Her voice sang out the haunting medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” as the grandsons carried my father’s casket out of the church. This song had become his favorite song after hearing it at my mother’s memorial celebration 4 years earlier. In their last years together, they referred to their married life together as the “greatest love story”. He was looking forward to being reunited with her so that day was bittersweet, as are most good-byes, when the person leaving is heading out on a great adventure and leaving us behind in our simple lives.
It’s easy to be nostalgic about the lovely but the danger is to think life was always well. Life is messy and our lives together were very messy. The legacy we carry is one of being beautifully broken together. We carry on, raising families of our own, and we place our own uniquely shattered pieces into this mosaic we call family. From a distance, it is flawless, but upon close examination, it is just a jumble of broken pieces. However, near or far, it is a work of art, a masterpiece.
The beauty can be found in our brokeness. We huddle together in our sorrows, our silence, our laughter, and our shared tears and it is in these places we find our comfort. We extend grace to one another and hold tight to family. It is here, in the unconditional love of family that we glimpse Eden.
So we continue on, all the while, missing those who have left us this legacy. Our young begin anew, setting out unemcumbered, with hopes and dreams to write their own story, a new story. We look on trusting that they will succeed in ways unimagined. But the years have taught us to hold fast to the familiar, the precious simple, beautifully broken legacy that we share. For it is here our hearts find contentment and our imperfections are made perfect as we place our own shard piece into the mosaic.