Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wife Rule #162: We're Family

Sometimes when I want to say something most, it's hard to find the words to say it.

My cousin Erica passed away a week ago from cancer. Her funeral was yesterday. We grew up together. For several years she has lived in Florida with her husband and children, whom I don't really know. I've occasionally checked in on her blog, and tried to offer condolences when her mom (my aunt) passed away last year, also from cancer. She has extended sympathy to me regarding my dad's cancer the last several years. There have been mutual prayers sent back and forth in our respective struggles, but in truth I haven't been all that close to Erica in recent years. Now she is gone.

I know from reading her blog that she loves her spouse and children, I'm sure just as much as I love mine. And I know they must love her back, just as much as mine love me. And so my heart breaks for them--for the children who miss their mother and for her husband, who has lost his wife: the source of so much happiness and balance and meaning and direction in life.

I have learned from loving my wife that there is a beauty that comes into your life when you enjoy a happy marriage and family that cannot be replicated in any other way. This is because the married life--the family life--is what God intends for His children. It is the way to happiness. It is a shadow of His life.

Feeling this celestial love and yearning in our own families is a big part of what makes the separation from our loved ones sting so much. Because of what Erica's husband and children lost when she died--because of her love for them and their love for her--they must literally be going through hell.

I believe this is why God sent his Beloved Son to save us: so there would be a way back out. So that we can find a way to dry our tears. So that after the sting of death eventually loosens its grip on us, we can have hope again. So that we can find joy again. So that we can overcome both sin and death, and live together as families again, with Him.

He is real. He cares. He loves us. He really did rise from the dead, and because of Him, so will each one of us.

Some day I'll see my cousin again, and I hope that in the next world--the world that never ends--we'll keep better track of each other. I hope to get to know her husband and kids.

After all, we're family.

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