Cruel April

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  April is the cruellest month, breeding
 Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
 Memory and desire, stirring
 Dull roots with spring rain.  ~ ll. 1-4, The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

I never knew how true The Waste Land’s opening line was until 2017. When my oldest son died on May 2nd of that year, I unexpectedly realized that I would never be able to celebrate his birthday with him ever again. That realization is what made Eliot’s  “April is the cruellest month…” words so dead right and so distressing.

Since Ade’s birth, I always looked forward to April—not just because his birthday is in April, but also because April is the month when both of my sons (Ade and Tarik) and their dad (Maynard) were born. Over the years, celebrating the 15th with Tarik, the 19th with Maynard, and the 30th with Ade always filled me with much joy. Now, when I think about April, I have mixed feelings—joy mingled with sorrow.

For the rest of my days on Earth, April will always be seen as a cruel month—one that allows me to enjoy the happy birthday returns God grants Tarik and Maynard, while filling me with the sense of loss and sadness on Ade’s born day. Even though I am grateful that God spares my youngest son’s life, as well as the life of his dad, and even though I am grateful that my oldest son is no longer in pain, the human part of me can’t help but tear up every April.

With each April 30th I am allowed to see, I will forever be reminded that this day in 2017 was the last time Ade enjoyed his birthday in the land of the living. Additionally, I will forever be reminded that the one flower I would love to see in full bloom in May—my son, Ade—was instead plucked from the garden of life on May 2nd (just two days after his 45th birthday).

Lastly, the one thing that I will cling to, especially in April when I think about how April 2017’s showers didn’t allow my son’s life to finish its reblooming in May 2017, is as follows:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes
    and eliminate death entirely.
    No one will mourn or weep any longer.
    The pain of wounds will no longer exist,
    for the old order has ceased. –
Revelation 21:4, TPT

Thank YOU, God, for this promise! I can hardly wait!