Monday, April 23, 2007
Before the night ends I must write this. I cannot let the clock complete its circle, and not mark the day, because three years ago my son died. Right after it happened I would say, would it be easier if he'd died fighting in a war, or was in a wreck, or a hunting accident, instead of killing himself? I've beaten myself again and again, imagining his last thoughts. Questions like those out numbered answers then, and sometimes still do.

In trying to understand the why of it, a daughter located books that might help us, and this is some of what I read in Ann Smolin and John Guinan's "Healing After The Suicide Of A Loved One":
"The old adage, "Time heals all wounds" is not necessarily true for survivors of suicide."

"Time is necessary for healing, but time alone is not enough."

In another part of the book they add:

"Healing from a loss by suicide is a complex process. First you must come to terms with the fact of suicide. Once you have accomplished that, you must still grieve."

"Do not expect it to be easy. Do not expect the trip to be quick. You will lose many things along the way." "preconceived ideas, old ways of thinking, notions about explanations, guilt and retribution." and it adds:

"You will gain many others: sensitivity, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness of your self and others."

Today I'm more able to pull happier memories of him out of the past, but for a long time I couldn't. With eight members in our family, each dealt with his dying differently. I'd think time was being kinder, then remember something about him, and it was like the aching pain started again. Sometimes I just needed to talk to somebody about him, but the boundaries about it were not very clear. Was the sadness of it running out of time, with no way to put more money in a meter?

I say all this, not to be morbid, but perhaps to help others see that there is no exactness of this, except his death. What helped most was kind, caring hearts who set down their many words, and simply touched my shoulder, or maybe gave a hug, and listened for a while.

My son could be difficult to know. What some perceived as selfish occupation with himself, and not much regard for you or me, was probably only his miserable world, so much so he chose to end it. He and a huge number of others did that in 2004. Statistics say at least thirty thousand die a year, with a hundred thousand more trying to, and each year it happens again. None of us ever think it will touch our family but it does, over and over.

Students in schools, and colleges have a high rate of it, as do those who live alone, and the elderly, too.

His name was Jerry. He had big dark brown eyes. He was tall and slim, and used to wish he could live in Montana, and for a little while he did. He so loved hunting, and photography. I have a picture he shot of a rose. Like himself it was all alone, surrounded by dark ugly leaves and not enough of the sun. But it's all I have to remember him by, so I don't dwell on the leaves or its thorns, I just gaze at that velvety rose.

  posted at 11:22 PM  

Thursday, April 05, 2007
Miracles In The Making
How do you imagine a miracle? Do you see it as some far away happening, that only affects others' lives? Something I've noticed about them is, God picks unexpected situations and places to bring them to us.

Most of us know about Moses by the burning bush, and Peter's vision on religious rules, and who does not know about Daniel in the furnace, or Elijah's whirlwind journey to God. Of the four of them Moses was the least cooperative. All of them wanted to do God's Will, but sometimes let themselves get in the way.

Other instances showing God's Power unfold all around us in ordinary people, ordinary places, and ordinary circumstances. In this process some have hosted angels without knowing who they are. Miracles may be a little like that, and sometimes just as illusive. So we should look closer at everyday happenings. Someone misses a bus, and learns of the wreck that flattened it into the ground. A flight's not taken, with the same disaster, and that person survives. and we call it a miracle.

I needed a house to sell in a small town in Kansas. It had been on the market for about three years. Houses aren't selling very well out there. But my church prayed for me about it, and a couple came from the Philippines, and bought the house, and before the year was ended I was two hundred miles from Denver, and needed to move back. The first huge winter storm arrived, and in between it and the next one, help I so needed arrived, and moved me back in between the storms, on dry roads. Ask me what I believe!

When people talk about miracles today, they sometimes say something happened because of fate, as if it was bound to be. Long I've heard of the magical powers attributed to rabbits' feet, or horse shoes nailed up above our doors. Lately we hear much about the power of rubbing Buddah's belly, as if an inanimate object can do anything. Down in Louisiana they paint their door frames blue, to keep evil spirits away, and if that doesn't work they sprinkle huffy dust where you'd walk.

How serious these practicies are, I'm not sure, but even if they're only make believe, they still lean heavily towards witching craft; assigning to sticks and stones, what should be credited to our Lord. He doesn't need applause about His infinite Power, but we still need to show Him a trusting heart.

Civilizations thought to be free of destruction, eventually killed themselves off, one little bit at a time. The next time you cross your fingers behind your back, to cover up telling a little white lie, or when you won't walk under a ladder, because it brings "bad luck", remember those harmless gestures that become accepted as fact.

The world could use a few more Abrahams, Isaacs, and Sarahs. Lives with purpose more important than only themselves. Centuries later my people began to come here, and left some important milestones along the way. But nothing unusual announced when I was born. Like Sarah in the pages of the old Testament, my purpose in life may have been to help someone else arrive.

On a pleasant day in 1955 a child, a girl was born midst much confusion, when frightened nursing students ran out of the delivery room. "Get them back in here" the doctor called out, as he held my baby up high. "This is a miracle here." he said. "How can anyone look at this child, and not know there's a God."

The baby's name wasn't taken from the Bible, but if futures could have been known, she might have become an Elizabeth, or maybe a Rebeckah, instead of Beverly.

This vessel that delivered her almost obsessed about getting the family to Colorado. At the time I thought it was for other reasons: Wanting to leave a place, and falling in love with a beautiful state. Whatever it was, I couldn't let go of the dream. It took four years to get us here.

I thought it was so long because of opposition. But now I understand. Coming to Denver was part of a much bigger plan.

That little girl would have daughters, and some years later a brother was born, and they named him Daniel.

One might think nothing unusual happens in ordinary times, just generations coming on after another one. But the Bible explains God ordained our being here long before that. So wouldn't it seem our lives are also planned.

This Easter as we celebrate the resurrection, the little boy baby, whose name was shortened to Dan, is on a business trip somewhere in Japan, with his boss, the president of a well known Christian College. Accomplishing this did not happen quickly. In fact, it didn't just happen. Years of work molded this young man. The process wasn't easy. But mold, his parents did.

As your children grow, take care how you touch their souls. Not many earth shaking events transpired between Dan's conception, and his growing into a man. But many ordinary people and what they did melded into God's plan for him, and it's more than beautiful seeing it lived.

Although it might seem we and our world sometimes flounder, and even fail, our Risen Saviour directs it all, and when we need some help, He makes a miracle.

  posted at 11:33 PM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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