This past weekend my husband and I drove from our home in Virginia Beach to Connecticut for our niece’s wedding. K. is my husband’s sister’s daughter, but he will agree she is no less my niece than his. This was a particularly poignant wedding because K.’s father died quite suddenly and unexpectedly two years ago. K.’s brother walked her down the aisle between a host of glistening-eyed onlookers. Despite my brother-in-law’s absence, it was an incredibly joyous occasion. Friends and family members came from near and far to usher this precious couple into a new life together.
As I looked around and saw the faces of all the children there and imagined the ones K. and S. will add to their number, I thought of something my mother said when my grandfather died just before my little sister Karen was born. “God doesn’t take someone away without giving us someone else to love.” Unlike my mother, I don’t believe in a divine design of subtraction and addition, but families do keep losing and gaining nonetheless.
Yes, my brother-in-law was not physically present this weekend, but he was felt just the same. Looking at everyone who gathered Friday night, especially those who would not have been there had it not been for K.’s father, I felt deeply connected to him. Love is, indeed, eternal.