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Reflections On Our Trip

Life goes on, but my heart still hurts. We knew that after the hard past couple of years, that we needed to move forward and take a family trip. Usually family vacations are so fun to plan and there’s so much to look forward too, but when you’re grieving, even vacation planning looses it’s excitement. It becomes one of those things that you know is good for you, but you’re just not feeling it. So you commit to doing it, just because you ought too. It’s like so many things, when you’re grieving-bittersweet. It’s just not the way that we imagined our life would be. Visions of future “bucket-list” vacations always included Sarah. However, we knew it was time to take this step towards reality and go.

So, we planned at family vacation out west. I planned the drive, the hotels, the VRBO’s, the National Parks, the extra stops. We decided to invite one of Libby’s closest friends, Sam, to come along. Thankfully, her parents were willing to entrust us with her for 2 whole weeks. I’m so glad that they did. Big life events, holidays, and vacations just magnify “the missing” for all of us, especially siblings. Libby has suddenly been forced to take on the role of “only child” of two grieving parents. That’s a hard job. We’re doing our best not to smother her and respect her 14 year old introverted self, but it’s hard not to be a helicopter parent. It’s our job to fix what’s broken for her, but this time, we can’t.

I can honestly say it was a good trip. We saw things that were just so beautiful-places that we have been wanting to see for years. We took lots of pictures, saw lots of animals, laughed, ate too much, and had fun. We also felt a deep ache in our hearts that I will compare to being “home sick.” Although, we knew when we arrived home, it wasn’t going to be alleviated. It’s a longing for how home used to be.

It’s no surprise that I pray a lot for God to give me signs from Sarah. I also say things to Sarah out loud sometimes, just in case she can hear me. When you’re missing someone that’s in heaven, you know that they’re ok, but you still want signs that they are still with you somehow.

One day, while sightseeing in Glacier National Park, we were driving along and came by this beautiful crystal blue lake that was so still that it had a mirrored reflection of the snow capped mountains in it. As he often did, Chad quickly pulled over to park and get out and just take it all in. I jumped out of the truck and started taking pictures. He noticed another couple also had stopped and as he does so naturally, he struck up a conversation with the man. He told Chad that he and his wife were retired ranchers from North Dakota and they now lived closer to this area. He said they come to Glacier a lot, and they took this particular drive about every 2 weeks. He said he had never seen it so still. He even told Chad that usually the waves in the lake were white capping because of the wind. So they also were amazed at the beautiful reflections in the mirrored water. I snapped several pictures with the phone camera, trying to frame the shots exactly like I wanted. It wasn’t until I reviewed the pictures that I saw it. This beautiful glow of light that seemed to build in a few of the images, until this magnificent bright image showed up on the picture. Again, none of this was viewable as I took the pictures. I knew right away that it was a sign. I zoomed in to look at the light…It was more breathtaking to me then the gorgeous mountains. All I could do was say thanks! Thank you, Jesus and Sarah, for letting us know that she was with us on our trip. Not the way that we exactly long for, but in a way that is better for her. I know she’s healed, free, and in perfect peace and paradise.

I’ll keep asking for signs this side of heaven. She’s a part of me and I can’t help it. What exactly did I see? I’ll let you interpret that for yourself. You may not see what I see, but that’s ok. What signs have you experienced from your loved one that has passed?

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