Matt, Anita and Edward

It’s really an odd phenomenon when you get about a year’s worth of life in a seven day span. Your emotions, your mind, your everything just goes into passenger mode. It’s like you just make sure your seatbelt is buckled and your seat backs and tray tables are all in the upright position.

So much has happened since my mother’s death, and that much more has happened even since her funeral last Thursday. One thing I’d like to focus on as a subject is the wonderful blessing that has blossomed from this difficult time.

I have a step brother named Matt. He is about four years older than I am. In fact, I was an incoming freshman in high school the fall after he graduated. Matt and I were raised in different homes, and we were a few years apart, but we ended up being a little bit closer as kids than my oldest step brother, Larry, and even my older brother, John.

Matt and I didn’t have a lot in common, but I think we both have some important things in common. We’re both very emotional and sentimental. In my mom’s final weeks and months, Matt was the one who made it a point to spend time with my parents. But it wasn’t only Matt. He brought Anita and her son Edward. I don’t know a lot about their relationship, but I can see by looking at them that they are perfect together. There is such a special connection they have. It’s way beyond romance. They have a special friendship, too.

Edward. Wow. This kid is just amazing. After my mom passed, Edward went to his class and got permission to have each classmate write a personal note to my dad expressing their sympathy for his loss. They’ve never met my dad, and really, Edward hasn’t even had a good chance to know him long or very deeply, himself. Yet, Edward felt this deep connection with Dad. This connection inspired a thought like nothing I’ve ever heard.

At my mom’s viewing last Wednesday, Edward arrived with Matt and Anita, and presented my dad with a folder bursting with personal letters from each member of his class. Some drew pictures, but each shared their own individual thoughts and care to a man they have never met, and likely, will never meet.

This is a sixth grade class, mind you.

This just blew our minds. My dad sat down and read each and every note from Edward and his class. This blessed us so incredibly. How in the world do you express how full your heart is when someone does something like that? It’s simply not possible.

Tonight, after a pretty full day, my phone rang. It was Anita. Matt’s head was pretty much pressed next to hers as he was able to respond to everything I was telling her. It was pretty cool, actually.

One special byproduct of this very difficult time is the amazing resurrection that has happened in our family. It had been many years since Matt and I have spent any meaningful time together. It wasn’t because of animosity or anything. We just each had separate lives made that much more separate by many miles. But now, that’s all changed. No, we’re still many miles apart, but we’re connected by a special bond that no amount of miles can, or should weaken.

Family.

I’m grateful to God for life coming from death. I’m thankful that resurrections can only happen in graveyards. My mom lives in each one of us as we carry memories and her influence in us. By our love and relationships, she will always remain alive in our hearts.

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