Grief is a weird thing. It’s all encompassing. It’s one minute of laughing at a great memory and the next bursting into tears because the longing it be with that person is just too much. 
It’s choosing to eat at her favorite restaurant but also trying to keep busy because you don’t want to think too much. It’s texting family to see how they’re holding up, and then commiserating that this all just stinks. I asked my brother today when he thinks this will get easier. And his answer was birth so very true, comforting and also the worst thing I could hear all at the same time. “I hope it never does” was his response. And that so encompasses the conflicting feelings.
In as much as I don’t want to hurt, I want to never forget. But never forgetting means carrying this constant ache that never goes away. And that constant conflict hides inside your head every day. Trying to explain is painful. Living in silence is lonely. 
The truth is, there was a beautiful life lived. It was vibrant and expressive and the type of life I hope to live. She was kind, sacrificing, loving beyond measure, joyful, and so very humble. She was the opposite of me- never wanting the spotlight and simply living in the center of her world. Her life was her family. She needed nothing else. She wanted to be their everything, and she was. 
She sang beautifully. High and sweet. She was beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful that was simply outward. Her beautiful was throughout. Her heart was soft toward others. 
She was content. I say that again because I strive to have that quality. She was content. I want to be content like she was. In every circumstance. Though pain was a daily constant for her, she never complained and never required pity. 

She was not perfect. I don’t want to be that person who makes up things about a person that wasn’t really those things. My sister WAS alllllll those things. Ask anyone who knew her and they will agree. 
I can still hear the way she yelled at her son. Jayyyy-cob. 

The way she called my name, like I was three, even when I was 23. It didn’t matter to her. I was Bethie Mae even when I was about to mother my first child. The conversations we had about raising babies. The things I could only ask her. The moments we shared are priceless. 

I wish I would have called more. I wish I would have taken the time to get her cheesecake recipe. I wish so many things. 

But those things I can’t change. I can’t change what was. 

But I can change what is. I can choose to make those calls now. I can choose to say I love you a million and one times. I can choose to live in the moment and drink in the now. I can choose to spend time with those that matter and always choose people over things. 
The truth is, I never want to forget. I want the pain of the memory because it’s as sweet as painful. It’s hope in and of itself because the promise I have that this is not my home. This place is not the end. It’s not final and it’s not finished. I will see her again. She will be the one giving me my tour of my new home. She will speak of Glory with familiarity and joy. She will be waiting. I will hear her voice and hug her neck. It is not for her that I mourn. It’s not despair, it’s longing. It’s wanting to be in the joy that her reality is. It’s desiring to experience that joy for myself but also wanting to see her without pain and limits. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know who she is without restrictions. I’m so very excited to see that side of her. 
Today, she would have been 48. Instead, she is just a few weeks shy of 4 years in Heaven. I don’t understand the why, but I trust the One who knows beyond my understanding. I wish, for my and her babies sake, that she was here. But I am so thankful that she is not in pain. I’m thankful that she can walk. I’m thankful that she can dance and run without pain. 
Today, I will celebrate her life. I will remember everything I can possibly remember. I will reminisce and I will cry. I will tell my babies why she was important. I will tell her babies of all the ways that I want to be like her. I will tell them of her unconditional love. 
If you’ve ever walked through grief, you know the pendulum. You understand the paradox of memories. Today, I will take solace that “The pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home”. This is not where the story ends. This is a chapter of the story. Not the end of the book. 
“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 ‭14:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬