Outside, though, the lemon tree continues its predictable pattern of growing beautiful yellow lemons year after year. To me, their predictability is both comforting and bittersweet. When all else is changing, the fruit trees remain the same—dutifully growing, changing, and repeating the pattern year after year.
Everyone has before-and-afters in life. Little did I know, in spring of 2014, my life would be defined by two before-and-afters that occurred in the span of one month.
We live in an age of parenting where want to fix things. We want our children to be happy. Yet when our kids lose a loved one, we cannot fix things for them. We cannot make them better. We can, however, show them how to grieve through our example.
“Water broke. Need you here,” wrote my sister’s husband, Joe. I stared at my phone, trying to comprehend how so much grief and sadness could be packaged into such small, simple words. How could so few words say so much? How could they completely eviscerate all hope?
With time and distance, I felt myself appreciating the full spectrum of emotions that came with my experience of having a high risk pregnancy and preemie babies. Thinking about how easily we could’ve had a different outcome. Thinking about how grateful we were to have our three girls. Thinking about my sister. Thinking about Elise.