My heart continues to yearn for Leah’s presence in the life of our family, although the rough edges of pain and loss are no longer as sharp as they once were.
Our other children are all grown up now, they have lives of their own. We are no longer directly responsible for them. We still worry about them – of course – what parent doesn’t worry about their children, irrespective of their age? I pray constantly for each of them. I don’t have to worry about Leah though, she’s safe in her heavenly home.
We love spending time with our children; walks in the countryside, cooking and eating together, evenings spent playing board games, having fun – time spent just enjoying each other’s company. We are very thankful for all of these precious times of family togetherness. We also delight in how much our children enjoy each other’s company and how they actively choose to spend time together – in 2022 this included a siblings trip to Tayto Park.
In the initial years after Leah died it was quite difficult to really enjoy family activities, as everything we did together as a family was also a very painful reminder of Leah’s absence. Thankfully, the intensity of the pain of grief and loss has eased somewhat over the years (or maybe I’ve just acclimatised to it) so that now I can really enjoy spending time with the kids without constantly wishing that Leah was there too.
Recently when I was tidying some of Leah’s belongings I came across a Devotional book that she was using in 2013, as the reality of her illness was unfolding. I noticed that she had highlighted phrases on some of the pages. On a whim I placed this book alongside my own daily devotional. I have been reading it most days since and reflecting on how God was ministering to Leah every step of the way.
This is what Leah read and underlined on this date in 2013. At this time she did not have a diagnosis and had not yet attended haematology outpatients. She was having weekly blood tests at our local GP practice and she was booked for an abdominal ultrasound at the hospital later that week. It’s comforting to read this and to be reminded of how God was giving Leah the strength that she needed, every step of the way……