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The Window, the Grapefruit, and the Baby

6 August 2013

Sometimes I scroll through my own IG profile to count my blessings and to remember where we’ve been and to remind myself what I’m doing right now. (Seriously.)

Some people’s IG profiles scroll like art exhibitions. Mine scrolls like a scrapbook, and I’m okay with that.


I get down through a few months, and I come to these three black-and-white ones.

Sometimes they’re in the same row and it’s like a line in the sand, or a run in the fabric. An intermission. A scratch on the CD. A shadowy valley. A tick on a timeline, but not a little one that only goes up or only goes down from the big line – a big one that cuts through it, top to bottom.

I didn’t mean for that to happen. I didn’t intentionally do a “series” of black-and-whites. I didn’t determine to make it a trilogy.

And usually those photos don’t bother me as much as the three that come before them.

That window is one of the worst pictures I’ve ever posted. It is on the side of our favorite little breakfast place, and I remember that morning when everything was normal. It was probably the Monday before the Wednesday, but we had no idea.

That window was shared without a filter, without comment, and it only has a handful of little hearts beneath it.

That grapefruit was breakfast about a week before, and it’s funny because until just a few years ago, I hated grapefruit. I confessed that to my mom recently and she was surprised. Because I always ate it when I was little. Dad really liked grapefruit and he would usually invite me to split one with him. He would even – for a while – cut out each little wedge for me. I could hardly stand the flavor. It was just tart and for the longest time I never got why he liked those things, but every time he offered I would sit and eat half a horrible grapefruit. Because I wanted to share it with him.

That grapefruit was also posted without comment, without any reference to my dad, and only got double-tapped a couple of times.

That baby had just turned three months old. He was just finding his voice, just getting good at sitting up with support. Just seeing the world.

Those pictures make me cry sometimes. 

That stupid window that I stopped to take a picture of because there was nothing bigger on my mind. That horrid grapefruit that I love now, but didn’t even consider that morning. That adorable baby who is asleep on the bed beside me as I type, more than twice as old as he was in that picture, and completely unaware – like we were those mornings – that the record has skipped.

I look at those pictures and my heart presses my rib cage, and my throat gets dry, and I beg, for a moment, to go back there.


But my ruby slippers never work, so I look at the black-and-whites again, looking for some answer or explanation that is as simple.

And actually, I find it every time.

In the details.

Because just like I didn’t intend to create a 0 A.D. in my catalogue, I didn’t set up the details either. I didn’t set up the symbolism of the beds, or the posture of my brother and mom, or the wide frames on the ends, or the contrast from the hospital to the baby.

I only gradually noticed those things myself.

But those things give me hope, because I’m reminded that those photos are not accidents and that a much better Author than myself actually is crafting this story. The details are not insignificant. There is purpose. There is narrative being woven.

And just like we didn’t see the valley from the grapefruit, I know there’s more I don’t see. But I’ve read this Author before, and He is good. His endings never disappoint, and I rest in that.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Annemarie permalink
    6 August 2013 5:26 PM

    I am having one of those days where I am desperately missing my mother-in-law. With Patrick leaving for school, there are so many things that I want to be able to talk to her about. I was conversing with God today, AGAIN, about how much I need her here and didn’t He know that in advance and I had to stop myself because of course He knew what was around the bend. Your last two lines are exactly where my focus needs to be right now. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Lex permalink
      6 August 2013 11:00 PM

      So sorry for the gap in your heart, Annemarie. Thanks for sharing it with me, though.

    • bianca permalink
      8 August 2013 10:57 AM

      Annemarie, the last two lines are words worthy of being written down and repeated often, I think.
      May God continue to bring your mother-in-law’s words and encouragement to you through memories and the wisdom she shared.

  2. Cindy permalink
    7 August 2013 8:22 AM

    Thanks for sharing…I sat here with tears trickling because I can’t call my Dad to just talk telll him about James & Love Packages and life.. and then I read your blog and was reminded that “a much better Author than myself actually is crafting this story. The details are not insignificant. There is purpose. There is narrative being woven.” Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Lex permalink
      7 August 2013 1:49 PM

      Thanks for sharing your tears, Cindy. There’s a happy ending coming. 🙂

  3. Ruth Sullivan permalink
    7 August 2013 9:27 AM

    God Bless!! Amen

  4. 7 August 2013 10:34 AM

    I wept. Thank you.

  5. bianca permalink
    8 August 2013 10:54 AM

    I’m sharing this today with many people I work with who have been feeling the sting of unexpected loss. You once again write a soulful and beautiful entry that touches everyone at some level.
    Thank you for being committed to sharing this gift. It is a passionate expression of a deep, beautiful heart, Lex. xo

    • Lex permalink*
      9 August 2013 12:14 AM

      Thanks so much, B. I hope it’s helpful to your people – or comforting, or whatever it needs to be.

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