There are huge blessings to be enjoyed in living in another country, many of them already shared here- but the absolute worst thing about living overseas is losing someone dear back home.
Last Sunday was a normal Sunday. Lazy morning, walked to church with hubs, went to the grocery store on the way home and only then did I check my email on my phone. There were three emails from my sister saying ‘call me’. When I did call her back, I learned that my sister-in-law had died the evening before in a car accident. This news took my breath away. This is not real. She is too young. She is too loved. She is too much a big part of our lives. Wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, friend, aunt. The details were sketchy, my brother doesn’t remember what happened.. a blur. Route 360 is a mostly deserted highway in a out of the way part of Virginia. Plainness and scrub. Trees and water tanks, the occasional pizza and feed store. This is not the scene where such unreal life-altering drama is supposed to unfold. But this is where Shelly left us to go with Jesus to be with him instead of us.
Jesus- we want her back.
I went for a walk on the beach to think and pray last week. The ocean is one thing that you can stare at for hours and hours and it invites wandering thought and introspection. It seems to contain its own form of peace, wisdom, infinitude. Its waves and winds speak of life, fear and improbable depth. It is big enough to swallow whole the burdens and grief of the whole world. Maybe thats why the tides are rising- the tears of the world keep flowing. As I walked along, the tide was out and I started picking up stones.
and it occurred to me to make a cairn for Shelly as a remembrance.
She loved the beach. Green sea glass crowns her little cairn. It is fragile just like us, worn from years of wear but beautiful from having been through the depths and washed upon the shores of heaven. It is there that Jesus has collected her into his arms and there is rest and healing and beauty itself. He has taken us into his wounded heart and there we will be healed at last.