I’ve always hated endings. Growing up, I had two favorite cousins. They were brothers. Bryan was a year younger than me. David was 2.5 years younger. We always had a grand time together, except perhaps when I went through a moody patch at around 13 or 14 years. Oh how I would anticipate the time we could spend together–typically Thanksgiving, Easter, an occasional Christmas and summer weekends at the family lake cabin. I also would spend a week of each summer at their home near the University of Minnesota campus in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Oh the long glorious week in the old Four Square, where my aunt and uncle still live and Josh often goes for daycare. There was good vegetarian cuisine, constant activity and noise, and always a welcomed “lived in” feel to the home; in contrast to the quiet, museum-like quality of my parent’s home (my dad washed the kitchen floor on his hands and knees after each meal; my mom dusted every square inch, every weekend–you get the idea). I also was exposed to much new music through my cousins and then, later, attended their band’s concerts (The Sensational Joint Chiefs). Anyway, I would look forward to getting together with Bryan and David for weeks before I’d see them. The anticipation was almost the best part. I would, in fact, grow depressed on our last day together. I often wondered if the fall was worth the climb. But of course it was. It was all a part of learning that people come and go from our lives; good times come and go too. At the same time, so do bad times (which is really a blessing and it always helps to know that “this too shall pass” when going through a difficult experience). The more we can observe the cycle of comings and goings, beginnings and endings, perhaps the more we can respect the cycle; the less we might cling to our need for a particular person or even a particular outcome. And this ability all comes, perhaps, from learning how to say goodbye early on in life. To accept endings as an inevitable part of beginnings.
And so, I have decided to end this blog today, one year after its inception. I just reviewed my “about” section of this blog. In that section, I promised to reserve all judgment on this year until today. And today, I have no judgment really. I guess that, in many ways, this past year seems unkind, harsh even. And I am not sad to bid it farewell. Still, this year brought me dear Joshua. The unkindness seems to center around his health challenges, still unfolding. Yet, Joshua is Joshua. He is who he is supposed to be. Whenever I can put aside the worry over this diagnosis or that potential diagnosis, and just meet Joshua in his world, where he is today, all seems well. He is a delight. He is a wonder. And there is no doubt in my mind that this little boy is where he is supposed to be. With these two parents and this exact sister and brother. And we are in the house we are supposed to be in as well, for now. And “for now” is enough; “for now” is all we ever really have anyway. Hannah and I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said “Don’t defer joy.” Or something like that. Anyway, good or bad, whose to say. This year just was, with all of its awakenings, greetings, goodbyes, and many, many doctor appointments (and I am not kidding myself that I am bidding the doctors’ offices farewell). I do think I will find my way to another blog, and likely a Joshua-centered blog (and when I do, I will stop back here to give the web address), but I am ready to conclude. To give praise for it all. I see most clearly that God is in it all.
Thanks for reading.