While viewing photos of my dear friend and her children I am touched by the true bond of a family that continues to amazingly remain in tact after the impact of life, loss, and forgiveness. To watch a family evolve over the years and be part of that process is a privilege that is undeniably challenging, complicated and heartfelt at times. It is a long walk, but we do it together.
On a sunny summer picnic day this family of five rediscovered the water of a well known area they knew to be their special place, to safely swim and enjoy the fresh breadth of a renewed relationship. There is a pleasant privacy for the parent as they watch their children rediscover what they always knew was there, a bond of unconditional love that cannot be taken from them. In a single moment of laughter and playfulness, their father takes a routine dive into the crisp yet cool water that changes the dynamics of this family forever. The lake becomes a blanket of stillness and reflects a past present and an unknown future.
After many months of medical tests, crying, painfully smiling, and suffering the paralyzed yet intact mind of a once loving parent slips away leaving a wife and three children to live on. A courageous and untimely battle only a soldier knows well. This heartbreak follows closely with soft inspiration from genuine friends and family. A new birth begins as they follow a footprint in his name with tears and laughter of life moments they have shared. A conscious choice is made to live not as a lost or forgotten family, but one that sees the serenity of a new beginning.
I listen to the innocent laughter as it still brings me to my knees. The children who seem to have the precious ability to know what loss is and embrace it. The parent who loses a spouse yet doctors the daily challenges of wisdom, encouragement and laughter necessary for this family to continue to bond and grow—as green things should.
A family who deserves to complete the full circle of life knowing with each step they take, he walks beside them with a soldiers smile.