I wonder if you have ever experienced a life changing event?
December 23, 2012 my oldest brother was killed in a car accident.
I remember posting that night that our hearts were shattered….
It was sudden, it was shocking, it came without warning. I can remember that night with vivid memory.
We are approaching the two year anniversary of Len’s death. and I am grateful that I do not live in the vivid memory of that night anymore. I do live with a daily awareness of his absence and a subtle ache in my gut when I stop to remember. During the last two years, I stand in awe that my heart can hold so many feelings. Len’s absence is always with me in small ways. And as I hold the ache and the sorrow, my heart can also hold deep peace, contentedness, empathy and the amazing gifts of comfort and joy.
There is joy in the life that surrounds me in my family. Each of my nieces and nephews brings joy to my heart. In all I share with my siblings and their spouses, in time spent with my parents and Aunt Dot. In the poems we write with the gifts and in the gathering of a family that has journeyed through deep sadness and enjoys time together with great joy. It is definitely a season of comfort and joy.
My friend came to visit this week and brought me a tea cup. It says comfort and joy. I knew as soon as i read the words, that she was aware that in my heart I long for both this Christmas season. I believe this is a mug that will sit out all year long. For my heart not only longs for comfort and ioy at Christmas, but every day of the year.
Perhaps my niece Olivia says it best in her entry to our family newsletter, Treasured Ties. Such a good reminder that our need for comfort is real, but the life that is before us is full. And Len would want us to live it to the fullest.
Christmas is coming and I know some people reading this want to forget the memory of my dad’s death, the memory that’s always in the back of their minds when they think of our family. He will be missed December 23rd and December 25th and also a random day in July. But we are not defined by what we are missing, we are not the family without a dad on Christmas, we are the Borgdorffs, we are together, we are loud, we are a team. We are one team, honoring the Captain we lost at sea, but never fearing the waters ahead of us because our Captain left the best maps behind to guide us. A team is not about being whole, or about never losing a game. Being a team is about being together and together is what we are. And if we are together, the game has already been won.
Signing off, in place of the notorious Leonard Hugh,
~ Olivia Borgdorff