Dec 13, 2013
Hope... A Year Later
A year ago the hubs and I sat in a Princeton, N.J. restaurant waiting for the in laws. They were late which was funny because we had flown across the country the night before to see them for the day. They had an hour drive and they were an hour late.
Funny maybe, but it was the last thing funny about that day.
We had a nice lunch when they arrived. They have lived in N.J. their whole lives and somehow they are still mystified and surprised by the traffic.
We shopped and found ourselves at a library where we were killing time before heading to see Killing Lincoln. Then we saw a television with people starting to gather. Murmurs, shrieks, cries... the catching of breath when you see horror.
We watched the panic and grief, trying to understand what had occurred.
You cannot understand madness.
This morning, a year later I am in my kitchen, preparing for a party for my husband's staff. A Christmas party where we will laugh, enjoy and celebrate this season of joy and hope.
The television is on. I watch an interview with two families who lost children and the daughter who lost her mom, in this nightmare a year ago. This young woman married this year, her mom absent. I imagine the joy and sadness mixed throughout her wedding day. This daughter, so lovely and still needing her mama.
The question was asked how these people were doing, a year later.
If there is a stupider question, I can't think what it might be.
It's like a day to these people.
Think of a loss that was life changing to you.
Could it be yesterday?
You remember the detail.
Where you were.
What you were doing.
How life changed that day.
The day my brother died.
I was six.
Do the math... it was a long time ago.
I can tell you details of that afternoon. The telephone ringing in my classroom. Meeting my older brother in the hall. The look on my principal's face.
My mother's words to me. What I said to her.
Being terrified to go to bed that night.
Watching my mom try on a black dress that a friend brought.
My grandfather's tears.
I remember the loss of other young lives in my community.
Feeling sad for their siblings my age. Knowing the pain and yet not knowing what to say.
To this day I remember.
We are changed by these moments of time. When time stops.
These moments... like snow globes, but without the snow and magic. We look inside, shake it and watch the pieces fall. Families come apart.
Life will never be the same.
The death of a brother, then a mate... too young to say goodbye, a dad... laughing, tennis playing one day.... weeks later, gone.
These children who have lost brothers and sisters. Parents who have buried babies. I cry with them, keeping my lips silent as there are no words to calm grief this big.
God must intervene if we are to breathe again.
My husband and I share a perspective of life that perhaps comes with age and experience.
We believe deeply that there is a bigger picture to keep in mind, the goal of our faith. Not sweating the small stuff. We always hope.
You would be amazed at what we can make really, really small.
For me... I lost early. I lost again, it tried to kill me. God intervened.
I got it. For good. Never have I forgotten what matters.
For the hubs... he chose a profession where he has seen the results of people hurting one another. His job, to piece them back together.
He has spoken to parents who lost their daughter on her way home from college. The agony, grief and choices in those moments.
He has shared diagnoses with people that bring tears and cut dreams short.
God intervenes and we find hope.
These parents and children are forever changed. The pain they will wear forever, the choice will be how it adorns them.
They will choose. It may be anger, bitterness, forever grief. This choice is understandable. Who would tell them they should feel different? Not me.
Yet, I believe and hope most of them, will move into something healthier. They will reach out, advocate, give back, encourage and bless others... through their pain. That is what we do when God intervenes and heals His people.
We do not forget.
Perhaps it will always feel like yesterday...
but when God intervenes we find hope.