July 23, 2018
This past week centered on our County Fair, which was delightful all the way from the grandkids’ and other kids’ 4-H projects to a fun ranch rodeo and a great concert by Rodney Atkins. But it contained something which again summoned major memories of our son who died and is the opening subject of my book.
Josh was part of the Class of ’98, who were celebrating their 20th reunion during the Fair. He was loved and missed by many as one of the “bright lights” in their class. The women who ran the reunion decided to have a table with his pictures and funeral brochure.
Because they knew him so well, they added a chair and a plate of food and a beer, just as though he were going to sit down and join them. It touched me so deeply that they would make his “presence” at their reunion so real.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was truly there in spirit, brought so close again by memories and love. Just as grief goes on and on, so do all aspects of our loved one’s importance in the lives of those who knew him.
LifeCenter Northwest, the organ donation center, has a new program related to their donor/recipient celebrations entitled “the ripple effect.” It is based, of course, on the idea that organ donation (and all sorts of body donations) gives someone new life, and that affects all of their loved ones, their jobs and all of their contributions to our society and world. In that way, the love of donor families and the influence of the person remembered go on and on like ripples that spread out in concentric circles in a pond.
The reunion made me miss Josh so poignantly again and made me wish desperately that he could have been there, enjoying the Fair he was such a major part of when he was winning championships with his horse and other projects and celebrating with his classmates. But healing comes again in the knowledge that our Savior holds him close and is present in the love of all who treasure Josh.