Two years ago today I woke up in a home with five beautiful girls sleeping soundly in their beds. My wife and my four little daughters. Alivia and Clover shared a room, as did Lenya and Daisy. All of us in neat little couplets. Happy.
For 24 months full of difficult days we have fallen asleep as a family of five. The symmetry in our lives has been thrown off kilter. One of our little saplings has been transplanted from our nursery to the wild forest above.
On this two year mark my heart is filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude. I am thankful that I was given the honor of being Lenya’s dad. I felt her kick inside her mom’s tummy and chose her name. I was there when she was born and have loved her fiercely every day since. Being a father to daughters is the best job I ever had.
I am thankful for the way her move to Heaven has lightened my touch on this earth. I am thankful for every tear that has fallen and every sigh that has escaped my lips – for each one has been answered with strength from on high. As a family we bear a scar that will never go away, but we brandish it as proof of sustaining grace.
The name of the game the first year was survival. We did all we could to keep moving so as to not fall asleep and die in the snow. It wasn’t pretty but we made it. The second year I spent most of my free time writing. I feared that the lessons learned in the crucible of great pain might have been written in evaporating ink – if they weren’t preserved they would be lost. So I wrote like the devil was chasing me. Through the Eyes of a Lion is the result and I cannot wait for people to read it.
What awaits the Lusko family around the next river bend? Laughter and pain. Pleasure and sadness. Weeping and worship. Family day on Fridays. Lots of coffee. Preaching the Word. A generation called out to strength and honor. Jesus will build His church. All with a void, a conspicuous absence that keeps our thoughts tethered to our homeland, and eventually … we will be reunited with Lenya Lion in paradise.