February 27th is fast approaching. The 27th marks the date that my son TJ has been in heaven with Jesus for two years. As the day draws near, I find my thoughts drifting back to our journey together.
Yesterday I took a picture of the Valentine’s bouquet I received from my husband. The bouquet is sitting on the counter in front of our large kitchen window. Above the bouquet is a stained glass heart given to us, at the time of my son’s death, by the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, Minnesota. Due to the heart’s familiarity in the window, I sometimes forget it is there. Yesterday, it caught my attention, and the memories began flooding in.
A very large heart stained glass window is located on the second floor of the Rochester Ronald McDonald House. The heart logo is the symbol that represents the love the charity has for its families. Just as the young, bald-headed girl is doing in the picture below, many times I also sat in the chair by the heart window, lost in my thoughts, staring at the cars driving by. While I was a resident, I felt an overwhelming sense of love from the employees, volunteers, and other families with sick children. True to its slogan, The Ronald McDonald House is truly the “house that love built.”
On a personal level, The Ronald McDonald House was a place of refuge for me. It was a place where I could escape the stress of the hospital for just a moment and collect my thoughts and center them on God. It was a tender place where my soul was cared for, and I felt the presence, love, and mercy of the Lord. His arms enveloped me every day as He walked beside me. There are times when I long to be back in my room at the Ronald McDonald House where God was so near and TJ was within a short walking distance up the street, but God has other plans for me now. It is time I move on and tell the lessons I learned there to others.
“But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.”