28 August 2008

What Grace and grace can look like...

Grace can look like 26 backpacks all lined up on a set of steps, and grace can look like 26 people responding, answering, asking to help, to purchase backpacks, to send them on to schools where students might not bring them, to put them on the backs of five-year-olds heading off into the classroom, into the unknown.

Grace looks like this, and as I drove to Longfellow elementary school today to drop off 13 backpacks, I thought about the transformation of grief and the transformation of love and how love can take on so many forms and how love is so much deeper than the affection for a person who is standing right in front of you. Today I felt so much love toward Grace and so much love toward my family, toward Terry and Carver and Sophia and Sawyer who have managed to stand with me through this, who have managed despite losing a daughter and losing a sister to continue to love one another and to continue to embrace each other.

And then I drove to Holmes elementary school to drop off 13 more backpacks. I thought about the confusion I sometimes feel in loving Sawyer, in finding absolute joy in his 2 1/2 year old self, in knowing that if Grace were here, Sawyer wouldn't be here. Yet also knowing that Sawyer is here with and without his older sister.

Grace can look like all of this, all at once, transformational and loving. And on Tuesday as 26 kindergarteners appear in classrooms with backpacks waiting for them, I hope that they find a little bit of grace in knowledge that even though they couldn't go to the store and pick one out for whatever reason, that someone took the time to buy one for them so they could know the joy at opening it for the first time and finding new crayons and pens and markers and glue sticks and all of the things they need to begin creating their mark in the world, their yes. So that each day when they wake up, they can understand that yes, they are walking and riding away from their homes into a classroom of opportunity, into a classroom of possibility.

And that yes, Grace exists and grace is real and grace is really the only thing that can propel us forward into the future--that ability to love unconditionally and that ability to understand that love transcends all things. Grace is love and to that end I can honestly say that I am grateful to her and for her, and I am grateful, despite the hole and despite the darkness and despite the grief, I am grateful for the things she continues to teach me and for the possibilities that keep presenting themselves because of her.

That feels like the best kind of love of all.


The Remodel said...

I am misty-eyed and sniffling as I sit at my computer and read your post and see your photos - beautiful ... bittersweet. Beautiful child that is missed and beautiful mama that remembers. I am blessed by knowing you. Some day I will be able to thank Grace and Isabelle for our friendship. I love you, Sara

Jessica Spracklen said...

I feel blessed for having the opportunity to get to know you and the memory of your daughter Grace. I am also happy that I could help some five year-old somewhere have a backpack that will bring him confidence, dreams, and love on his first day of school. I pray for love and peace for you and your family. :) I hope we can continue to get to know each other.

God Bless,

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

So glad to Grace in this way! :) Thank you so much for sharing the photos and your thoughts, Sarah. Of course you speak straight to my heart. Much love to you!

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Oh this is *so* beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. IN a sense, Grace will be with so many little children.