Today is Easter Sunday. Glowy, pastel, egg-filled Easter Sunday. One thing is for sure, in spite of all the ridiculous things surrounding it…Easter has officially become my favorite holiday. Valentines day without Charlie just felt like constant loss. So did my birthday, and St. Patricks day. Those holidays would have been so much better and sweeter if Charlie were here. They just would be. But, now Easter truly MEANS something. So much more than what it meant before Charlie came into our lives. It has always meant something, but it means infinitely more to me now that Charlie has died. You just cannot fathom how immeasurably precious it is to know that we will be raised from death someday, until someone you love very deeply is laying in a cold, dark grave.
It is now so much more clear to me that Resurrection Sunday is the most important day of our lives. It is the day that I live for and put my hope in in a brand new way. The one day that reminds me, that unless it is all TRUE about Jesus having power over death…I will not survive this life without my baby boy. I love how Paul says that if Jesus is not risen, then our WHOLE FAITH is in vain, and we are to be pitied. I feel that deeply today. If Jesus cannot raise Himself, and therefore me and my baby from the grave someday…then all of this is completely in vain. I’m glad that God put that in His Word for us. I really needed Him too. And it makes Easter special even though I absolutely hate that Charlie is not here with us for this Easter Sunday.
Today we visited the Valley as a family. I’ve decided to call the cemetery where Charlie’s body is buried “The Valley” because I don’t like the other names for it. That, and our kids keep calling it “The Aquarium.” I, of course, have no idea where they picked up that name. But, I like “The Valley” because Charlie’s sweet body actually is buried in a beautiful green valley. And no place and no moment have been a greater valley in our lives, then having to say goodbye to our baby boy.
And so, today we visited the Valley. Charlie’s marker had just arrived and it was so incredibly painful and final to look at his name on a piece of stone. I had wanted to see that beautiful name on so many things. I had wanted to see Charlie’s name scribbled in little kid handwriting on his homework each day. To see his name on homemade cards he lovingly made me for Mother’s Day. To see his name on baseball awards, and his wedding program someday. I didn’t want to see his precious name on a grave.
Never, ever on a grave.
But there it is, his treasured, beautiful name, on a piece of stone. A piece of stone, covering a baby-sized grave. I hate that this is our life. But more than ever before, it gives me grace and fresh strength to know that Jesus has actually burst forth alive from a grave. That Jesus has actually conquered our greatest enemies of sin and death, and that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, He still has. And someday He will use that power to raise my baby boys body. To raise me and you who have put our trust in Christ. And because of this promise alone, I know that Charlie, and knowing him and loving him is not lost forever. I will see him…someday. I will take in the color of his eyes, the warmth of his smile, and the whole of his beautiful soul…someday. I will love him and say that precious name to his face…someday. And we will be with Jesus together forever…someday. This is the power of Easter Sunday.
“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” I Cor. 15:16-20
Happy Easter friends. I am praying that it will be a day filled with reminders of the risen Christ who gives hope not only for this life…but for eternity when He will finally make all things right. I. can’t. wait.
When we were leaving the Valley today I overheard Freddo say, “I miss Charlie. I wish we could have him.”
Me too, baby. Someday.