So, tonight was was the visitation service for the 18-year-old. Sweet Jacob Cross.
We had the service at our church.
I wasn't prepared. Actually, I never gave it one second of thought.
Not one second.
Why did it not cross my mind?
For the last two days, I have been so thankful that it was going to be at our church. Because it is a sanctuary. A safe place. Not a cold funeral home.
Those boys need Jesus and His peace with them right now. I have been so thankful for that. That they would feel safe, at this time.
But, it never once crossed my mind, that Kendall's service was also there. Not once. I guess I was so caught up with thinking of them, that I didn't see the bigger picture (and I am usually pretty good at that).
As I turned into that side door. The same side door we entered.
We went down that aisle. The same aisle.
And at the foot of the sanctuary, the flowers greeted me before I could approach the family. And as I stood with them just ahead of me. It was a vision that I truly believe I have blocked from every emotion that I have.
I had no idea.
Oh, and as I approached his mom, I felt their pain. I felt their feet hurt from standing. I knew their eyes were sore from rubbing with endless amounts of cheap kleenex. I knew they were tired of having that first "I am so sorry" encounter with people that they loved. I knew that they felt awkward when it was someone that they didn't know. Or someone that was obviously grieving heavily. Almost as if the family had to comfort THEM.
I understood. And I wished I could take it from them. I wished I could make it better.
And then as I watched each boy, sign the casket with a Sharpie, and then hug the parents, and then turn to exit, and catch that lump in their throat. Oh, how I wanted to squeeze each of them. And some, I did.
As I turned to exit myself, that overwhelming, powerful, suffocate my chest, and I almost couldn't breathe feeling...it returned to me. And as I stepped closer to the door, I remembered leaving the church. And leaving, knowing that I was leaving her at that foot of that sanctuary.
It was hard to take those steps to exit that day.
And it was hard today.
A flood of emotions I wasn't prepared.
And then in the foyer, to see all of those sweet tough boys, crying on each other shoulders, pounding their buddies backs, it hurt me.
What an overwhelming sense of pride I had for them. Proud of their team. Proud of their brotherhood.
I am not sure I have ever been as broken of a mom.
I just wasn't prepared.
And I am not sure tomorrow will be any easier.