February 27th is fast approaching. The 27th marks the date 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 my Valentine’s bouquet from my husband 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.
On the second floor of the Rochester Ronald McDonald House is a very large stained glass window of a heart. The logo is the symbol of 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. 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.”