I've been thinking about some "little graces," in the midst of the ache of losing Matt's father. I just want to share a couple that have been on my heart.
Matt's parents took the entire family on vacation to the beach this summer, just a few weeks before the accident. This was the first time we had done a trip all together like that, and we had a wonderful, wonderful time. While it brings tears to my eyes to think about not being able to do it again, I am also so grateful that God allowed us to experience such a memorable time together.
I also thought about how thankful I am to have spent Sunday evening (the night before the accident) with Matt's family. We had all been busy settling back in after our beach trip, and somehow a few weeks had passed since Matt & I had gotten together with Bryan and Julie. On Sunday afternoon, Bryan called Matt and invited us over to hang out and eat dinner. I am so glad that we decided to take them up on their invitation, even though Matt had preached that morning and was just waking up from a Sunday nap. We spent time with Bryan, Julie, and Jonathan playing, swimming at the pool, and then out to an enjoyable dinner. I even brought my camera for whatever reason, so we have these pictures from July 3, 2011:
|Snack Time with Pops!|
|Julie, Jonathan, Reed, and Bryan- July 3, 2011|
At the memorial service, Matt's sister Katie shared a quote from an email her Dad had written to her about grief (in the context of Katie graduating and leaving college). He encouraged her to grieve well, saying that grief is a sign of a rich life. That is certainly true of Bryan's life. And that in itself is a gift and a grace...
|UGA Graduation, 2005|
|Our Wedding, 2006|
|Murder Mystery Dinner, 2007... haha|
|Bryan's Bday 2008, explaining a mini, midi, and maxi at dinner :)|
|Christmas Eve Basketball 2008|
|lunch at Swallow in the Hollow, 2009|
|Proud Pops - 3 Generations - Bryan, Matt, and Reed|
|Fun at Gavin's Bday, July 2011|
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal"