I would soon be returning home,
leaving Mom after my father's passing.
It would be an immense adjustment for her.
She’d depended on Dad,
shared life with him for over sixty years.
They’d truly been one.
“Mom." I reached for her hand.
"You enjoyed a very special life with Dad,
and I’m praying that in these later years,
God will give you a new life.
Beautiful, too, but in a different way,
like another variety of flower.”
God answered my prayer.
In the nearly five years she lived without Dad,
Mom experienced a different blend of joy, a new variety of satisfaction.
Whether we experience a major or minor loss,
we must allow ourselves to accept our reality,
release our disappointment and look for a different happiness.
One year my junior-high-age daughter and I went after-Christmas shopping.
“Look at this.”
I shook a snow globe,
and we watched the snow settle over a girl standing between her two brothers,
caroling beside a Christmas tree.
“I’m getting this to share with my grandkids.”
We laughed about how many years I’d be waiting.
But each Christmas after,
as I set it out on the piano,
I savored the thought of enjoying it with my future grandchildren,
telling them about our family caroling tradition.
Finally one Christmas when my first grandson was just over a year old,
I got my first opportunity to share my globe.
I smiled and handed it to him.
and it slipped from his hands to the floor and broke.
As his eyes widened and his chin trembled,
and I blinked,
my daughter-in-law comforted him.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get Grandma another one.”
In a day or so, a new snow globe appeared,
but, of course, it was not the same.
This one had a picture of my little grandson inside.
A few years later,
the second snow globe fell from the hands of my daughter’s child.
“Uh-oh. Do you know what that means?” I asked without blinking.
Then I told the story of Grammy’s snow globe.
So, the third globe appeared
containing the old photo from globe number two
backed up to a new photo of my daughter’s two children.
For about seven years now,
the snow globe has been sitting on my piano year-around.
Our eleven grandchildren know its story
and our new tradition:
how their mommy will have to get another one
if they should accidentally break it.
The kinds of losses we’re considering are not this minor,
however, the principal is the same.
If we open our hearts to the Lord
and ask Him to give us a new and meaningful story after our loss,
I believe we will be given a gift--
a new joy,
but beautiful in its own way.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12 NIV