We were very aware of the hardships to come, but at the time they seemed a very long ways off and we were just so excited about the ‘newness’ of the future! So, to be fair, we did know but we didn’t, or really couldn’t, prepare for some of the hard stuff that has come along this past year.

We just returned from spending a fast albeit long trip back to Canada to spend time with Brenda’s (my) mom and dad. Mom is fighting stage 4 COPD. She has good days and she has bad. The bad are very bad and it is very hard to watch someone you love so much struggle to gasp a breath. Dad loves her so much but is struggling himself with knowing he is watching the love of his life slowly ‘leave’.  The good was that we had many eternal conversations that left me/us feeling certain of mom’s eternal home in heaven.  

A plus was that we were able to spend time with both our sons and our married son’s family as well.  The bittersweet moment when the almost 5 year old begs/commands you to move back to Canada and preferably across the street so they can spend more time with you. But we explain and they accept that we must obey God and Ireland is where He wants us right now.  Seeing our sons both work to the bone trying to do their jobs and being exhausted emotionally and physically at the end of the day. Yes, that is life and Yes, we understand that, but its very hard when we know what we know.

But we keep strong for them all! We stay positive because, well, what other choice is there? But then, we travel home to Ireland to isolate for 14 days and my back goes into shutdown. Extreme sciatica. Finally able to speak with the Dr, and see a Chiro today and  an MRI has been ordered. But that won’t be for another 3 weeks. The tears begin to flow and I am done.  I am lost in fear and pain, and sadness.  I am held by my dear husband who just lets me finally get it all out. 

None of my tears, the ones for Mom, for Dad, for our kids and grandkids, the ones for Ireland, for dear friends who have lost loved ones, for miracles we witnessed,  for any of it, none are wasted. I don’t know what God does with them all but I know He keeps each. I know they are precious to Him because they are His daughter’s. I am precious to Him and all my tears are kept. One day, when I reach heaven, I wonder if He will give them to me and I will say, “I wonder what these were for?” because there will be no more sorrow there, no more tears. Perhaps I will just water my favourite flowers, the daisies, with them.    

No, they didn’t prepare us for all this pain while your family is across an ocean. But really, how could they? It’s a path we must all walk and then we know, there is no preparation that will make it easy but to just rest in Jesus and know He sees and values every drop you cry and it will become just that tiny bit easier.