I took my earthly children to the agricultural show today. They had a great time climbing on the tractors, watching the dogs, going on a wagon ride and looking at the calves and bulls for sale. The highlight of the show for the kids was the small petting zoo with spring chicks they could hold and a lamb that they could go into the pen with. I had a hard time keeping track of everyone at the same time.
While we were there we met a couple whose son died a couple of months after Eva died. He was their only child at the time. I talked with them for a few minutes and, wanting to mention their son's name and acknowledge him, I mentioned that he would have loved the ag show. Yes, they said, he used to love coming here, and collecting pamphlets for grandpa. Mom looked so good but I know that looking good covers multitudes of pain. The sadness in dad's eyes was palpable. My heart ached for them and the hard, hard road they have travelled and are still travelling.
It was a hard conversation and I realized just how hard it is for people to talk to me sometimes. How much guts it takes to face my sadness rather than just turn away and pretend not to have seen me. And I am forever grateful to the people who have faced my sadness. Who have walked with me through the darkness. Who have had the guts to bring up Eva's name, despite the pain.