We were so fortunate to have spent the past week at a beach house in Delaware with Trevor's family. Each summer Trevor's family get's together for a week-long vacation at Lake Chelan in eastern Washington. This year my sister-in-law suggested everyone come to the East Coast instead, so we opted for a week at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Trevor's parents, sister, and our niece all arrived the same evening. We all gathered for dinner at Scott and Maryanne's house. The energy and excitement of travel, being together, and the anticipation of our trip to Delaware was practically tangible. It was a bit of chaos as excited children began to play with each other, clamor for attention, fight over toys, try to escape the madness, and even eventually some minor injuries ensued.
Though it was a relief to not have any disciplining or fight-settling or injury recovery to be a part of, it was hard to not have Luke there in that crazy mix of things. This initial evening of being all together seemed to exaggerate the lack of Luke's presence more than normal. As I sat and watched all the craziness I couldn't help to wonder what it would be like to have just one more cousin in the mix of things. One more gleeful excited or perhaps overwhelmed and crying child.
The day after we arrived in Delaware, we took a Sunday evening stroll to see the beach. Perhaps it was being in such a beautiful, serene place that made my emotions more prevalent. I couldn't help getting emotional seeing all the family together ... but knowing it wasn't all the family. Missing Luke and feeling so empty-armed, I asked my sister-in-law if I could hold her baby. What peace it brought to at least have someone in my arms who I love, yet how I still longed for it to be my own child.
Yet again, I couldn't help to feel the void of having Luke be a part of the family adventures when we all went to a place called Funland. It's just a small place on the boardwalk of Rehoboth beach filled with little amusement rides mostly for kids. There was just something about seeing all the little cousins together, having fun. I couldn't help my mind from thinking what it would be like to have Luke there with them. There were even some small babies strapped in on the firetruck ride. It was a perfect ride for little ones that age.
Will this void remain in coming years when we do have little ones to add to the mix of craziness? I'm not sure. I am certain having our next son (and any other subsequent children whom we might be blessed with) will keep us occupied and allow our family to be more in the mix with all the kids. Perhaps the void won't be so exaggerated or quite as emotional. Yet, in a way, I hope that I always feel this void. I hope that I always feel like someone is missing, because he is. Our family simply isn't complete without Luke. Nevertheless, I know he's not supposed to be here now. I know God has a plan for him and for our family on earth. I know our family will all be together one day. This just isn't the time. Knowing that makes things easier. Knowing that brings comfort. But the tears still come, because I miss Luke. And I'm okay with that.
Luke, It's incredible to think that it was just over a year ago that all the cousins sat together in Chelan, while we were home anticipating your arrival. We got an email that read:
"Dear Uncle Trevor and Aunt Shelley,
We want to meet our new cousin!!!!!!"
I suppose not a lot has changed since then because we still can't wait to meet you!