We heard glass break on our anniversary one year. I report that is was only the stem of an engraved champagne glass from our wedding reception. We only drink out of them once a year on our anniversary to remember a year passed together and welcome another to come. It was only the stem, but we obviously can’t drink out of it anymore or set it on the table. It may not have been an earth-shattering loss, but it was really sad to lose. I actually cried when I realized what had broken because to me it represented a very difficult year in our lives in the way of loss. I thought it was ironic that it should end with broken glass. My husband held me while I cried. I’ve spent several years, off and on, trying to find ways to fix that glass.
My 'mother-in-love' (which she prefers over 'mother-in-law' - I love this is) heard something break in the dining room. Somehow the chandelier had fallen onto the crystal candlesticks sitting on her dining room table. She cried because she felt a great loss…not for the beautiful glass, but for her son and 'daughter-in-love'. To her it represented how the family felt during this holiday season. How ironic that it should end with a teardrop of broken glass. She knew what was coming; we had all been told. And we realized later that it was at that very moment that her son, my husband, was holding me while we lost our child.
We did not hear glass break, only our hearts. But that year, one of our smaller anniversaries, when I pulled out the ONE champagne glass, I thought of my husband. He held me during those weeks for some very low points, he took care of the house and his wife as if it were his only job in the world. He brought me flowers, a bear to hold, movies to distract, and home-cooked meals. He slept on the floor beside me when I fell asleep crying on the couch. That year, when we renewed our tearful vows alone in front of Fall Creek Falls, he gave me a new diamond ring for my hand. If you look at it, you will see a cord of three strands. A wise man once said that a cord of three strands is not easily broken.
I decided to stop looking for a way to repair that champagne glass. I would rather share the cup with my husband…..the cup of joy andthe cup of sorrow. I may never fix that glass. I may even put it somewhere on our wall to remind us that when things break, we must share. It is the only way our hearts will ever mend. It is said that God’s strength is perfect when our strength is gone. My strength came from my husband and the miracle of life and love. I can’t understand why this happens to people, but I do have an element of trust when they do. I told myself that year that I had to trust God to fix broken things, but also to let them break so that we will cling to one another.
How about you? What have you lost and then later realized that you gained something more precious than gold? Has your family ever had a "tough winter?" If so, I am so very very sorry. I get it. And it really stinks. I've SO been there. I don't have any sage advice to offer you except to pass on this one thing that has always, and I mean always, helped me:
Don't be shy to SHARE your cup of suffering with people you trust spiritually, and for that, I can affirm, you will be thankful.