Matthew is married. We have the daughter in Sadie we prayed for since our oldest was born. It has been a wonderful whirlwind. She is everything we asked Father for and more.
This is a link to their 5 minute wedding video https://vimeo.com/166035170
It meant so incredibly much to be literally surrounded by love. Many of the same friends who had made ridiculous efforts to be with us during Jordan’s Celebration of Life made their way back through the mountains to fill our hearts up to overflowing on the wedding day.
And while I was aware that these family occasions might amplify our loss of Jordan’s presence, I wasn’t prepared for the sharpness of the moments missing or the overall vague sense of incompleteness.
I missed what I thought my youngest would have done: Where would he have travelled home from to be a part of his brother’s wedding? What quirky observations would he have made as we all sprawled on the couches after the rehearsal dinner? What words of encouragement and honour would he have chosen to speak to Matthew during the bachelor party? Jordan was good at encouragement. Which groomsmen would he have gravitated to? How tall he would have stood at his brother’s side during the wedding ceremony. And how Jordan would have laughed at Joel’s best man speech at the reception! Would there have been a young woman who would have caught his eye? Would he be working at Green Bay with his brothers and new sister this summer? Or would he have rushed off to return to ......? So much would have been so different.
As Kim prepared the slideshow, a collage of pictures from Matthew and Sadie’s life to this point, for the wedding reception, I found myself avoiding the myriad of images that Kim was wading through. I realize that I’m hoarding pictures and videos of our life before Jordan left earth. I don’t know how many years it will be before I see him face to face again and the thought of running out of these snapshots of him, of us together, before we are reunited actually feels a bit scary. Even the fact that on this side of heaven, Sadie will only know Jordan through our photos, stories and family video clips is bruising.
Matthew and Joel, and now Sadie, are regularly generating new experiences. I love seeing how these experiences are caught on film or print. I study their faces and those faces surrounding them. My youngest son’s experiences are now out of my view. People aren’t coming up to me, laughing about Jordan’s latest commentary on life or posting their latest shared experience with him. It is quiet...often painfully quiet. Someday I will know, but that someday may be hours from now, years from now or decades from this point in time. Isn’t that what mothers wonder when we are separated from our children? How they are? And if they’re good, we’d love a pic - even an emoji. Just a visual to prove how good. And if they’re not doing well, we want them home. Or we want to go to them...to bring home to them. Because none of us really belong here. We’re trying to bring heaven to earth.
While I know, with every fibre of my being, that Jordan’s experiences would make anyone jealous, I would just love a bit of the curtain to be peeled back so I can clap with joy or ooh and awww with wonder alongside. I did have a glimpse one day when I was worshipping. I was bowing low before the Throne and as I looked to my side, there was Jordan! Looking stunningly regal, with a face so full of LIFE and LIGHT! And his big grin came with a nodding head and the question, “Right?” It’s an expression my guys use when they’re sharing a great experience or new thought...”Right?” As in an unspoken - “You get how great this is, don’t you”? Somehow that moment has filled me up for a very long time. I just miss his earthly presence - his friendship. Just as I wish everyone could spend time with Joel, Matt and Sadie, I’d love everyone to know Jordan. Someday. Someday.
Laughter and tears, side by side, mingle together as life on this side unfolds.