We're walking along, down the country road, and it feels like we're pulling weight.
And we are.
It's the not-getting-along. The sharp words and fast fists. It's this cloud of character grit that's settled hard.
The sun is warm. The sky is the deepest shade of unbroken blue. Fall colors burst bright around us.
And we're mumbling. Grumbling. A brother steps on a brother and we're brawling in the road.
I feel like giving up. Throwing it in. The fruit seems far and these behaviors are new and I'm not sure why they're here or how to make them go.
Maybe it's me? Am I distracted? Too hard? Too soft? Is it them? What am I missing?
I thrust my hands into my pocket, more out of frustration than a need to be warm, as we stalk down the lane.
A tangible reminder of love.
It's a walnut shell. A half-walnut shell. Zay had given it to me months ago. It's been in the pocket of my sweatshirt. All while the months were warm.
I pull it out. But I already know the blessing.
It's shaped like a heart.
When he'd given it to me he'd said, "For you, Mama. I love you. Remember."
But today when I hold it in my hand, I hear something else.
I love you, Daughter. And I've promised to never leave. I'm here and I love you. Remember?
So we walk on and I hold tight to the half-walnut in my hand. After a bit I slip it back into my pocket.
I still don't know what's up with the boys.
Is it me?
Is it them?
I don't know.
But it's okay.
Or it will be.
Because He loves us.
And He's right here, too.