There is always more on my heart than words can say, but I find journaling my thoughts or prayers a great exercise & makes a record to view of memories & our history - I invite you to join me if you can relate to authentic life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

It Should Have Been Just Another Day

I was having lunch with the student leader of my Freshman TF class when I got the call. It’s hard enough to be in a busy, college dining room with the trouble my eye and ear have been giving me since the concussion, so I let the call go, knowing it would hurt to try to hear a phone conversation and figuring that it would just be an update since we didn’t talk the day before. I actually felt a little uncomfortable waiting to call back, but I thought I was being silly. I would just call right when I left the lunch room. Then I got a text saying I needed to call. ASAP.

I knew what that meant.

I excused myself from the student, but I didn’t want to call Sarah back. How many times have I received a phone call like that? I knew what was coming and I didn’t want any more of it. Of course, in the seconds of making a return call like that,  logic tried to step in and say that things were going so well that there’s no reason to believe anything went wrong. Logic said that I just get anxious easily because of previous events. Logic tried so hard to overrule, but my heart knew. 

As soon as I heard Sarah’s voice, my fears were confirmed. I started heading out the door. Then she said the words “…..she became immediately unresponsive. They worked on her for an hour but couldn’t revive her.”  I started crying as I was weaving in and out of the tables and didn’t know what to do with myself. I’ve been so weak and dizzy the last couple of months that my balance wasn’t holding up well with this shock, so I stumbled over to the windows and sat on the floor. Don’t ask me why – I have no idea what I was doing, I just knew I had to sit. I was slightly aware that I was receiving curious looks.

I had to make sure I heard right. I said, “You are saying that we lost her, too?”  She said yes.

All I could picture was Jan without her husband by her side, fighting for her life and 4 young adults in a hospital reliving an event they shouldn’t have had to go through even once.  You see, my nieces and nephews had already lost their dad, my brother, a few years ago.  Now, very unexpectedly, their mother was diagnosed with a leaky valve in her heart and within the week had surgery to fix it. Surgery had gone well, the doctor’s said. Jan was up and even having breakfast less than 2 days later. She evidently had a blood clot that stopped her heart immediately, according to the nurses and doctors that were with her.

I ended up making my way to my office, with students and staff stopping to give me hugs on the way, knowing something had to be very wrong in my world.  When I got there, Scott, Ryan and Steven prayed with me and were so comforting. Minga came over and stayed with me for a while and prayed with me. I have some amazing friends at CU and an amazing God that provides for His children when they are in shock and hurt. He has never let us down. Like I said, we've done this before.

By now, I pretty much have the drill down:

-Lose someone I love before they have a chance to get old.                                                                   -Feel shock that God would actually take another of my parents’ children (in this case, another   parent from my nieces and nephews).                                                                                                    -Grieve for my parents, grieve for the spouse or children left behind, grieve for myself and my husband and kids.                                                                                                                                      -Choose. Choose to remember God DOES love us immensely. God DOES know what’s happening and cares. God WILL take care of us that are left behind. God CAN be trusted. Choose to know that I am NOT necessarily the next one on the list to die. 

But, I’m going to be honest here. This is the first time I feel like throwing an out and out tantrum. If I wasn’t so tired, I just might. Please forgive me for thinking this, but ... isn’t it time for someone else’s family to grieve? Don't get me wrong, I truly don't want anyone else to feel pain. But if something has to happen, why does it have to be in our family again? This year was FINALLY going to be a year of fun for our family. We were going to TN to celebrate babies and birthdays and being together. We will still do that, Lord willing, but it will be without Jan. Without Joel. Mark. Steve. Phil. Jonathan, Jeremiah and David’s baby.  I’m sure other family members, like my mom and dad, won’t be able to come either because my dad is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and my mom is his caretaker. Why are we always having to become accustomed to a new normal for our family? Trust me, it NEVER becomes normal when you have parts of you missing, even though we try.

Obviously, we have had many blessings as well, and we do count them. We treasure them. But, sometimes life hurts, too. It goes so completely different than we hoped or dreamed and knocks us down. We have to re-group. I guess I just don’t feel like re-grouping.
I don’t feel like trying to explain to others why holidays and reunions hurt the way they do. I don’t feel like being the one in groups of people that has the sad news to share, and yet, I don’t feel like wondering why people don’t recognize my life is altered again and why they don’t even show concern.  I don’t want to figure out what my new responsibilities are and then feel guilty when I can’t live up to them the way I should. I don't feel like feeling inadequate in the lives of those I love. 

I just want some fun. I want lightheartedness without the realization that one of us, if not all, are missing someone that isn’t there. I want lots of things that breathe joyful life into my bones, without the accompanying disappointment. (Like, enjoying my son's graduation, without wishing my brothers could celebrate with us and wish they could see how much he looks like them.)  I want to stop feeling insecure about the future. I want lots of things. I even want to stop wanting.

Okay, so, I get it.  Life is not about what I want.  I'm pretty aware of that fact. I’m just sad and was hoping for a new, different kind of chapter in our lives this year. (Remember, I’m in the tantrum feeling stage). I need just a moment to be heartsick without feeling strong. If you know me, you know that I am not doubting or distrusting God and neither do I need a pep talk of how life is hard and we all have hard things to go through. Right now, I'm just grieving the many aspects of hurt another death has caused and grieving for all those affected, especially for Jan's kids and grandkids. Healing is on it's way, but in the meantime this is what the Bible tells us, and I'm counting on it for all of us:
Psalm 34:18 (NIV) The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Because of this promise, I'll be okay. We'll all be okay.