As I lay my newborn grandson down on the changing table, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to God for this little one’s life, his perfect features, his soft newborn skin, and the next moment tears are flowing because I can’t share this joy with the love of my life, so I’m crying out to God that I don’t understand, and I’m angry that Ken isn’t here to hold his namesake in his arms. Then a few seconds later I’m laughing at the stream of urine this tiny newborn just showered me with. And again I’m thanking God that he’s eating well and peeing and pooping exactly as he should. I get him all changed and kiss the top of his head and hand him to his daddy. I look at how my son is delighting in his firstborn, and I thank God that twenty-nine years ago he was born. I’m so proud that he’s an amazing husband and father. These same thoughts make me think of the example set by his own dad and my eyes prickle and I have to look away. So I pick up my phone; it shows a notification from Google Photos. It’s a memory from two years ago, and, instantly, tears spring to my eyes. I beg God, for what, I’m not even sure. I know I can’t have Ken back.
So I dry the tears.
Then it starts all over again.
These fragmented emotions.
How can I hold a perfect brand new life in my arms and be angry with God?
How can I marvel at a newborn’s tiny features and question God’s motives?
How can I laugh when my world has crumbled and crashed around me?
I’m sad. I’m thankful. I’m also confused. I’m hurting. I have moments of joy. But I’m also mad.