This weekend my little brother Jeremy graduated from Bible College. That's him in the picture below...the one we are clearly trying to edge out of the picture. How nice.
My brother Josh and his wife surprised him (and the rest of us) by flying in from their home in Colorado to be there. Even though we didn't know it, they were at the airport when my mom called him to say that her younger sister had passed away unexpectedly. Have you ever noticed how that happens? Someone dies near a special occasion and you suddenly don't know how to feel. I was so proud and excited for Jeremy, but also sad and grieving the tragic loss of life.
I mentioned this to a couple people at the graduation, and they all had similar stories of simultaneous joy and heartache. I don't think this timing is any coincidence. We naturally gather together for celebrations, and need the strength of numbers when mourning. God knew my mom would need all of her babies around to love on her this weekend, even though Josh didn't fully understand why he was making the trip.
I am in awe of our Heavenly Father, who knows us so well. Who uses our loved ones to prop us up when we can't stand alone. We gathered around the breakfast table Sunday morning, once again the family of my childhood, enjoying the company of siblings, celebrating accomplishment, remembering a loved one, and eating waffles.