Happy in Heaven

John Robert Dobbs and his Pawpaw, Dick Willingham

Yesterday was an anniversary. Yes, it was the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s destructive landfall, along with a vivid reminder from Hurricane Isaac. That was a painful time back in 2005 – one that changed all of us in so many ways.

It’s another anniversary, though. One that is more painful. It has been a year since Maggy’s dad passed away. Having been a part of the family for so long, he was a father to me as well. Really, he treated me that way from the beginning.

I love this picture. Maggy recently found it going through some boxes of photographs. It was John Robert’s third birthday. The days that we are born are markers for the rest of our lives until the day we die. Those are the two dates on our memorial stones at the cemetery. From the moment of the first birthday we never know how many of those we will observe until the last one.

Now Pawpaw and John Robert are happy in heaven together, along with many other loved ones and friends. It’s only been a year – but it has been a very difficult one for Maggy’s mother. And that has made it a hard year for her sisters and brother.

Anniversary sounds like a happy word … we hate to use it in regard to something as sad as death. But whatever word we use, we mark that time. If we live to be 100, we will know how many years it has been since we said goodbye to various ones we love. A family at church used to tell the age of their child on his birthday, even though he had passed away several years prior. I could not understand that at the time. I had compassion, but no real way to grasp the importance of that. Now, unfortunately, I do.

Over time those markers change. The anniversaries that at first bring us such painful grief later are blessed reminders of the love we shared and the times we had. And that will have to do until that blessed day when the hope of all is fulfilled.

People do not hope for something they already have. But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently. ~Romans 8:24-25

Thanks for reading.







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