At Rip's service, our minister said something that I've thought about many times in these last few weeks. He said (and a friend had to remind me he said it, so much of that day was lost on me), that one day when Parke and I are old and gray, we will be sitting there in a house filled with our children and our grandchildren, and we will be able to look at each other and say "Life is good".
Today is Rip's original due date, a day I have been dreading all week. Even though I knew for a good bit of my pregnancy that he would not be born in December, it is hard on days like this not to think of the "what-ifs".
This morning I got up, grabbed my ipod, and headed to the beach. My plan was to walk and mope around. What I did not realize was that it is FREEZING outside, even worse by the water. To warm up, I started to run. It was amazing, I'd forgotten how much I love the freedom of running. I felt healthier and stronger than I have in such a long time. And I felt Rip with me every step of the way. I thought about how much I miss him, but also how much of him I carry with me.
When I turned around, wind-whipped and exhausted but happy, the Alan Jackson song "Remember When" came on the ipod. What has always seemed like a pretty cheesy country song suddenly made a lot of sense. The last part of that song reminded me of what our minister said...
Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now looking back it's just a stepping stone
To where we are,
Where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when
Rip will always be my little boy, and I will always love and miss him. I will always wish with all of my heart that he was still here. But I also expect to get old and gray (well, maybe just old), to have a full life with children and grandchildren, to have many "remember whens", and to be able to say at the end of it all that life is good.