's song. My husband and our other daughter joined us to softly sing, "How great is our God ... "
Ian never stopped believing.
Why should we?