9DC22E6F-35C0-4FEF-9D68-D7A3FB8D6305Summer again.  Well almost.  Tomorrow David graduates kindergarten (I know, right?!), and whereas our hearts couldn’t possibly be any prouder of our kind, bright, compassionate and tender-hearted little graduate, we feel the sting of missing his little brother extra deep this week.  It stings because it’s the very first chapter, beginning to end, that doesn’t include Joey at all.  He’s not in any of the pictures, not part of the drop-off, pick-up, morning or homework routines, he’s a name without a face to many of David’s new friends, and he won’t be there for any of the festivities tomorrow.
We miss him.
We miss him so much.
This year has been a steady stream of first-withouts and never-agains.  Driving to the cemetery on Mother’s Day was a reminder of the discipline, faith and trust it requires to allow and make room for joy while also holding space for grief and giving myself permission to mourn.  Since Joey died, mothering has become an art and exploration of love and grief, life and death, new beginnings and the final end.  And though grief has a way of taking over, dull my happiness and fill my eyes with tears, it does not mean that one of them is more special than the other.  I celebrate them both and love them each.  Tomorrow will be no exception.
Nicolas Wolterstorff says it honestly and beautifully, “Death has picked him out, not love.  Death has made him special.  He is special in my grieving.  When I give thanks, I mention all five; when I lament, I mention only him.  Wounded love is special love, special in its wound.  …Of the five, only he has a grave.”
Tomorrow, as we celebrate David, we also remember Joey, it seems impossible to have one without the other.
Mom and Dad are so proud of you, David, and we know Joey would be also 💙.

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