Thursday night. As a little girl, I was afraid of the dark. I don’t think I made a big thing of it, but I remember needing to have a night-light turned on somewhere, or a closet light turned on with the door cracked, or some source of light coming into my dark bedroom in order to feel safe enough to settle down and go to sleep. You just never knew who or what might have been lurking… and then there was always the dreaded area under the bed, where strange things might have come out if the room was too dark…. There was a sense of safety that the light provided which disappeared if the room was too dark.

Yesterday was Jack’s birthday — and he is still here in Wrightsville Beach with us for the week. It’s the best way to celebrate a birthday — all week long! However, there’s no way he’s enjoying it as much as Jim and I are! Last weekend, all three kids + Ashley came here for the Labor Day weekend, so Jim and I bee-lined it over here as soon as we could get all our ducks-in-a-row in TX! We arrived on Sunday afternoon, making the 2-day drive with Scout, who seems quite thrilled to be back on the beach. I wonder if she had a sense of where she was going when we started the long drive from TX to NC?

Today marks one-year: it was one year ago today that my mother died. I’m trying not to re-live the details of just how shocked and grief-stricken I was that particular night upon hearing the news, but instead, trying to focus on how much I loved her and how glad I am that she was my mother. Fanester thinks it’s not particularly good or healthy to celebrate death dates as if they are birthdays, and I tend to agree with her. But, any way you look at it, the first year is a milestone, including the first Mother’s Day & Father’s Day without my parents, the first Christmas, as well as their birthdays and my birthday — days that would have been so different had they still been living. Jim’s father died 12 years ago in a few days… it hardly seems possible that it’s been that long ago. I’m so thankful that our kids were able to know and love and be loved by all four of their grandparents. Neither Jim nor I knew our grandfathers — they died before we were born.

Having both my parents live well into their elderly years was not only a blessing, but for me, I guess it was rather like having that night-light on — providing a sense of safety, just enough light so as to not become afraid. Even in taking on the caregiver role, I felt aligned with the ones who had, for all my life, protected me from the darkness. Thankfully, knowing Christ means that I can still feel fully protected, truly safe, knowing the One who not only provides the light — He IS the light!

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

John 9:5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 12:46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

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