Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bittersweet Joys




It's a little hard to see, but the photo in this picture is of my mother. My grandmother and Aunt Linda (who was only 13 at the time) dressed me up in this pretty dress my grandmother made, and put me in front of the tree with my mama's picture to send to my mother, who was in an Indiana TB hospital. I was living with my grandparents in Tennessee. My dad was working as a truck driver, and staying close to my mother and his job.

I don't remember much about this. I do remember how much I was just crazy in love with my Granddaddy Warren. I look at the letters my mother saved from my grandmother and my scribbles all over the bottom of them--because I loved to "write." I wrote all over my Aunt Linda's high school yearbook. She wasn't too happy with me. I'm sure it was hard having this baby who not only invaded her life, slept with her in her bed, kept her up at night with this problem and that, but also sort of ruined her social life. You would think that she would have ill feelings toward me even now. But no, my Aunt Linda is probably my closest and dearest friend/relative. She still lives in Tennessee, has a wonderful family and hosts a Christmas breakfast each year. I am missing her this Christmas and marveling at the thought of how she tolerated me.

I also look at this photo and think of my poor mom--gravely ill, separated from her husband and baby daughter. She had five miscarriages and then got me. Then not even a year later she gave me to her inlaws and made my grandmother promise to give me back when she got well. What a sacrifice my grandmother made! She once told me that the hardest thing in her life was to give me back to my mother, but I'm so glad she did. While I loved my grandparents just as if they were my parents, my mother was a rare gift to the world and I feel so privileged to have been raised by her.

Of course, this causes me to think of Mary. When she found out she was having the son of God, the Savior of the world, it had to be bittersweet to think that someday he would have to return to His Father! What amazing courage she had. It makes me weep to think about the pain, but what an amazing love and sacrifice--and a bittersweet joy.

Bittersweet joys are all around us. Don't miss out on joys just because you are afraid of the coming pains.

5 comments:

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Thank you for sharing.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Well said.

I love that photo of you. Very sweet.

LeAnne

Christine said...

Your bitter-sweet memories of how hard it was for your auntie to give you back to your mother strum such a familiar chord within me. Relinquishing my first child to adoption was one of the hardest things I ever did, but God is there in the painful and in the joyful. Thanks for your wonderful writing, Crystal

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Dear Crystal -

Thank you for opening your heart.

The last couple of paragraphs spoke to me. Sometimes we shy away from love for fear we'll be hurt again. It's so easy to crawl into a shell.

May the Lord comfort you day by day and moment by moment.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Christine, that would've been so hard!Yes, I've often thought about all of their pain. I was oblivious for many years to that. It wasn't until I was somewhat older that I appreciated it on my behalf.

Susan, may the Lord also comfort you!

Thanks, LeAnne & Sharon!