Time heals all wounds…or so it is said. When Scott nearly died two years ago from what began as scraped knuckles that became infected with both staph and strep bacterias, we were amazed at how his wound (without the help of stitches) knit together. Megan took pictures of the healing process, how it looked as the weeks progressed. He wore his “battle scar” with a smile. I would rub my finger over it and remember how it was all I could do to keep from passing out when I looked at it in it’s initial state. How it happens, I don’t know, but this I do know: the human body is God’s amazing creation and with a little help from wonderful doctors and the advances in medicine, that wound all but disappeared and we were blessed to have Scott for two more years.
Not all wounds are visible. Some are deep…deep in the heart and soul of the individual. Sometimes the wounds are recent and the pain still fresh in the mind. I know that with time, the hurt will not be so intense, but life has a way of offering so many reminders.
This week I found myself at the Temple for two different couples. Byron and Audrey had been married for several years, but were finally being sealed for time and all eternity. It is the promise of being an eternal couple, not to be separated by death. It was wonderful to be there with them and to be reminded of my own sealing to my husband. The Temple is a special place, and while I always find comfort and direction there, I feel especially close to Scott in the temple.
On Friday, I was privileged to find myself once again with Scott’s family as my nephew Jordan was married to his sweetheart, Maddie. The ceremony was to the same end as the one earlier in the week, but it was different. Not only were they young and about to embark on a life-long adventure, but I was surrounded by Scott’s family…his mother, brothers, sisters, and cousins…it is amazing to know that we are all joined together as part of a larger eternal family.
There are many members of our family, on both sides, that have passed. It was easy to feel their presence in the room, to feel the love and comfort that a knowledge of eternal families brings to my life and the lives of all those present. The word “in-law” added to the family status is simply a technicality that disappears when arms are placed around shoulders, hands are held, tissues offered and an extra large dose of hugs amply handed out. We are family: we mourn together, but we also find comfort with each other.
The reception later that evening was another chance to visit. We have done that more recently than usual during this past month. I think we were all going along just fine until the dj announced the Father/Daughter dance. I held my breath, but then I smiled for their moment of joy. This was a special, wonderful time for Maddie and her Dad. But when the dj announced that he was going to do something a little different and have all the fathers bring their daughters out to dance, I could feel an overwhelming sadness at our table. I mourned for the loss my daughters could not help but feel.
It didn’t get any easier. After the Mother/Son dance, the dj asked all the moms to come and dance with their sons. Mike led me by the hand and we shared a tender dance. I watched as Scott’s mom was surrounded by her boys, and they all danced together. I could sense her joy, but she was fully aware that someone was missing. I could see it in her face.
Life is often bittersweet. As the evening progressed, I remembered the scripture in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
And sometimes, every once in a while, you find yourself doing it all at the same time.