I pick up another shirt and fold it so the design is facing out and he can see it in the drawer.
He opens a bag, and starts carefully taking out some parts. I can quickly tell it’s a cherished possession. Carefully, he takes out a base, then a top, and the middle where greens and blues are swirled together.
“This is my lava lamp, my sister gave it to me, but,” he sighs deeply, “I think it’s broken.”
“I thought it just needed a bulb,” then he shows me the switch to turn it on that is held together by a piece of tape, “I saw this and now I don’t know if it can be fixed.”
He begins to open up the tape and tries to show me the electrical wiring. I see it in his eyes, a hope that I can fix it. Then a small gold part drops out of it and falls into the carpet. His hands immediately go down, frantically searching.
My ten-year-old daughter walks in, “What’s wrong?” she asks.
Another sigh, “My lava lamp it’s broken,” he says, “I used to turn it on every night and it would make me think of my sister.”
I see it in my daughter’s face quickly, a knowing. It shows the picture of her biological baby sister that she glued into a notebook and now can’t find. The stuffed animals she still has from her bio mom, rarely played with, but sitting in places of honor in her room. The importance of remembering amidst the pain.
“That’s ok,” she says, “You can still put in on the shelf even though it doesn’t work, it’s beautiful.” She hands me the base.
“Mom, find a place on the shelf.” She starts looking for a rubber band to help him roll up the cord.
I place the lava lamp on the shelf and watch my children take care of each other. Holding grief and hope together in each hand. Reminding each other that broken memories are still beautiful.
Guest Post Author: My name is Elissa. I am in my ninth year of teaching and my students are part of my daily heart beat. I have been married for ten years to Simon. I am a foster/adopt mama and together with Simon we have a family of five. We are the family that starts dancing in the middle of the crowd and I am the one with no rhythm, embarrassing my kids. The joy and hope that comes from our raising our kids continually reminds me of how God has rescued me.
You can read more from Elissa here:https://elissayost.wordpress.com/about/