One of my friends is getting remarried. His wife died of cancer several years back leaving him with their young ones. As a friend I am delighted for him, glad that God has given him a second chance with love, he deserves it. The children are older and more independent. His wife-to-be is a pleasant person and a friend and I have no doubt they will be happy together. Unlike most persons entering into a blended family, both seem well aware of the expectations and up to the task.
Many people enter into blended families with rose tinted glasses, unaware of or unwilling to put in the hard work. It doesn’t take long before they realise that it takes more than blind faith to keep it all together. It takes lots of patience, prayer, hard work and self denial. Because any person can have a child but it takes a special someone to be a parent. To love, nurture, watch over and support another life as they navigate their journey here on earth and as any parent can bear witness, it is a job that has no end. I have no doubt that my friend and his new wife are up to the task.
Yet a part of me is a little sad, it sounds selfish I know but I can’t help but think of my friend’s departed wife who was a dear friend. I keep thinking of all the dreams she shared with me concerning her babies and her desire for them. Sometimes it breaks my heart that she is not here to witness how lovely they have turned out to be. Together they laid a great foundation in their children’s life and the dad has continued to build upon that foundation. Their children are a delight and well behaved.
I remember towards the end how sad my friend was, knowing she would not be there to watch them grow. Out of her own bad experiences she was afraid that another woman would not be able to love her children or treat them well. This was her biggest struggle and fear. I hold no such fear for her children. I have watched as the person stepping into her vacant shoes strives to build bridges and establish relationships. She does not attempt to take her place, instead with grace she tries to make new memories, a testament of her faith and character. I pray that up yonder, my friend is watching and smiling.
Dealing with the reality of my own mortality is not easy. Often I have to remind myself that these children whom I would die and kill for are not truly mine, I am but a custodian. One day God knows when, I too will not be here to keep tabs at them. My heart’s desire is that that day is far from today. But whenever that is, I have today with me, and today I chose to spend time laying foundations of virtues and creating memories for when all is said and done, that is all I will leave behind. For when I am gone I want my children to look back and smile but keep moving forward. The rest I leave in the hands of a faithful God.