We all have that box that we slam shut and keep locked away in the deepest part of our souls. “THE” Box. If you’re like me, you generally don’t share the contents of that box. It’s painful, intimate and very personal. No one fully understands the box except you and God. When you do feel the lock getting loose, you quickly slam it shut and reinforce it. I’ve had this box locked away for almost 9 years.
Since June 15th, 2009 to be exact. That’s 8 years. 11 months. And 5 days.
I’m going to stop right here and tell you that one of the reasons that I love my Preston so much is that he respects this box. And he has held me many times as I have cried through the years over this box.
I normally handle my box pretty well. It generally only threatens to open when the holidays, anniversaries come or the boys hit special milestones. Lately, that box has been rumbling as Chase nears graduation but has never came to the surface. Until tonight.
It busted wide open.
A song by Steve Jett titled “Go With God” caused it all. It’s a song dedicated from a parent to a child during the transition of graduating and spreading their wings. The last 8 years, 11 months, and 5 days came roaring back at me. All the prayers I’ve prayed for my Chase. Praying that he’d make wise choices and never lose his faith. Prayers for strength for me to guide him in the way. And then I remember every milestone, every football play that he made, his prom, every pin at wrestling, all his awards, birthdays, Christmases, and all the Father’s Days that his daddy wasn’t here to cheer him on or to share pride in his boy’s accomplishments.
The tears flow mercilessly. I grieve for my sweet boy. But my heart is so full of pride at the young man that will always be my little boy. Then God reminds me of a precious gift Joseph left our boys.
So many children walk around from broken homes, fractured families, single parent homes, or don’t even know who their daddies are. And worse yet, they know who their daddies are, but have been rejected.
Joseph loved his boys more than he loved life. His boys were the apple of his eye. When you saw him, you saw his little men. He left them a priceless gift. My boys KNOW they were loved. That can never be questioned or taken from them. He legacy lives on in every breathe they take. They were just mere babes when he left to go be with Jesus. In fact, I just realized that they’ve both been without him longer than they had his earthly presence. Death leaves a heartache no one call heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
My message to you parents tonight…. leave a legacy for your children. Love God. Love the other parent, and love your children in a way that when you’re gone, the memories are enough to sustain. Take pictures. You’re not promised another breath!
And if you’re like my sweet Preston…. you tackled on a ready made family with that kind of baggage, embrace it! Preston has a place in Chase and Hunter’s hearts that belongs solely to him. Hunter says it best…. “Preston didn’t adopt us to take my daddy’s place, but to pick up where he left off”.
God is good all the time. Even in our moments of overwhelming grief.