These last few weeks have been a struggle for me. My family has a pretty jam-packed end of year, each year. Dave and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the 23rd, but we did it by celebrating my family’s annual Christmas celebration. Then there was the three Christmas-related church services that I attended and sang in the choir. We did our family celebration on Christmas Eve after the 4pm family-friendly church service, then we tucked our children into bed and I went back to church for the 11pm service. On Christmas morning, I was the only one that attended the 9am service since I had to sing in the choir. That gave me the unusual opportunity to spend time after the service visiting with my friends…I even got to have 3 cups of coffee un-in-ter-up-ted!!! There was no chasing of children for me:)
So where was I…oh yes, the closing of the year…
The 30th is my husbands birthday, but he may as well pick a different day because we usually don’t feel like celebrating then. I’ll back up to the 29th. That was the morning I had a very unpleasant “lady procedure” taken care of. The doctor found something and did a biopsy. To say it was unnerving would be an understatement, but since I don’t like to burden people with my problems I mostly kept it to myself. When I finally made my way to a computer that morning, I realized that it was the one year anniversary of my husband’s Aunt’s death. She had a 16 month struggle with breast cancer and on 12/29/2010 was welcomed to her heavenly home.
The rest of the morning of the 29th, I worked on the final details of Dave’s Big Lebowski Bowling Birthday Party. When I called my Father-in-law to pass on the details, I learned something VERY unexpected. Something I was not prepared to deal with. No one was. Dave’s cousin found his 15 year old daughter, Alissa, that morning. Lifeless. She too found her heavenly home on the 29th of December. My heart has been very heavy since that day. I ache for her Mom and Dad, our cousins. I ache for her little brother. I just ache with the pain of life lost too soon.
How do you even begin to process this?
How do you explain this to your own child, who is herself not far from 15?
How do you pick up the pieces?
I’d be lying if I said I knew the answers to these questions. But this I know…that God has a plan. He knows why this happened, and through Him I will seek my comfort. Through Him, I will pray for the aching and heavy hearts of my dear family. He will be the strength when there is none.
Dave and I decided to ring in the new year at home with our children. The wounds were too fresh and our time with family seemed more important. There were friendly offers to go to parties and spend time with friends, yes, but I just wanted to be home with our babies. After tucking my precious boys in bed, I spent the rest of the night with Dave and Maya. The three of us actually made it to midnight! Of course, at 12:05, I sent Maya to bed and went downstairs to my own bed.
I awoke the next morning for church with my beloved family. We arrived early because of choir, which is a blessing. It means we’re on time for the service…although I rarely make to on time for Sunday AM choir practice:) The service was a smaller crowd, which only made things more relaxed for those in attendance. My boys, as usual, could not stay still or quiet. That was the morning I noticed something in the back of the pews. There was a card with instructions and suggestions for families with small children on one side. On the other were instructions and suggestions for the rest of the church as to how they can help the families with young children. Tears started forming in my eyes. I simply cannot believe how blessed we are by this church we call home!
The first week of January was spent preparing our hearts and minds to say good-bye to Alissa. There was the wake on Tuesday night and the service on Wednesday morning. I brought my Mom along to help me with the boys during the service. I’m not sure what I would’ve done without her help! Those boys may look like little angels, but I wouldn’t describe how they act the same way. Dave and I had an argument after the service while preparing to go to the cemetery. I got upset with Maya for forgetting her coat. And I just wanted to disappear for a while. Thankfully, God is faithful, and changed my heart and attitude. Dave and I were able to reconcile quickly and I apologized to Maya during lunch.
I do have some good news to share today also. I got a call at the end of last week from my Dr.’s office. The biopsy results were negative!
For now, I’m still living in a fog from the last few weeks, but time will lessen the pain from these wounds. And for now, I’m just happy to see a little bit of sun shining