Today would have been my father-in-law's birthday. Isn't it weird to think that one day, we will die, and our birthdays are almost null? We have lots of birthdays we celebrate with our friends, families, and their kids, too. Birthdays are a big deal. Until you stop celebrating them.
And the weirdest part of this? I'm actually so, so glad to know that one day, my birthday won't mean anything. That is there something bigger, more significant, more important than the time I spend here on earth. I find that comforting on an existential level.
The truth is, I get mad some times. I get mad at the milestones and moments I don't get to have with my father-in-law. It feels like being robbed, over and over again.
C.S. Lewis said, "There are far, far things better ahead than any we leave behind." When I think about that, my anger fades. While the birthdays of my kids feel like a big deal, they are nothing compared to what Don gets in glory. They are nothing. I can't be mad at God for giving us far, far better things than that which he calls us to leave behind.
People say weird things to you when someone you love dies. God didn't "need" my father-in-law to be with him. He doesn't need any of us. He chooses to give us love and life. My father-in-law isn't an angel that is added to some celestial menagerie by God, he was a man redeemed by grace, and for whatever reason, his time on earth ended when it did.
So happy unbirthday to a man we all loved very, very much. As hard as it is, I am choosing to find more hope in the not celebrating than I find in marking the passing of life.
And as hard as it is, I will continue to raise the mini-Don, the Robert-clone. I mean, good grief people, this kid is crazy ;) But I don't think we could love him anymore.