I'm tying the loose-ends together. Packing lunches, books, the little things that offer them comfort.
I tuck them into dark flannel. Their hair fluffy with the freshness of a bath. And I pause to breathe them in.
Pause to breathe deep before we offer a prayer. Pour out our gratitude for this day.
And this night when we ask for another day filled with Him. A day of safety and connection. There is a catch in my throat.
That's what happens, I guess. In those moments when you face the unknown of life. Look it in the face.
When a routine procedure isn't really routine at all. At least not in my days.
When it's quiet, then the call comes. The tiny voice reaching out from in the darkness. My sweet, Big, searching for my heart.
"I can't fall asleep, Mama."
"Why, sweet boy?"
"I just keep thinking about being away from you tomorrow... I'm going to miss you."
I feel it warm, pooling, threatening to spill over. The moment that I am defined to him.
That I am home to him.
I reassure him. Tell him it will be a special day. He's going to be with his brother. Cared for by a beautiful heart created to nurture children. It will be a special day.
An ice cream cone spread with peanut butter waits in his lunch. Waiting to surprise him. Waiting to spread joy across his face.
Joy I won't see. But I feel it, even now.
That is the weaving of hearts. The feeling of home. The way we are always together even in absence.
That is the Love pouring in. Saturating our life. The life shared in Grace.
And that is all I ask for. The only loose-end I never want to leave untied.
Grace woven into them. Their little hearts knowing, wherever they are, they are my heart. They are in Him.
In all my imperfection, they are completely loved. Immeasurably.
But even my love-them-wild-never-let-them-go heart cannot hold them always near.
The love in me so great it aches is weak in comparison to the Heart that holds them unending.
It is in Him we are bound together. In His Love we are one. Family.
His Love pouring from my heart calls them to Him. The Gift of Love.
The Heart of our Home.
So as each little question comes. When for the tenth time, Middle asks for reassurance. I will remind them.
Offer them the one constant. The One we can always depend on.
They are never alone.
They are held in Love.
They are mine.
They are His.
In Him they are always Home.
He is their Home.
"Our Lord, in all generations you have been our home." Psalm 90:1