Monday, June 9, 2014

The Week

It has arrived.  The anniversary of the week that Christina left us here and transferred to the presence of Jesus.  It was one year ago that we were living out the final week of her life on earth.  I have spent a considerable amount of time this past week reliving, pondering, wondering, and talking about her. 

It seems impossible that a year has passed.  The memory of her last week with us is vivid and seems like it all just happened.  Every blooming and fading plant reminds me of the time of year she departed.  The weather, the early sunrises and late sunsets pull the memories to the forefront of my mind. 

One of the gifts of the passage of time is that difficult questions get answered.  Here are a few of the big questions that are being answered as we walk through time.
How will Doug Nevill survive?  Really, a 27 year old widower with a 7 month old son—how will he do it?


Doug is a great example of how to mourn deeply, live in the moment (you have to be present when you have a baby to care for), and look ahead with hope.  He can cry and smile at the same time.  He has chosen to serve and to love and to hope and to follow Jesus—despite the pain of losing Christina.

Will Isaiah be OK?

Better than OK.  He is thriving.

Isaiah is a picture of joy.  He is inquisitive, expressive, affectionate, and just plain adorable.  He loves pictures of his mom and his new favorite book is a bound copy of Christina’s Facebook entries.  He calls it “Mommy’s Book.”  Someday soon he will be able to understand why she is only in pictures and not in the room with us.  It sounds sad but it doesn’t feel sad.  I am looking forward to explaining the miracle of his existence.  That his mommy and daddy were very brave and decided to marry and have a child even though they did not know the future.  And I will tell him that God made him at just the right time.  Not a moment too late.  He was born in that miraculous window of opportunity that God provided.

And will my Doug and I be OK?

We are.  Probably because of Christina’s continual prayer for us.

So many of Christina’s journal entries have to do with her requests to Jesus to take care of us.  She worried about us being overcome with sorrow.  I believe those prayers are still bouncing around heaven and being answered.

I see God’s hand every day.  He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  He has more days for us to live.  He has given some wild adventures that are far beyond what I could ask or imagine.  And I do not think He is through surprising us.  So there are tears but not of hopelessness. 

Gabi and Christina
I spent much of last week putting together a little slide show of Christina’s life.  It was therapeutic I think.  Just a few pictures capturing the adventure and depth of her life.  The music I used was composed and performed by Christina’s cousin, Gabi Van Dyke.  The first piece was used as part of the processional at Doug and Christina’s wedding.  The second piece was a song Gabi wrote in the last 2 months of Christina’s life.  It became the song that brought great comfort to Christina.  She told Gabi that it captured exactly how she felt.

I am so thankful to have so many wonderful pictures of Christina.  Many thanks to photographers Loralee Newbury, Jade Van Dyke, Michele Hayman, Ruth Harrison, and Marla Cyree. 

Here is a link to the video.  I hope you enjoy it:)