The phone rings, and it's my boy on the other end. "Happy Valentine's Day, Mom," he says. "How's your day been?"
My beloved pushes open the front door and steps over the threshold with four shiny, heart balloons. The girls rush to him as they do every evening, and he struggles to juggle what he holds, already, with whom he wants to hold. Laughter and shouts and balloons fill the air, and he kisses my headachy head on his way to the kitchen. "Clementine! Charleigh!" he calls. "I brought home chicken nuggets!"
He's bought a laptop stand to keep my computer from falling off the arm of the couch; he's made and framed a word cloud from his wedding vows; and he's written a poem too intimate to post, here.
All the magic is where Jim is, and it's always been that way: even when he wasn't with me, even when I wasn't looking. And it dawns on me as if for the first time: he's here, and he loves me; I need to celebrate.
My sadness has been hanging over my head like a helium balloon, and I've been afraid to untie and release it because I use it to prove: things matter. My brother's pain, my miscarriage, so many other things: they matter.
But they'll matter even if I start laughing, again: even if I stop waking in the middle of the night, to pray. If I stop eating everything in sight, they'll matter, and they'll matter if I bother to put on make-up and fix my hair. If I tap back into my tolerance for complete and utter bullshit, they'll matter. And if I clean my house? They'll matter, still.
Because God loves my brother; He does. He loves my little, tiny person in heaven, and He loves me. And if you are out there hurting, afraid of what might happen if you let go of your sadness, I want you to know: God loves you, too.