Monday, July 27, 2009

Reality Check

I have always been moved by the lyrics of this song but until tonight had never even seen the group members, never mind the video. And so, it was with much surprise that I found myself on the couch with tears pouring down my cheeks at the images. One after another, images of people holding photographs of those they have lost, came on the screen. The one that hit me the hardest was of an old woman in a wheelchair holding a photograph of her wedding day. I have a photograph of my grandparents that is almost identical to it. Same era. Same style wedding gown. I was hit with a wave of grief over how much I miss me grandmother. She was in her mid 90s when she died and with her death, went the last remaining string that held my very large (and geographically scattered) Irish Catholic family together.

During my trip to New England last month I was able to reunite with some family members that I hadn’t seen in years. The last time I saw one of my cousins was at the funeral of my grandmother almost eight years ago. She was my last living grandparent. Seeing my cousin’s face after so much time… visiting her home and seeing my grandmother’s sewing machine in the dining room… driving through old neighborhoods from my childhood… it brought a lot of things to the surface.

I mean I know intellectually that people get old and die; that marriages end in divorce; that children are raised without fathers. I know this in my head. But most of the time I dare not know it in my heart. It hurts too much.

I have always been aware of a quiet underlying measure of loss playing in my life. It's in the background, often crowded out by the noise of everyday life. But sometimes, like tonight, I am still. And I hear it. And I weep. Not for just myself. I think also of my daughter. I think of how my parents' divorce has a direct consequence on her life, leaving her with just one grandparent. I think of the loss that she has already endured in her short three years of life. I think of the loss that she will have to experience as she wrestles (and hopefully comes to grips) with what it means to be a transracial adoptee of a single mom.
These are the things I think… when I let myself think.

There is loss. But thanks be to God, there is also hope.

Mercy Me - I Can Only Imagine
Video sent by ramus311


I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine


Kristy said...

I lost my Grandpa back in 1992, and then in 2001 I lost my Granny, my Grandma and my Sugarbabe(grandfather) , a great aunt and an uncle all in 14 weeks. I am 42 years old and there are days that I just need my grandmothers so bad, so I totally know how you feel. My grandparents and parents have made me the person I am today. And that I am forever grateful for. And you are right...there is always hope!

Love and blessings, Kristy

Alyson & Ford said...

We love this song too; it was one of the reasons we kept "imagining" Alyzabeth during the long "wait". The first song we attached to our adoption was the John Lennon song Imagine, but this one was also our "imagine" song.
Very lovely.

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Ten Months

June said...

When we brought our twins home from China, I was so raw for my grandmother. That spring, I took the babies on a walk and in my garden I spotted three purple iris blooming. They had been transplanted from my grandmother's garden years earlier but had NEVER bloomed. But here they were when I needed her presence. I still cry when I think about it. My daughters ask me to tell the story sometimes. It connects them to the grandmother I loved so much.

I am so happy to have found your blog. Your daughter is beautiful.