April long has been a month of emotional highs and lows. April 15 was precious sister-in-law Elaine's first birthday in heaven; she would be 55. The family celebrated -- but I also cried.
The way this month goes, though, April 15 was also great-niece Ami's 11th birthday, and it was nice to be able to celebrate with her.
Today, April 17, is the anniversary of what to me is still the saddest and most unfathomable thing for our family ever to experience: the sudden death of 5-month-old Ryan Michael. I think it was 18 years ago. That will never, ever seem ok or make sense to me this side of heaven. But I know God knows the whole story and sees the big picture, and we don't have to understand things to know that God continues to be in control and loves and blesses us and works all things for good when we seek Him.
Next weekend brings niece Jennifer's 28th birthday and 17-year-old niece Angela's prom -- celebratory reminders of how life goes on.
Before that, Tuesday, April 19, is the 21st anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City, which I cannot deny had life-changing effects on me. Each anniversary brings renewed commitment to live fully.
I'm not sure how to wrap this up. It's kinda like what someone I know says about saying grace. He said when he realizes he's gone as long as he wants to go, he quickly transitions to his concluding thought, some variation of asking God to "bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies, we beg Christ's sake. Amen."
I guess my blog version of that is just to ask God to bless these people, these moments, these memories and observations, and to help us all live to His glory.