I had my hair trimmed yesterday in our new hometown. Making polite conversation, the stylist asked, “How many children do you have?”
“Three boys,” I replied then quickly followed up with, “But they’re all grown and gone” to avoid making her uncomfortable with that awkward ‘my oldest died’ conversation.
But she asked where each lives. I swallowed hard to keep from tearing up, told her where my younger two live, and explained that my eldest died in a car crash fifteen years ago at the age of seventeen.
She asked his name. How could she have known how desperate I was to say his name? Even though tears welled in my eyes, I sat up a little straighter in the salon chair and proclaimed, “Joseph. His name is Joseph.”
The emotions of saying his name leave me conflicted! There’s sadness because I yearn to see his face, breathe in the scent that was only his, and hold him in my arms. Yet I am thankful for the healing that’s taken place and that I’m learning to live with his absence. It also fills me with joy to say his name aloud, to introduce him to someone new, and think about who he was.
I choose to dwell on the joy.
You are so kind to us. Thank you! Thank you for the sweet lady who asked his name. Thank you for the opportunity to say it out loud yesterday. Thank you for seventeen years with that beautiful soul, my son Joseph. Thank you for Phil, Curt (Michelle & Cole), and Wyatt. Thank you for sitting with us in our grief and keeping our family intact. Please, please don’t let us waste our grief. Let each member of the Ramsey family become more like You every day. Please let us bring You glory and honor in all that we do.
And Lord, I ask the same for everyone who is missing a loved one today.