Those first moments when we were surrounded by friends and family. Those who loved and knew us best cleaning up Tucker's precious body, dressing him, holding him, loving him and us.
The most horrible, precious day of my life. A day when God showed up. A day that began a journey of drawing nearer my Father ~ who had brought this "tragedy" into my life because He loves me. Because He desires to mold me into the imagine of His Son. A day that became the start of tremendous spiritual growth on my part.
Since that day, I have learned much of the sovereignty of God. I have learned much of His faithfulness. Of His sustaining power. Of the feel of His arms surrounding me, as I crumble and fall, and can't make it past the boulders in the lane. He lifts me up and carries me, when I can go no further myself. I have learned much of the fickleness of my own character, and longed for the peace that only comes from looking into my Father's eyes and saying, "I trust You." To finally come to that place of peace and contentment. Hard won, but oh so worth it.
I have pondered much that time in these last 9 months. Becoming more and more thankful that God brought us into and through that time. As we once again entered stormy seas with Jethro's diagnosis, I was able to look into the face of my Savior and step out of the boat. There have been times when I have looked away from His face, only to begin sinking ~ drowning in the circumstances I find myself, but then I look again to His face and all is well. I long for him to tell the storm to be still; but instead He looks into my eyes, and says, "Be still, know that I am God. Trust Me." And when I do that, I find that it is even better than if He had calmed the storm.
I long to hold my son. I would love to have the privilege of raising him up to be a godly man, to watch him run and play with his brothers and sisters, to hug and kiss him and to receive all those sweet, snotty, dirty hugs and kisses that little boys give. And yet I know that if his life would have glorified God more than his death, he would be living now. In a way that I cannot comprehend, Tucker's death glorified God more than his life would have. I do not understand. But I trust. I know that God sat me on His lap that morning six years ago, and many times since then, and He wept along with me. Knowing and understanding the pain I was in. How my heart was shattered and how broken I was. And then He took those tears and placed them in a bottle. I cried many, many tears but now, 6 years later, I don't remember them all. But my Father does. He remembers each one.
Today has been a sweet day. Not melancholy as I anticipated. But a day to be thankful. A day of remembrance. A day with chocolate cupcakes to remember a brother that won't be known until Heaven someday. A day to remember that this life is but a breath, and I will have eternity with my son ~ worshiping the One who created us both and loves us dearly.
I'll leave you with a song that accompanied much of my deep grief. There is no video, it's just audio, but it is a precious song ~ and I'm certain if you have lost a child, it will touch your heart.
I love you, Tucker Joe, play in peace sweet boy.
Tucker Joe Dole
July 25, 2004
Into the arms of Jesus