Friday, December 05, 2008
So carry us over the finish line, Jesus . . .
Tonight captured one of those bittersweet moments, where time froze and and eternity beyond seemed more tangible than the lights on our Christmas tree.
For the first time in eons, all the girls (plus Krispin) helped select and decorate the family Christmas tree this afternoon. This feat was accomplished in record time, and when every ornament hung in its proper place, we all sat down with a piece of cheesecake to enjoy our handiwork.
The eating of cheesecake is a Strannigan family tradition, not usually associated with Christmas tree decorating, but with Jonah's birthday. December 6th is the actual day of his birth, but since we had all the family gathered together today, we decided to go for it.
We eat cheesecake because Jonah was allergic to wheat. But he loved sugar, so I'd make him a cherry cheesecake and we've carried on with that tradition every year since. I was a little shocked to figure up how old Jonah would be. He'd have turned 29 tomorrow--which is how old I was when he was killed. We were all so young then . . .
Often, we'll sing happy birthday before we devour dessert in Jonah's memory, and we meant to do so tonight. But we somehow got side-tracked by a song Lindsay played for us on my computer.
It was written by a friend of hers, Kelli Schaefer, a budding musician who lives in a basement in Portland. I don't remember all the words, but as we sat listening to the chorus, our faces glistened with our unabashed longing. I can't speak for anyone else, but my heart ached to hold my son again . . .to see Jesus face to face. . . to go home . . .
"Carry us over the finish line
We can see the end
but our feet our so tired . . .
Carry us over the finish line, Jesus"
I wish I could write like my daughers (or Krispin) and describe for you what we experienced together tonight. the ache and the hope. the bitter and the sweet. the raw communion.
Maybe we'll sing happy birthday to Jonah tomorrow. But Kelli's song kind of said it all . .