Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bobby and Ivan

Here's my son, Bobby, who's officially off to college now. He, my other son & I drove down to drop him off yesterday. He took the lead in his "new" 74 Camaro with his brother riding shotgun; I drove behind them, wondering how in the world they graduated so quickly from their two-seater tricycle to the car in front of me.

This mother has a terrible ache in her heart; Bobby has left a screaming absence behind. His brother misses him; even the dog is confused. Billy mentioned this evening that he feels he's in a different family, as though he's visiting relatives, rather than being in his own home. The familial scales have been tipped off balance a bit. I just returned from their room where I prayed with Billy; seeing Bobby's empty bed left my heart feeling the same.

But I feel selfish in my grief. I attended a funeral today for Ivan Wilson, a Marine killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. His grieving mother knows she will never see her son again (at least, not this side of Heaven). Denise, his mother, has told me more than once how much she misses him. She will never be able to pick up the phone to call her dear Ivan, she'll never receive another letter from him, she'll never greet him at the airport with a hug. Ivan died bravely in the line of duty, leaving his mother with unquenchable sadness. When I think of her grief, I dare not dwell on mine. Lord, forgive me for my smallness.

Today I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary twice. Our sorrows unite with Jesus'. The scriptures tell us:

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
(Isaiah 40:11)

We are in His arms, close to His beating heart, in both our sorrow and our joy. Our Savior walks with us.

Rest in peace, Ivan Wilson, and may God comfort your family.

1 comment:

Lavinia said...

I wish all the best for your son in college. What a post. Two lives, one just branching into independence and adulthood, the other over too soon....

Your heart has a lot to cope with this week....lean on the Lord, in all things....