I have now survived one year without you. I haven't particularly enjoyed it, and some of it has been beyond horrible, but I've learned a degree of contentment in, if not with, the circumstances. My emotions continue to vary unpredictably, which isn't surprising since I've never done this before. I may be able to keep my head in good order, but my heart escapes most of my attempts at organization.
Right after I wrote you this morning's letter, I remembered a dream I had right before I woke up. I dreamed that you had gotten out of the hospital and come home, and were rehabbing very well. We had spent a few days in Holland and you had walked comfortably around town. We had a trip planned to Mackinac after you had gotten into shape to be able to hike up the hills. So we went for a check-up with Dr. Dunnick. He ran some tests on you, and told us with amazement that your heart was completely normal. He said the only explanation was a miraculous healing. And we said, well of course, as if we had known that all along. He was very happy and excited, like he gets sometimes, and was thrilled for you. We left his office feeling calmly happy and grateful, assured that you would have no more physical problems from the radiation.
And that is what's really happened, isn't it? You have been miraculously healed. You will have no more sickness, sorrow, pain, or death. And that is why I've felt all day like this was a day of celebration. This is the anniversary of your release from this life and your birth into eternal life. It feels like a day of great joy, gratitude, and celebration. You're home now - you've been there for a year - it's exactly what I want for you. I'll be there when I can. But until then, I can't dim the celebration with my selfish desire to be with you.
As St. John Chrysostom said:
O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb! For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept. To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.
So for today, anyway, I have no grief, only joy and gratitude and celebration. You are whole, you are healed, you are at peace, you are safe at home. You are where sin, sickness, suffering, and sorrow can touch you no more. You are in the presence of the Holy Trinity and all the saints. I rejoice today for you - there is no room to feel anything else. Heaven knows what I might feel tomorrow. But today is about joy, and I rejoice.
With love rejoicing,
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