Tomorrow the girls and I are off to the East Coast for some time at the beach and at various locales with family and friends.
We are looking forward to the time together, although not so much the some 44 hours in the car!
We'll be in DC at a few key points for some Congressional events honoring Ray which bookend our vacation time.
A friend watched the girls today while I packed up the car.
During our day to day life, we have come to expect Ray's absence and thus are rarely suprised, for example, by his car parked in the driveway. It is most often the evenings and weekends -- times he would have been home -- that we miss him. And, we are even becoming more accustomed to those times.
However, because a vacation is not day to day life, I was reminded of Ray throughout today. As I did the jobs he usually did to prepare, and as I thought of our vacation, even our drive, without him there. I remember when both Ray and I were working, there was nothing so delicious as stepping away from it all, together. Because a family vacation is by definition, family time, it emphasizes, even more than our daily life, that our family has changed.
Today I was reminded of how much I miss our old family!
I've hoped so much that this vacation will strengthen the tenacity of our smaller family unit, bringing all of us joy, even and especially in our new world.
I pray for the strength to lead us on that path, for safety and patience on the road, and for time and tenderness with our family and our friends.
"I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.
I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." Psalm 119:25-28,30,32
not alone and not afraid --