Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Repeat Visit in an Unexpected Place

Death has visited part of my family yet again. In 6 months, my beloved Auntie Leti passed away from malignant breast cancer. My amazing Grandpa Sammy passed away from prostate cancer. Aunti Leti was just 2 months shy of her 50th birthday and 5 month short of her youngest son's high school graduation. Grandpa Sammy had celebrated his 85th birthday just 3 months before, but did not get the joy of seeing any of his grandchildren actually get married. He had always talked about throwing a "big wedding" for my husband and I, and how he wanted to "get the officer's club for the reception."  I love and miss them both so much.
This time it was someone whom we hadn't even met. It was almost like having a miscarriage. My mother and father-in-law were adopting their 12th child from China. They had named her and and just received the travel dates to China, when the call came this morning. Josie had passed away. My heart about stopped when my sister read the post made by my sister-in-law. The adoption agency they were going through had called with the news and the promise to look more into what happened.

How many times, God?!

They hadn't even met her! They didn't even get to say "hello" and now they have to say "goodbye" to a girl who had an entire (big) family ready to love and provide for her every need. They only had a few pictures of her... That's why I compare this loss to a miscarriage. You only have a few ultrasound pictures to grow attached to, and while you don't feel the child growing within you, you've experienced the daydreams of holding her; the pains of financial sacrifice, pages of paperwork, countless phone calls and appointments, etc. You've prepped your children and dreamed with your spouse... you've purchased clothes and toys, and shared your hopes and dreams with family and friends...

Another friend of my is suffering from loss and pain, too. After getting engaged and picking a wedding date for this year, she ended her 6 year relationship with her fiancée. While I only know the pain of a partial breakup that only lasted 2 months after less than a year of courting, I still vividly remember the suffocating pain of not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to leave the house or take care of myself, much less continue on with classes and schoolwork. I think the only thing I really looked forward to (and that was just barely "looking forward to") was my custodial job in the evenings. I sang my broken heart out like I never have before (past and present) while cleaning empty bathrooms and classrooms. Prayer-filled, inspired songs to God poured out of my lips and helped to numb my pain. I weakly avoided even my roommate, housemates, friends, and family. Thinking was dangerous territory because I would easily fall into deep, immobilizing sadness. The thing my friend and I did/do have in common is the power of God in our lives. We both wanted God's will and direction in our lives. We both could go to God with our hurts and expectations, our disappointments and fears. She fears her ex-fiancées' mental state and reaction to her choice to end the relationship altogether. And simply forgetting or erasing the time spent with that person isn't necessarily wanted to be forgotten. There are reasons why were were in the relationships were in existence in the first place. I feel for her as she voices her frustrations of the lack of practical, realistic advice and direction in approaching dating, relationships, engagement, and marriage when she got in the relationship in the first place. It's probably one of the reasons why I have such a high opinion of Authentic Beauty and want to do one in whatever church we end up in as a family.

Well, I think I've dwelt on enough loss and sadness in this post, but I will close with the promise that God is still in control and that we will see those who have gone on "home" before we have. May God grant us who remain here on earth the grace to continue on in ways that bring Him glory.

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