After naps, marble fun, and heaping bowls of Chinese chicken salad, we decided it was a good time to finally take some extremely belated Christmas gifts over to Florence and her family. Vic had a winter coat to give her husband, a Target gift card, some chocolates, and a few other items. Before pulling out of the driveway, Peter realized we didn't have gifts for their two young boys (same ages as my kids). He ran into the house, got 2 Hotwheels cars (they were still in boxes as part of our "Family Store"--a behavior/reward system we do) for Glory (the 6 yr. old) and found 2 chunkier car toys for Glory's little brother. (I can't remember how to spell his name).
As Peter and I walked to their apartment in the rain, he told me his tummy felt tickley. He was nervous, as he'd only met these boys one time and heard stories about how difficult their life in Congo and Botswana were. But he marched right in, handed the toys to Glory and his brother, then proceeded to demonstrate how to "make them go fast!"
We had a short visit and ran back to the car to join Zoë and Daddy. None of this was particularly a big deal. But on the drive home, while listening to the radio, Cherie Call's song, "Family Tree" began playing. It was dark out, the rain was falling steadily, and the kids quieted in the backseat for the first time all day.
Vic and I sat in silence while we listened to the lyrics. Cherie is a brilliant song writer and lyricist. And this song happens to be my very favorite. My dad shared it with me (because Cherie's husband had shared it with him) during a time when my parents were separated. It not only applies to couples and families of divorce, but I found great meaning in it for me, having lost my Lucy. In it, Cherie sings about the broken branches of a family tree. The imagery is presented so perfectly.
Of course it reminded me of the night Cherie sang it at my benefit concert for A Good Grief. It brought to mind so many things. 1) How happy it made me to see Peter voluntarily give some of his toys to these boys in need and how beautiful it is to see the way this family has triumphed over extreme difficulty and are finally together in a safe place, learning and growing together. 2) How happy I am that my parents are back together, thriving on their mission in Russia/Eastern Europe and how much I learned and grew closer to my family during their separation. 3) How many people, some just Facebook acquaintances, but others dear friends, are going through, or recently went through a divorce. How much I wish they could hear this song and feel of my love for them. 4) Lucy. My kids. How thankful I am that they talk of her, recognize her in photos, include her in prayers...but how I wish and wonder about her still being here with us. 5) That it's time for me to do another benefit concert.
I squeezed Vic's hand and said a little prayer of thanks as well as asking for strength and guidance as I continue raising my family. I thought of so many, many things. So many people I love, so much abundance, as well as fear. But what made it all the sweeter, was that these thoughts, this moment in the winter rain, was underscored by this beautiful piece of music.
"And in the end I don't know how it will all be sorted out. All I know is that the circle won't be broken. There will be hands to hold. And there will be love unfeigned. And it will bridge the gaps between all things we can't explain."
I hope you'll come to my next concert. And I hope you'll find the comfort this song has to offer. God will mend the broken branches of His family tree.