But as the days wore on I knew it was something more. Something I couldn't put my fingers on. As I was looking through old photo albums I kept coming across the same images that had popped into my mind in California.
Joe at Disneyland. Joe at the White House. Joe laughing with siblings.
Our visit to Reagan's Library brought back so many memories. It was fun to see the youngest kiddos in front of the Presidential helicopter that we used to watch take-off from the White House lawn.
There are certain parts of Disney that can only flash back.
Vacations will never be the same. Life will never be the same. We are missing a piece to our puzzle, which makes the whole scene look incomplete. And the only way to walk through grief is to acknowledge it, allow it to be, and keep walking through it.
Just before we went to California I had been cleaning the bookshelf in the boys' bedroom. Sigh. There are so many I will keep forever simply because they were Joe's favorites. We don't have a lot of Joe's things. He had moved out before we lost him and he was a non-materialistic kind of guy. Most of what we have are his toys and books from childhood. Joe was this unusual combination of high intelligence, athlete, yet kid-at-heart. He played with toys forever! His favorites: Transformers, Beast Wars, Star Wars, Nerf, Matchbox, and made-up-games with baseball cards. He also loved to read, especially non-fiction, science fiction, adventure, and books with animals.
Some of his belongings had been packed away for safekeeping. I decided it's time to bring them out. Let's enjoy them, not hide them away.
But Easter is coming. New life. New hope. New memories mixing with the old, bringing thankfulness for all that we had together, in the short time we shared.
Until we meet again. Thank you Jesus.