A Mary Moment Monday post

(Yes, I realize this is the second Mary Moment Monday post today. But this is for Susie. I wrote it yesterday and asked her permission to publish it. I hadn’t heard from her this morning, so I scrapped it. She just wrote me, and told me she was touched to have me reflecting on Allen’s birthday. And so, for Susie, here is the second post for today…an exception made for an exceptional hero of mine.)

Dear Allen,

It’s your birthday, but it won’t be a day we’re celebrating. To call you and wish you a happy day, we’ll have to kneel and fold our hands. This is a birthday that you’re celebrating in heaven.

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately, though I always feel a little guilty admitting that. I’m just the sister-in-law, after all. It’s not my grief. It’s not my cross to bear. It’s not my problem.

Or is it?

I know there were plenty of people who grieved with Mary when Jesus died on the Cross. They surrounded her, held her, and while she probably comforted them as much as they tried to comfort her, it was a shared experience.

As I consider this birthday, the one we won’t celebrate so much as commemorate, I can’t help but look heavenward.

I don’t want to know why. It doesn’t matter. (Well, maybe it does, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t understand anyway.)

But I’d like to be able to offer more than just a shoulder to the people who will most need it today. Today’s going to be hard for Susie and the girls. It will be a day when you’re more gone than usual, when your absence is glaring.

Allen, pray for and comfort them. Send an angel or two their way today, would you?

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