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Family Rituals & Sacred Words

When Evan was little every day during our nap time ritual he would say, "We're gonna love each other forever, right Mama?" I'd answer, "Yes, Evan, we're gonna love each other forever, now go to sleep."

While in the army during boot camp, he wrote to me he wanted to reaffirm his love for me, but he knew better than to spell out each word. Soldiers do not look kindly on such sentiments. So, he wrote W.G.L.E.O.F. instead. I signed my letters to him the same way. He also knew I wasn't fond of tattoos, but I couldn't object to the one pictured here, so he made it his first.

When his father and I decided what to have etched into his grave marker, we chose, "We're gonna love each other forever." I remember thinking maybe I ought to have insisted on better grammar when Evan was small so we could have chosen instead, "We will love each other forever." But, it was only a passing thought. We are who we are. The sacred words would not be altered.

While flying home after a week with our daughters and grandchildren in Houston, a flight attendant handed me the napkin pictured below.


I couldn't hold back tears when I saw the word "gonna" and it's definition on the napkin.


I received it as a gentle nudge from my son. Yes, Evan, it's still true. We're gonna, with joyful certainty, love each other forever.




As a contributing writer and member of the Sacred Sorrows community, Lani Bogart shares a fierce love with her son Evan, who drowned in a rafting accident in Guatemala in February 2022. As she learns to be here without him, she stands on the essentials of faith and hope, and longs for the day when Love is All. (1 Cor 13:13) Lani is supported by her devoted husband Doug and her children Jonathan, Cana & Ennie, Christopher, and Xhiv.



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