Some of the greatest books of all time are children's books. I always steal away my kid's book orders and happily read or reread books that are meant to entertain an 8 year old. One of my favorite series is the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has a quote in one of her books that I have had chance to reference many times in my life. I believe that she was quoting her own mother when she said, "There's no great loss without some small gain."
So, when life happens, as it does quite often at our house, I try to find the small gain and sometimes I have to have faith that that gain may just be an eventuallity. I hope that someday I will look back and think, "Wow, if that hadn't happened, this other thing wouldn't have happened, and now look where we are."
One example that comes to mind is the convoluted way in which my husband and I were even allowed to meet. My husband was in a boy's choir when he was little. Because it conflicted with his church time, he ended up on changing to a different congregation and there he met his best childhood friend, Rob. Rob and him are still friends. When my husband was a teenager, his father passed away. His family moved to Utah to be closer to his sister and there he met back up with his friend Rob. Rob was friends with Julie, who eventually became my roommate. And, well, the rest is history. I am so sorry that my husband lost his father at such a tender age, but I sometimes wonder if there is anyway we would have or could have met if this hadn't happened.
I've wondered about each of our moves and what gain has come from them. Some gains have been more obvious than others. I miss where I grew up and I miss my family, but I know that even with these great losses, there have been small gains. Even if it just means that we have been forced into our independence and reliance on each other.
I've especially been trying to keep this in mind with my sister's passing. As I talk to her husband and think about her small son, I wonder what eventual small gains might come from what seems like such a tragedy. I know that, for myself, I feel a sense of empathy towards others that I don't think I could have without going through this experience. Beyond that, I have yet to understand why things happened the way they did.