Five times now, I’ve endured the turning of this calendar page without my oldest daughter Makenzie. Five times now, this day has kept me from work, from happiness and from others. Five times is five times too many.
I spend this day, like the four before, pondering. Like Mary in the Bible, like many others of whom I now know, I think deeply on the meaning of tragedy that befalls us. Like my fraternity of other parents who’ve lost their children, I pace through the same pictures and videos that fib and tell me she’s still here. I want more. I wonder what life would be like if Makenzie had not died in the car accident. Would it be a good life with her? Would she be safe? What would she be doing? How many lives would she touch? Would she be in love, married? Would I be called “Pops” by her beautiful child? I wander the halls of these questions today and I miss her. Random pecks on my cheek. Goofiness. Snorty laugh. Graceful dance. I miss all of it.
Five times now. And I have to.
Yet even in the cloudiness of this day, God meets me. He flips through the pictures with me. He laughs when a shot reveals Makenzie’s goofiness and He tears when He feels the hurt I feel. Even five times now, He does the same. And my sorrow is His sorrow. My hurt is His hurt. He endures with me and promises good from bad. Five times now, He has been faithful.
So today, I will spend most of it simply with God, talking about my ballerina and foolishly asking Him what she’s doing in heaven. I will find a corner in a coffee shop nestled in an old river town and buy Makenzie an iced Frappuccino – she loved those. It will be the 5th one I’ll end up throwing away, un-drunk. And in my ache, God will meet me as the clock digits 8:08 tonight, the time of the accident. And I will be grateful that Makenzie is alive and safe, waiting with God who loves her more than I possibly could.