A TANGIBLE REMINDER
I made lunch for Logan today. Yup, you read that right. Today I made lunch for my son who is no longer here…
My sister Kelley and her kids came over to hang out for the day. Eventually hunger grumbles started to emerge from the hoard of children, and so, I started making lunch just like I have done hundreds of times over. Without a second thought, I set out six tiny, brightly colored plates and made six tiny ham sandwiches. At one point, I even double checked my count to make sure I wasn’t a meal short. I added grapes and chips and bacon (don’t ask) and then started calling kids to the table. I didn’t even notice my error until there was one plate left, sitting alone on the table. Even then, it took me a moment to realize that all the little people in my house had their lunch, and yet, there was still one plate remaining. And then I pieced it together.
The moment was followed by a slightly out of line comment to my sister, that also happened to be in front of my nine year old niece, Sydney. Sydney stared at me with wide eyes, not sure how to react. I apologized, and then was left with a heartbreaking reminder. There SHOULD have been six plates. I have three kids and Kelley has three kids … and there should be six plates. And yet, there are only five.
I was a bit surprised how choked up it made me. I stood in the kitchen staring at that lone plate trying to hide my tears. I was mad that I was crying over something that seemed so ridiculous, and mad that I still can be so caught off guard by my grief. Moments like these are fewer these days, but still bring me right back to the day Logan died. It has been nearly six years. SIX years! Up until today I have never experienced ANYTHING along this path remotely close to what I did today. And that is exactly why I wanted to share it with you. There are always new and unexpected hurdles on this journey.
Eventually Kelley asked me if I had just accidentally miscounted. Many of you probably are thinking the same. I think the reason I was so upset was because I knew in my heart I didn’t. I am always very aware of what is missing. I still think about Logan EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is a piece of me that is aware of his absence constantly. I have lived that way for almost six years now. I just didn’t realize that there was a dormant part of me - albeit small and apparently very deeply hidden - that is still carrying on like he is still here.
Today as I watch my kids and their cousins run around in the backyard I am tangibly reminded that someone is missing and always will be on this side of Heaven. I am reminded as I personalized every sandwich for each kid, that I will never know if Logan would have wanted mustard and mayo or if he would have even liked sandwiches at all. That one kills me. I should know him better than anyone, and yet, I don’t know him at all.
And so the grief journey goes ... mountains and valleys … good days and bad days and just straight up sad days … days I just need to sit in the sorrow and days where by God’s grace I can keep walking. My pastor once said, “In the end it will be ok, and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.” It indeed is not the end. So for today I’m gonna go ahead put a check in the “sad” box. Come tomorrow, I’ll dust off my knees, stand up and try to start walking again. And when lunch time comes, I am going to grab just two of those tiny plates, but in my heart know there will forever be three.