Monday, October 10, 2016

Sweet Sorrow

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 283: Today, I am grateful that "parting is such sweet sorrow".
Today, would have been my sister, April's, 49th birthday. It is her 21st in heaven. We never forget the dates of the birth and death of a loved one. It is not because of the "shadow of death". It is because they mattered.

Shakespeare wrote so brilliantly- "Parting is such sweet sorrow.". It is from Romeo and Juliet at a kiss goodnight. The sorrow of being parted and the sweetness of knowing it is only temporary. Sweet sorrow, indeed.

April's death was long ago. It was two weeks before her scheduled wedding day. Such a shock. She had a congenital heart defect that had been undiagnosed. She had completed military training basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and began her Air Force career at Kadena in Okinawa. She had soon met the love of her life...a handsome Marine... and they were coming home to be married on the farm. Her heart defect caused her to simply fall asleep... into death... as she talked to her Marine on the phone. Her last breath was so gentle, that he thought she had fallen asleep... and it wouldn't have been the first time. That's the story in short version. Her parting was such sweet sorrow.

A military funeral instead of a wedding. It had been 15 months since we had seen here. No easy satellite phone calls overseas in 1995. No Skype. No Facebook. Far away... was far away.

I am grateful for the gift of our last, brief phone conversation. It was over a few "small" alterations Mama thought she might do on the wedding dress. It was Mama's dress first worn by her mother. A simple satin dress... but Mama had visions of Scarlett O'Hara poof. Mama, a seamstress with bridal gown experience, had a plan. I knew April loved the simple lines of Mama's gown just the way it was. We had a great laugh and she thanked me for the intervention. We ended the call with" I love you. See you soon.". Parting is such sweet sorrow.

I woke up to one of my current favorites on the radio. For King and Country's "Priceless". God's timing strikes again.

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

This song hits struck so many notes this morning. The superficial, artificial light that the world casts about the definition of beauty. The church is referred to as "the Bride of Christ". This word image evokes so many lessons on his love as it is related to the human experience. Relating the way Christ loves us as individuals and as as church. Earworm is still singing "Priceless", but I do not mind.

With thoughts of April... and wedding dresses in mind... my thoughts transitioned to the bride in our future.

This weekend included dress shopping with my future daughter. Emma will be my daughter-in-love instead of in-law. She will bind herself to our son and our family... and he will to her family. I know he got the win in the "in-laws" department. We are gratitude overflows that God answered our prayers for their future spouses... together.

Wedding dress shopping was so much fun! Raising sons, I was over the moon with joy to be asked to join the excursion. It was fun to see the future bride surrounded by her bridesmaids... including her sister. They were all there to offer encouragement, honest opinions and support. She had sisters... both biological and the sisterhood born in friendship. Both are are precious and priceless.

Emma will be a beautiful bride. Breathtaking, in whichever dress she chooses... because real love lights us from the inside. It isn't about the dress, although we all want her to feel like a princess in the she chooses. Chase will be in awe. More of the "Priceless" lyrics come to mind...Earworm is at a crescendo:

No matter what you've heard, this is what your worth
More than all the money or the diamonds and pearls
Oh this is who you are
Yea this is who you are...
I see you dressed in white... 
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

This day is bringing together the reminder once again... that God's ways are at times a mystery, but we can relish that:

"This God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take take refuge in him." -Psalm 18:30

Note - TWO semicolons to remind us to pause and that the thoughts are connected!

His way. His word. His truth. His protection. It is for all who choose him.
Chosen ones... parting is such sweet sorrow.

It was with April... it is for Chase and Emma at each parting... I still feel it when Randy and I part with a kiss for the day's work... and it still is for Jesus. Sweet sorrow.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. -John 14:1-3

The necessity of the Holy Spirit to be his presence in the void until he comes again. Sweet sorrow.

Sweet; there is love. Sorrow; there is separation. Celebration; separation is temporary. It is a brief ticktock in eternity's clock.

Today, I am grateful that "parting is such sweet sorrow". Here is the link to Priceless.

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