Sometimes the day leers at me for weeks ahead of time and sometimes it sneaks up quickly, like this year. Regardless, it's always a day that takes my breath away with deep sadness, one that brings back the devastation of memories--a pit so filled with grief I thought I wouldn't survive.
It's also filled with wonderful memories of our sweet Joe, a child FULL of life and love! Joe was always a hugger--even when he grew to almost six feet tall, he would give me the biggest and longest hugs! And he was always so full of humor and fun! Oh, the stories we can tell!
Dressing up for the Boys Rooting Association
One thought that keeps occurring to me this year is how much grief our newly adopted kids experience over the loss of their brother. Vu, Lan Lan, and Mei Mei never met Joe, and yet they know they've lost an integral part of their family. They grieve the loss of never having met him and often ask questions about what he was like. Sometimes, especially at night, they cry for the brother they never met. They know someone's missing from our family. Joe LOVED kids and would have adored each and every child added to the family. His absence is always felt.
We often talk about how exciting it will be when they finally get to meet him in heaven. Nirvana. We like to imagine all the fun he is having in heaven, playing baseball everyday, sharing giant Butterfinger Blizzards with Jesus, and giving piggyback rides to all the kids.
As wonderful as we can imagine heaven must be, we selfishly wish he was still here with us.
When we were at Disneyland we went on all of Joe's favorite rides--Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, all the fast rides and fun places.
James, Joe, and Will Disneyland - 1993
Joe would be so proud.
We love you Joe! We miss you. You are loved and missed even by your siblings who haven't yet met you! Never to be forgotten and always looking forward to the day we are all together again!
We saw this brilliant double rainbow on our way to Disneyland. We felt like Joe was smiling down on us. It went clear across the sky and all the way down on both sides. Amazing!