I don't know what to call it. Grief is too dark a word; joy is too weak. It is the glorious pain that is known only by a mother as she watches her children grow.

Is it love? Love seems too simple a word.

It becomes the blood, which is pumped through her veins, reaching beyond her extremities, pouring out onto every aspect of her life--every part of who she is.

No longer can she live as one. A kiss goodnight. A temper tantrum. Nights spent awake and confused and consoling. Milestones. Arguments. "I love you"s. At each of these moments, is a headstone which marks a part of herself given--a piece of her heart that will always there remain.

But why should she want these pieces back? Though in affliction, the more she gives, the more she understands who she truly is.

One day, those children will not be children. They will leave her... her heart will break and she will cheer them on as they step into the world on their own. But she will not be the same.

And she will begin to grasp how the slow, sacrificial death of her Lord accomplished his love and brought forth new life.

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