Just came back from a family vacation. It was wonderful with lots of sun and sand. Even the two-day drive was filled with mountain scenes that were breathtakingly beautiful. But the best part of the whole trip wasn't sun or sand which means the best part was truly incredible because I live in Michigan and sun and sand are hard to find most days. The best part of the family vacation was..FAMILY.
The kids from three different states managed to clear their calendars and make their way to the beach. We laughed together and ate dinner together every night. The kids taught me how to play a new card game and then I soundly whooped them all without a hint of mercy or grace. It was great fun!
The Payne family is still alive and well. Separated by jobs and even death but still very much a healthy, loving family. David was of course missed and his empty chair at the table always visible. The kids each took turns saying grace before each meal(one of David's jobs). And yet he was there with us. I heard him in the kid's laughter. I felt him smile with me as I watched the boys wrestle with the ocean waves. I am so thankful for an eternal perspective on life. It comes from knowing Christ and the promise of a life that never ends. David is still very much alive - though separated from us for now - he remains a part of us. We look forward to the day we will be reunited; perhaps on a sunny beach in heaven.
Do they have beaches in heaven? Can you even call it heaven without a beach? I'll have to leave that one for greater theological minds than mine. I'm just saying... I really like the beach. But a week on a beach with family is as close to heaven as you can get here on earth.
I consider it a personal victory that I didn't cry once this week. I missed David and I wished he could have been there to enjoy every loving, laughing moment of the week. But I chose not to give away even one moment of joy for expressions of grief. We can always do that on a cloudy cold day at home. Sunny beaches must be met with joy. Thank you Lord for helping us all revel in every moment together. Thank you, Lord for helping us all make that choice. Healing and love were served with every meal and the Payne family ate it up with gladness.
I love the beach!
Keep moving forward in your grief toward health and healing. It's our choice to make though not always an easy one. It really does get better with effort and time and sunny days.