|Jami and her family, the day we left California to live in Oregon~July 2008|
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Two days after Thanksgiving, Jami and her family arrived early in the evening with a food dish to add to my menu.
She kissed my cheek and wrapped her arms around me, hanging on tight. “How are you doing, Mommy?”
My tears welled behind lashes for the hundredth time that day. “I’ll be okay now that you are here.”
She nodded. “I love you, Mom.” She went about setting the table.
After our meal, we set Joshua’s favorite birthday dessert on the table: New Orleans chocolate cake. No candles. No singing. Quietly I sliced the cake, and Jami dished up the ice cream.
One of my grandchildren said, “Uncle Joshy’s cake tastes good, Nana.” I smiled, tears stinging at the bridge of my nose.
Later, we cleared the leftovers, and everyone spread around at different places at two tables.
I piled boxes of puzzles on the breakfast bar and spoke to my grandchildren. “Okay, I picked easier puzzles for you. We adults will help if you want.” Most of them chose an animal puzzle and got to work.
I stood at a distance and watched my family. My son-in-law helped two of his children with one puzzle. What started out as an awkward night, celebrating Joshua’s birthday without him, became a relaxed determination to honor him.
As I cleaned the dishes and wiped counters, I quietly cried, so as not to disturb my family and their peaceful moment.
Father God, thank You for a family willing to gather together even though it’s difficult. We miss our Joshua, and nothing we do will bring him back. Help us to love one another through these hardest of days. In Jesus’s holy name, I ask. Amen.