Today our family gathered to remember Lucas on his first birthday. We spent time together just talking and then we visited the cemetery.
Doug and Susie had just had the stone placed for Lucas. It was a beautiful day to be together. The sky was blue and the trees were losing their leaves. The stone is really pretty. There are shades of blue and green and flecks of crystal. The footprints are so sweet. Gwen and Tim had the kids make their hand prints to leave for Lucas. I made the wooden heart that says "Always in our heart". We had time to reflect and just stand together. It was so peaceful and so meaningful. I was remembering last year when Doug and Susie had to select this spot. It was one of those unimaginable experiences to be with your children as they select a grave for their baby son. But even in all of the emotions and the horror of that day, I knew that this was exactly the right choice. As I was standing there today, I was remembering the last line of my blog from last night.... Lucas is in that glorious presence with Jesus, forever.
When we got back to Doug and Susie's house, we took pictures of Lucas bear with the kids with a picture of Lucas. This will be a good tradition and a way to honor Lucas in the years ahead.
I have had many people say "how did you get through that?" Looking back, I know that the only way I got through was because of the powerful presence and peace of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, and the prayers of so many faithful friends and family. Let me tell you, in times like these, this is a very real thing. And then you can put one foot in front of the other, get out of bed each day, and go on......day by day. Watching your son and daughter-in-law go through this....is heartbreaking. I fell to my knees over and over, pleading for Jesus to help them - to help all of us. I found myself begging for hope and faith. Jesus was there to pour out exactly what was needed each day. A very wise person once told me that you never have the "supernatural faith" until you need it. It is the faith that comes in those times of great need. It was that faith that has carried us during this last year and will carry us into the future.
Lucas will always have his place in our family and in our hearts. He will be remembered and honored always. One day we will be reunited with him, in that glorious presence of Jesus, forever.
Jesus, thank you for your great sacrifice for us on the cross. Thank you for the blue sky today and the warm sunshine and the love of family. Thank you for hearing my desperate cries of the last year and pouring out your love on our family. Please watch over Doug and Susie and all of us in the next weeks as we go through this time of remembering. Give us all more grace for those around us who are walking through grief. Keep us sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit every day. Amen