Today is the winter solstice and it will always be the winter solstice on the day we remember Isaac’s loss. The darkest night. It is fitting really that the day on the calendar that we mark as the longest, darkest night was in reality that very thing for our family.

But I heard it said last year that we need to hold on because every day after today it gets a little lighter. We move a little closer to the sun, closer to spring and summer. There is hope in that.

This morning I woke up and the first thing I thought about was that Elijah and Karlena had jazz band practice. I wasn’t overcome by a wave of grief. I am grateful for that. Admittedly I have had a few moments later this morning, it is to be expected. But as we continue to walk this road, our grief has changed. I see God’s grace in that.

Of course, I still wish our lives told a different story. I still wish he was here. It wasn’t meant to be this way. But God has been faithful the last 1,096 days. I remember wondering how I was going to be able to breathe, if I would ever smile or laugh again. Living 1,000+ days without my son felt impossible and yet here we are.

We have so much to be grateful for. Our community of family and friends that have walked with us and made joy possible again. The parents in my child loss groups that have given me a safe space and understanding to process some of the hardest parts of this story. Our church family that has continued to honor and remember with us. My best friends that have been a daily sounding board and constant prayer warriors for me. The men my husband works with each week, you are all a gift too. We could not have survived this without all of you.

God didn’t just say He would be with us… Although He was, He also gave us all of you. So today is hard because I remember the worst news we ever got. But it is also filled with hope because I can see the light that has grown from it. Thank you for being a part of that.