June, where did you come from and how did you get here so fast? For the first six months of the year, the newness captures our time. Once June comes along, we realize the year is half way gone and usually there is much we want to catch up on!
Besides jolting us to the fact of how fast the year is going, June also brings in summer break for school children, family vacations. Armed with the realization of how fast time is going, we yearn to embrace and cherish these moments of time.
In our family, the month of June brings the blessing of our wedding anniversary. It also brings the anniversary of my father's death. From the extremes of grief to joy, June reminds me of the grace of God that is present in every season of life.
This year will mark 28 years of both anniversaries. The dates of the month this year also correspond to that June 28 years ago. A few prominent days can be recalled with vivid detail.
Tuesday June 6 a wedding shower was given to an excited bride to be. Our church and family blessed us with an abundance of beautiful gifts to help us adorn our new home.
Wednesday June 7 my father helped me move some of my items to the new home which was close by. He toured the home and helped unload the gifts. Later he told me he had to stop alongside the road as tears in his eyes hindered him being able to drive. The reality that his little girl was growing up came full force and overwhelmed him. Today this is such a precious memory of his love for me.
Friday June 9 my father suddenly passed away. Shock and grief hit our family full force. In the midst of last minute wedding preparations, everything stopped as we had to plan a funeral and adjust to life without our loved one.
Saturday June 17 the wedding went on as planned. Dad would want us to continue to live and not be paralyzed by grief.
Sunday June 18 was Father's Day. Although it was the first day of our honeymoon, sadness loomed in my heart where the pain of losing Dad was fresh.
The rest of June marked the 'new normal' that every family that has faced the loss of a loved one recognizes. Life must go on, but it will not be the same. It also marked a new beginning and commitment of two lives joining together as man and wife.
Through these 28 years, the grief has eased into a time of thankfulness and remembrance of a father. These years have produced a marriage that has grown, flourished and stood the storms of life. Grace is the theme that runs deep through. Grace that brought comfort in times of sadness and despair. Grace that brought beauty in the midst of pain, grace that brings blessing to our everyday life.
June is a bittersweet month for me, but a month filled with reminders of the power of grace.