My daughter was 14 the day she came home from church to the news her brother had been killed. Her wail of “NO Not Pokey. They made a mistake” will haunt me forever. The sheer raw pain of her cry was shattering. I would wonder for a long time if that wound would ever heal.
What I have learned from my daughter since that moment is to “continue steadfastly”. To move forward through the most painful moments and to continue to find joy in life. Sometimes I think we as adults forget that it is still ok to have joy even though we have endured so much pain. And that in fact that we should.
It should not have been surprised me when she told me that her motto was “continue steadfastly”. It was how she has lived her life and how she has shown us to live ours. As I look back over the past few years I see that is exactly what this family has done. We’ve done it in our own time and ways but we’ve all continued steadfastly. We have persevered. And we have learned ways to do it from each other.
She has over the years learned to deal with the grief as we all have. It’s there… she, like us, still hurts. But she carries it with grace and dignity. She has a maturity about her that very few 18 yr olds have.
I watch my daughter as she prepares to graduate high school and move to the next chapter of her life. I see her get so frustrated with other kids her age because they just don’t understand the priorities of life like she does. I remind her on occasion that she has learned lessons that few her age have had to and no one should at her age. While they are worried about the others talking about them she is worried about putting together a plan to get through college without debt. While they are planning the next kegger she is planning her career.
She knows the value of life, the cost of liberty, and the importance of continuing steadfastly. She lives her life in a manner that those who are wise will see these lessons and learn them also.