|one of my favorite places in the world...|
He is navigating the subway like a pro, this son of mine, checking the map and making sure we are heading the right direction. We are riding the “T” through Boston, clanking down the tracks side by side. The sights and sounds of riding the subway have my southern California suburban boy enraptured. We emerge onto the cold, bustling sidewalk at the Park Street station, and head through the Boston Commons. I am guiding us, making a beeline toward the statues of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who I remember are on one of the Charles St. corners of the Public Garden.
We find them all dressed up for the holidays and a kind stranger snaps photos of us together, us with the ducks.
And my heart fairly bursts with a kind of healing joy.
|Stephen and I with the Mallard Family|
Oh Jesus, how do you do it? How do you line up these moments that go off like a flashbulb in our hearts? My heart beats out a steady rhythmic thank you, thank you, thank you. Every step we take through the Public Garden reminds me of the healing journey I have been on for the past six years.
When I look at photos of the first trip my husband and I took to Boston in the Spring of 2007, I am always struck by my eyes. They look so sad. And I was. So very sad. Five months earlier we had buried our fourth child. We had planned the trip to Boston when I was pregnant, planned to bring our then unborn son, William, along. I had imagined pushing a stroller through the arden while my husband attended his academic conference. Instead I sat by myself near the Swan Boat pond, watching families push their own strollers, journaling down my grief.
A lot of life happens in six years. Sitting on the bench where another stranger
kindly offered to take our photo, I watched my son, Stephen, walk out near the Swan Boat
pond, now covered in ice, and I felt Spring blooming sure right smack dab in
the middle of an icy winter.
|me and my husband along the Freedom Trail|
|in front of the Swan Boat pond|
This boy of mine is growing up. Sharing the time with him in Boston was partly like spending time with a friend and also definitely like spending time with my son, and I loved it. Stephen is appreciative and observant and funny. He is smart and inquisitive and willing. We walked a mile or so through the city in the cold evening air and he mused about how alike we are. We laughed and sang and quietly enjoyed one another’s company.
I know as I sat on that bench, six years ago, I didn’t sit there alone. Jesus walks with us through our valleys of grief. And I know that way back then, He saw ahead to the winter day when I would walk here with my delightful twelve-year old companion, and that inside my heart I would be holding a dream and hope of a child we would adopt into our family. And so He sat with me, holding me in His love and grace. And He walked with Stephen and me down that sidewalk in the wintry Public Garden. And we rejoiced.