To a great extent, Christopher’s death has had the effect of throwing me back to a life I haven’t known for nearly 15 years, maybe more if you consider the time I spent as a foster parent. A friend described my love for Christopher as a force that pulled me into another world. When he died, like a stretched rubber band that breaks, I was catapulted back into an old, now unfamiliar world.
You would think that having spent almost as much of my adult life in this world, it would be familiar. The problem is that I am not the same person that I was 15 years ago. Having loved and been loved changed all that. The before Christopher world is longer appealing, but it feels like what I am stuck with. But is it?
I feel like an alien in my own life these days. I know all the people around me, but my purpose of functioning in their midst has changed. Until 14 months ago, it was all about helping Christopher grown into a self-sufficient, independent, yet caring man. I used to say that I was determined to raise him to be the man I never found; I earnestly expected my daughter-in-law to thank me. That was a lofty goal, admittedly, but it was my motivation.
Then the rubber band broke and I have been thrust back into this life the purpose of which does not feel familiar. I realize that from a Christian’s perspective nothing has changed (if I was doing the Christian thing right then and now), but let’s be honest here. Regardless of what we know to be our greater purpose or calling, we all get wrapped up in the day-to-day, personal story which is our little piece of His-tory. Ultimately, it is all about God’s purposes, but on any given day, it was all about seeing to Christopher’s needs. That is the way His-story manifested itself in my life.
Now there feels to be a gap. My story doesn’t seem to fulfill any meaningful part in His-story. I don’t see from where my legacy will now come. I envisioned a daughter-in-law and grandchildren through which I would have a legacy for Christ. This world is not designed to bestow meaning on the individual. And I agree that the family is the most important sphere of influence. And, when I had my family, I took my responsibility very seriously.
You see, children are what make family. So with the loss of Christopher, I lost my family. Yes, I still had my family of origin and, though, I love them, they are not where I fit anymore. I had the privilege of spending 14 years in a different family and as they say, you can’t go home.
I have found this to be so true. I care deeply for and about my family, but having been in a different family for 14 years, they simply don’t know me as I was known by my Christopher. Children know so much more than we realize and it was becoming quite fun to hear his insights to that which I thought he was unaware. He had amazing insight.
I miss being loved and known as only Christopher has ever loved and known me. I so looked forward to watching him become the earthly head of a family. He knew what real love is and gave freely of himself.
I miss him desperately.