Hold On, Pain Ends

Grief is a funny thing.

One day, you can be perfectly fine, feel like you have accepted your loss, and that life will once again be wonderful to live.

The next day, you can be on the verge (or beyond it) of tears at every waking moment.

At different points, there can be several "good" days in a row, or several "bad" days. I think you know you are moving out of grief when there are mostly good days, and the bad days become intermittent.

Right now, my days are in the opposite ratio.

Yesterday, Pastor Nathan spoke at church about how we need to talk to someone about our pain, someone wiser than us that will actually help us through it (rather than mire us down in it.) I am so thankful that God has already provided me with several people that I feel safe talking to about this, and who have been tremendous encouragements to me during this time.

Also, strange as it seems, it helps that I have grieved major losses before--my parents' divorce and the death of my grandmother, with whom I was pretty close. Even the grieving process that we went through when we adopted Levi has similarities, although that one was different. (His birth family experienced the hard grieving that would relate to what I am experiencing now.) Smaller losses help show us the same pattern, but if that is all I had experienced (moving away from friends, etc.), I would be much less certain that this situation is finite, that it will end, it's just a matter of time and working through the emotions involved.

Several years ago, my kids started their own club, which I am sure was inspired by the "G.R.O.S.S." Club populated only by Calvin and his best friend and tiger, Hobbes. For a reason that is unknown to me, my boys chose to call it Club Hope.

It was initiated and spearheaded and led by Jude ever since its inception. Every so often, especially on Saturdays or summer holidays, I would hear the call, "Okay, guys, Club Hope meeting in my room." Then they would disappear and whisper for a while, finally emerging with great plans for a hike, making club hats out of newspapers, or a carefully-prepared musical presentation usually aimed at getting permission to play video games. (Who says life isn't a musical?)

However, I don't know if Jude feels he is aging out of Club Hope, or he is fascinated by the democratic process as he learns more about it, or he just wanted to pass the mantle of leadership onto someone else. At any rate, two weekends ago, he decided that they needed to elect a new leader. The boys each created a flag that would be adopted as the Club Hope flag if they won, then they gave a speech to the General Assembly (for which Jude even got decked out in a dress shirt and tie), and then they cast a vote by secret ballot. They were not allowed to vote for themselves.

Jabin's Club Hope Flag. (He realized afterwards it should have been an "H", not a "J". Oops.

I was quite impressed with the creativity the boys employed to come up with their flags. Jabin hand-drew his in gray-scale. Noah and Jude each used Microsoft Paint to make technicolour digital versions.

Noah's Club Hope Flag

Jude's Club Hope flag

By general election (in which Levi did not participate, being below the voting age), Noah is the new leader of Club Hope. I am not sure if he is completely clear on his responsibilities (which is pretty much coming up with activities on boring afternoons, I think), but I know he was tickled pink.

I love that my boys called their club "Hope." I know I'm too old, and the wrong gender, to participate in the club except as an amused spectator. But I decided to make my own flag of Hope.

Except mine is a desktop wallpaper. (1920x1080 resolution.) Click on the image to bring it up into a light box, then right-click on the image, select "set as desktop background", and enjoy.

Because sometimes, we need this reminder...

Happy Monday, friends. I HOPE you find peace today. Hugs!