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A Blanket & a Butterfly

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Why would I fly all the way to Houston only to sit alone coloring and reading in my daughter’s apartment? Because it feels way too exhausting to engage in everyday life. Getting dressed, eating a bit, going out for walks with the dogs, and making a phone call or two; that’s what I can manage right now.

My sticker mosaic butterfly

Thanks to well-functioning air conditioning, hot, humid Houston doesn't dictate the temperature of my daughter’s apartment. I find it a tad chilly but am warm and cozy under a blanket Xhiv knitted for Evan. It’s only after covering myself with it that I recall how she cried when she found the blanket among his belongings. We all agreed she must keep it. Such thoughts catch me by surprise and elicit gentle tears.

The blanket my daughter Xhiv knitted for Evan

The sadness of witnessing Evan’s siblings carrying their grief weighs heavy on me. As their mom, I want to lift it from them, to carry it for them, but grief doesn’t work that way. Each must make their own way, bearing their sorrows as they will.

I’m entrusted with riches in family and friends who witness my pain and dare to come near even while navigating their own grief. Bravely, in spite of questions and doubts, they hold little candles of faith, hope, and love to light my way through dark paths. Bravely I breathe, and little more.

Sometimes the many who grieve alone, with no one to hear their story or acknowledge their pain come to mind. I didn't often think of them before, but now, when thoughts of them come, I pray for them, resolving to see them, hear them, and journey with them as I am able.

The thought of accompanying others, whether in sorrow or joy, victory or defeat enkindles a fire of love that draws me out of myself and into the possibilities of life beyond death.

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12

Perhaps I can offer someone else a blanket and a butterfly or whatever they need when they need it most. I hope so.

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