There are so many times when I am blown away by another’s gift with words. Where I just have to pause and breathe, and take in the beauty of something that touches, so honestly, the author’s emotions. Sometimes it’s not even the words themselves, but the power those words have to also resonate with us.
With permission from the author, Amy Jones, here are some of those words, shared from her blog, Into the Deep. I don’t know Ms. Jones and I never knew her son, Caleb. But I respect her honesty in these words and her strength in being able to write them. And I speak Caleb’s name here on purpose, so that we remember. Please click on the link below to read her blog post.
We all know that ‘community’ is much more than the neighborhood you live in. I’m lucky enough to have lived in a community that meets all those definitions. You know…neighborhood, friends, family, etc.
It’s one of those tiny towns where it takes you an hour to walk one block. Where going to the general store to get your mail can turn into an all-day event with side trips to the river and someone’s garden, and to borrow a book.
I can’t tell you how many times I saw the knowing grin on my son’s face, or the skeptical look on my husband’s face when I’d say ‘I have to run this book over to Sabrina’s…I’ll be back in a minute.’ And once at Sabrina’s, one story would lead into another story and then another story, and suddenly the stars are coming out.
We’ve laughed and cried together just like any family or community has. We have a history, and so very many stories.
And it’s also a community that knows how to have fun.
This month Sam Grafton’s family will mark his 30th birthday. Three years have passed since he left us.
Three years. That’s such a strange thing to wrap my head around. In some ways it was just yesterday when the call came, and in other ways it’s been an eternity since his family’s world was shattered into billions of bright, sharp points of heartbreak.
In some ways it was just last week that he was a baby rocked in the arms of a friend at the edge of the river.
It was just yesterday that he sat on his mom’s lap and turned his face from me when I was trying to practice doing an evaluation on a toddler.
It was just a few minutes ago when my husband took him in a raft down the Wenatchee River. It was just an hour ago that he and I talked about the test for his driver’s license.
How does life go by so fast? Everyone tells you to treasure the time you have, but we of course don’t. We get caught up in day-to-day work and chores and responsibilities. We get impatient and frustrated and irritable…and then the time is gone. And then the person is gone.
It takes conscious effort to slow down and remember to value those around us. And in the meantime, the whirlwind of time flies by.
Compared to life on this planet, that’s not even a miniscule particle.
Compared to being without someone, it’s an eternity.
1,095 days without Sam in our lives. 26,280 hours since all those tiny candle flames lit up the bridge over the river so his spirit could find his way home in the mountain dark.
I wish I could shape time for those I love, those he left behind. Speed it up or slow it down, or simply ease its passage. But like the river that took Sam, time keeps just flowing around us and we are powerless in its current.
For his mother, who swims those currents, I hope that river holds you in its flow and that you find beauty in its depths and healing in its passage.
Wherever you are, Sam, it’s the time we mark your birth, your arrival into our lives. No matter how much time passes, we are grateful for the years the universe granted us, and I’m sorry we took that time for granted.
I wanted to hug you, Sam, that last day I saw you, but I was afraid of embarrassing you in front of your friends. I will always regret that decision, no matter how much time passes.