The elephant is back.

The one that visits time and again. That sits on my chest and reminds me of the reality of our lives “after”…

I had been given a reprieve and while I didn’t feel great, the constant weight of the elephant wasn’t there. But it came back.

It has been a hard few days. The whole e-learning/snow day, while nice for the simple fact we don’t have to make up the day, caused stress yesterday. I got angry and frustrated and wasn’t super grace-filled.

This morning some news, details we suspected…but the knowing doesn’t make it better or worse really. It is just another thing, a weight, a piece of reality that sits with me.

I went to put Elijah’s Valentine’s box in a bag so he could take it to school and saw once again Isaac’s urn that sits in the corner on our shelf. No parent should have their child’s remains on a shelf, or in a cemetery….there will always be something so wrong with the order of things in that.

And we have one last chance to try to recover details from his phone. Likely a dead end. Just days left on the backup and then any chance is erased. I am coming to terms with the reality that we will never know the “why,” and that is hard.

And yet amidst all the hard are moments of goodness.

Yesterday we got a letter from a woman we don’t know. Somehow she had seen Isaac’s obituary in the Sioux Falls paper (she lives in St Paul, MN…) and she took the time to hand write us a letter to tell us we were brave for our honesty. Who she is and why now, I do not know…but the letter arrived when my heart needed it most.

This morning I was alone in the car for a moment and I turned up the radio. The song that came on was “Raise a Hallelujah.” I turned the volume up as loud as I could make it and sang along to these lyrics…

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

The elephant is back today but it won’t stay forever. And even though things feel heavy I can still sing. I am grateful for that.

Thank you Lord for meeting me, in small ways, in the middle of the hard. I am realizing that this journey is one that may take my entire lifetime. As long as you are with me I will be ok.