LOUISE: Swan Lake

 

Written by Louise Tucker Jones in the August 2013 Issue

Today, I read a verse in the Bible that made me stop and reflect on my life. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart…” Awesome statement!  It made me think of my own children, how I loved them and held them in my heart long before I held them in my arms.  I knew them before they were born. Knew their sleep patterns and activity, knew they would be absolutely beautiful, but most of all, I knew how much I loved them and how my heart would hold them forever. I knew I would have a special love set apart for each child, not more or less than the other, but unique for each one. 

This past weekend gave me reason to think about such things. My youngest son, Jay, and I met my oldest son, Aaron, and his family in Tulsa for some bonding time.  It’s a halfway point between our homes, and how appropriate that it would be Tulsa, where my husband, Carl, and I started our lives together.  It’s where our sons, Aaron and Travis, were born and though Aaron was still young when we moved away, he has wonderful memories of his life there and wanted to revisit some of those places.

Aaron and JayYou’d think we were vagabonds, having lived in several houses during our seven years in Tulsa, so we took a “town tour,” allowing Aaron to match memories to particular houses—the one where he walked to kindergarten, the house with the kitchen booth, the two-story where he fell down the stairs. . . . Then we discovered a favorite memory for both of us. Swan Lake. I often took Aaron on walks to the lake, just blocks from our little house. He was four years old. I was eight months pregnant and the cool, shaded area was a sweet afternoon respite. After Travis was born, Carl and I frequently enjoyed strolling beside the lake on summer evenings with our boys, allowing Aaron to feed the swans. Such a serene and peaceful setting in the middle of the city. 

What a pleasant surprise to find the lake almost unchanged after forty years, with swans gliding gracefully, fountains spraying and shade trees lining the walkway. It was like stepping back in time, remembering the love and fun we shared during those long ago outings. Of course there was one major difference. Two precious people were not with us—Carl and Travis. A bittersweet moment. And though I can almost picture Carl holding our blue-eyed baby boy in heaven, it is still a painful reality. These past two years without my husband hardly make a blip on a heart-mending meter after spending forty-five years together.

But the weekend with my sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren was wonderful. We even attended a family wedding. And now that I’m home I think back to those outings at Swan Lake with young sons, and the recent trip with grown ones, and feel God reminding me that just like I loved my children before I ever saw their sweet faces, He also loved me before I was born and set me apart for a unique purpose. I believe He does the same for each of us. Even in our worst times, God reminds us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Creator of the universe, set apart for something special known only by Him.

Somewhere in time, deep in our souls, I believe we all have a Swan Lake experience waiting for us—a reminder of God’s great love and blessings, even when life hurts. 

7 Comments

Sandi Newton Says:
August 10th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Louise,

What a truly WONDERFUL story for me to read today. It is so full of hope and assurance that our lives DO have a purpose in both the bad and good moments. As I have gotten older, so many overwhelming health issues have left me wondering why I am here.

I am so appreciative of your story and want to say "thank you" for writing it and sharing it with your admiring public. Each month I read your story and think "wow, this is the best one yet," and then the following month I read another that is better than the one before.

You are such an inspirational writer and God has used your talent for his Glory.

Clark Pearson Says:
August 11th, 2013 at 7:44 pm
Memories like surgery both hurts and heals.

Barbara Says:
August 11th, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Another beautiful story.

wayne godfrey Says:
August 11th, 2013 at 9:29 pm
you must have some of your grandma tucker writing talents. good story

Pam Taylor Says:
August 12th, 2013 at 11:29 am
Louise, simply beautiful....your story. BEAUTIFUL!

Judy Wainwright Says:
August 17th, 2013 at 8:07 pm
Lovely my friend. Truly blessed by God

Jennifer Rule Says:
August 20th, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Beautiful story. Beautifully written, too.
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