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 my sweet grandson’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 my Kenny 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. 

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I miss you so terribly much. (The picture from two years ago)

How can I hold a perfect brand new life in my arms and be angry with God?

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Welcome to the world, Kenneth Robert Schuemann. You bring me joy. You are cherished and loved beyond measure.

How can I marvel at a newborn’s tiny features and question God’s motives?

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Look at that perfect face

How can I laugh when my world has crumbled and crashed around me?

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A ray of sunshine

I’m sad. I’m thankful. I’m also confused. I’m hurting. I have moments of joy. But I’m also mad. 

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