Ironically, today also marks the birthday of Mike's daughter from his first marriage, Tracie. I wasn't with him the day she was born, but judging by how thrilled he was when his other children and grandchildren were born, it makes me smile to imagine how excited he must have been with his firstborn. Circumstances did not allow them to remain close over the years, but it never lessened the love he had for Tracie. She is a delightful individual.
Tomorrow is my brother, Dan and his wife, Carolyn's wedding anniversary. It is especially poignant, as they represent a real-life miracle. They've always been perfect for each other, but they endured the grievous refining fire when they lost their only child in a sudden accident. Statistics will show that few couples ever recover from that tragedy. Their relationship today shines and that says a great deal about their faith, amazing strength and love for one another.
When Jen lost Jon, her first husband, she shared a concept with me that she learned, about the good and bad in our lives often being described as valleys and peaks, when in fact, it should be more accurately likened to railroad tracks, running parallel. The good is always present, as is the bad. Our human nature is to dwell more heavily on one or the other, whatever is the more obvious at any given time, but the other is always just as surely there, patiently waiting for details in our lives to change. We are never devoid of things to be grateful for, any more than we are completely without something regrettable in our world.
So today, I'm still missing Michael, but lonesome I am not. My heart is full and I am blessed beyond merit, grateful for all that is good in my life, along with manageable adversity, currently running side by side.