During the last week, I’ve decided to clear out my office files, which have been sorely neglected because of life circumstances. In doing so, I feel as though I’m stepping back in time. Items that I haven’t actually looked at for years. It’s kind of similar to finding a time capsule. Photographs, store receipts, school report cards, birthday cards, etc.
The most touching finds are drawings that Leah and Grant created in grade school. They tell stories and show such personality for young people.
They bring me to tears – happy and sad.
At the time, the drawings were the cute items done at school. Most parents expect to receive craft drawings and projects for the holidays. They are put up on the refrigerator for a few weeks, and then typically pitched.
I kept several of the kids’ artwork pieces in a 3 ring binder. Leah loved looking at her art projects as a teenager. I’d hear her laughing and giggling as she looked at them with her friends.
Today, these pieces of art are gems. They connect me to a time of innocent joy when my children were small, healthy and safe – a time when all was well in my world.
I love the way Leah would draw our family. Mark and Grant would have three lines going straight up from their head – for spiky hair. She always made a very clear distinction between my curly hair and her straight hair. The best treasures are art when her hands were featured as in this picture below:
When I found this piece, it took my breath away. It is especially symbolic now that my daughter is in heaven. I don’t believe that today Leah is an actual angel. Scripture is clear that human beings in heaven are above the angels. But Leah is definitely walking with angels. Even today, this thought is surreal to me. Nearly 365 days after her passing.
What mom, when her daughter is 4 or 5, ever thinks her girl won’t live to her 16h birthday? I definitely never did.
So here I am holding onto time capsule treasures that I cherish. Most importantly, I hold onto the memories and focus on the honor that it was to be Leah’s mother. She grew and stretched my heart in ways I never thought possible. As I approach the next seven days, there are painful memories of Leah’s last week on earth. Yet, there are beautiful memories in that I was able to serve my terminally ill daughter with a heart that was truly empowered by God’s love.
I will continue to find comfort in fond memories of special times with my Leah.