That summer I had juggled the joy, anticipation and proper sorrow of our youngest daughter’s preparation and departure for college along with the deeply difficult decisions surrounding the needs for help of her older sister, a prodigal. Within a two-week span in late August we celebrated the adventure of college with one and mourned the admittance into rehab with the other.
Twelve months prior my husband and I planned to mark the beginning days of our empty nest with a trip, a second honeymoon of sorts, and so we boarded a plane within days of these momentous events bound for England. The first four days I did nothing but sleep. My husband graciously gave me the much-needed space for recovery.
One day we packed a picnic and drove south to the coast and there discovered a church, Saint Buryan, with a small graveyard inside the stonewall encircling the parish. Wandering among tombstones was a pleasure that day as I admired the hand carved letters and the angels or cherubs keeping silent watch. In that long forgotten cemetery I found this little rhyme which spoke deeply to my wounded heart. It marked the burial of a small family, a father and mother both in their twenties and their infant son, all dead in the year 1820.
Today these four lines are carved on the stone marking our granddaughter Molly’s ‘doorway to heaven’. And they continue to keep my heart centered on the One who—I know more irrevocably than ever—does all things well.