Do you remember the Winnie the Pooh books? Or maybe the animated Disney version of the stories? I loved those books when I was a kid...still do, actually! And the Winnie the Pooh character I've always most strongly identified with is Eeyore. I'm married to a Pooh (Brad's gonna love that when he reads this), I'm the mother of a Tigger (Bethany), and a Kanga (Hannah)...but I'm an Eeyore. I don't really want to be an Eeyore...I mean, who wants to be a gloomy donkey whose tail always falls off and has to be tacked back on...but hey, it is what it is.
Today I'm feeling particularly Eeyore-ish. I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day...I've always thought it was a conspiracy between the flower, candy, and card making industries to get otherwise sensible people to shell out tons of money for their products in an effort to prove their true love to someone. See, I told you I'm an Eeyore. But even with that in mind, I've always enjoyed the holiday. Nowadays, it just makes me melancholy.
You see, it was three years ago on Valentine's Day that my oldest daughter woke up with a headache. And two years ago, after brain surgery and a year of intensive radiation and chemotherapy, my beautiful, brilliant daughter was bald, nearly blind, and no longer able to walk on her own. And her mind was as simple as a little old lady with advanced Alzheimer's...repeatedly thanking her Dad for the Valentine's roses he had gotten her that day, because she couldn't remember that she had just seen them and thanked him for them thirty minutes earlier. It was just two days later that she left our earthly home for the last time, and ten days after that when she entered her Heavenly home.
Three years since this all began? It doesn't even seem possible.
But here's the thing...God has taken this Eeyore heart and kept it beating through all the ups and downs of the last three years. And every time my tail has fallen off (and believe me, it has!), He has patiently tacked it back on. And He's given me some things that Eeyore never had...the JOY and HOPE that's only available through Him. And for that, even on this melancholy Valentine's Day, I am grateful.