Well the bittersweet day has arrived. Robert suggested we have a picnic at Mary Grace's grave today, so we did that. I liked the idea immediately. It was nice to be able to share something as commonplace as a family meal at her grave. I realize that sounds quite strange, to go and have a picnic at a cemetery.
And it is a little.
But it also made me feel like she was still part of our family...like she was there with us in spirit...it made me feel good to share something else with her other than just my company. Partaking in a meal near her seemed a little more intimate than just staring at her grave.
As we were pulling into the cemetery, Isabel announced our arrival, "We're here to the cemetery to see Mary Grace!" And then after a brief pause, "Is Mary Grace here?" she asked.
"Well, Mary Grace is in heaven, sweetie," I replied.
"Here? Is this heaven?" she questioned.
"No sweetie, this isn't heaven." (I inwardly chuckled at her innocent question and thought with delight if only we could go and visit our dead loved ones in heaven whenever we wanted, just like going to visit them at the cemetery). "This is the cemetery where we go to remember people who have died." 'Are we really having this conversation?' I thought.
"Oh. Look at all the flowers, Mommy! Those are for all the babies." (Oh the innocence of children...she thought the entire cemetery was for babies who had died).
"Well some of them are babies and some of them are older too, like grandparents." I told her.
"What did Mary Grace look like, Mommy?"
"She looked like a little baby, Isabel. She looked like a tiny little baby."
Later, while we were eating she picked up the conversation again...
"Mommy, when will we see Mary Grace?"
"We'll see Mary Grace when we go to heaven. One day we will all be together in heaven. She just went first." At this point I found that I could no longer finish my lunch. It was just too hard trying to keep my emotions in check and eat as well.
She just went first.
Isn't that the reality of it? The joyful reality? We are all wanting and waiting to get to heaven. That is our ultimate goal, the purpose of our lives; to live out His will for our lives and be with Him in heaven.
She just went there first.
She is the lucky one. She didn't have to go through the sadness or trials, or pain or ugliness of this world. She went straight to heaven. She got to skip the hard work and go straight to the reward! Straight to glory and joy, and power and the light of God...how awesome. And how lucky she is.
So while today is sad in some ways, it can be a day to celebrate and have some sense of joy. I don't have to worry about her on earth. I know she is in good hands in heaven.
And now I can focus on the joys of being married to the love of my life for 6 beautiful years. We have loved hard and cried hard over these six years, and I could not have done it all without my husband. He is the rock of our family and my best friend. Thank you, Rob for all that you are to me! Happy Anniversary!