I was sitting in the living room a while ago when I noticed a police officer remove his hat as he climbed my back stairs. My mind darted to that day in the ER when I learned that Joseph had died. My heart leaped into my throat. My husband often travels for work but is working at home today, so I knew it wasn’t him. With tears flooding my eyes, I yelled for Phil and then opened the door.
“Who is it?” I demanded of the officer. Thankfully, thankfully he was looking for someone else, and neither Curt nor Wyatt (nor the person whom the trooper was looking for) is dead.
I came unglued and collapsed into my husband’s arms the minute the officer walked out of my door. His visit was a reminder that I am not exempt from losing another child. None of us is.
Even though I was interrupting their workdays, I sent each of my two living sons a text message, asking each to let me know he is okay and reminding him how furiously his dad and I love him.
Life is like that 15 ½ years later. Now and then little triggers cause major meltdowns and catapult me right back into that horrible moment.
This time it was seeing a police officer remove his hat and walk up to my door. The first time was when I took an injured friend to that same ER where I learned my seventeen-year-old was dead. Most of the time when I come upon a car crash, I can pray for the victim and his parents. But there have been occasions when I inexplicably came unglued at the sight of a mangled car or the flashing lights of police cars, firetrucks, and ambulances.
Some say these occurrences are PTSD. All I know for sure is that those rare moments overtake me and all I can do is surrender to them, believing that God sits with me in each just as He has in every other moment of my grief.
Friend, do you have children? Hug, visit, call or text every single one of them today. Tell each one you love him. And then drop to your knees and thank God for each child by name and the privilege of being his parent.
Life is not a promise. Every breathing moment is a gift.