[Originally written in 2014]
One of the most monumental life changes I had to overcome was losing Mike. Unexpected. Shocking. Totally rocked our world. Getting through this took some doing. If anyone ever tells you that “you will get over it”, they are wrong. You can get THROUGH it by the grace of God and faith that through him all things are possible. In the end what helped me survive was trying to look at those things which made his life worth living and look at those around me to see if their lives had been changed because of him. My dad eulogized him by talking about the “ripple effect”. Like a perfectly flat stone tossed in the water creating a rippling effect, reaching far beyond its origin to touch upon other things and sometimes even reaching the shore, so there were people, too, whose lives he touched who in turn touched other, creating a beautiful long lasting circle that reached beyond its’ center.
While we all understand that we will not live forever, none of us knows exactly when our last day on earth will be. We did not know when Mike’s last day would be. In retrospect could we have seen the signs? We had done some things in those last months that we had not done for a while. Thanksgiving with his brother in Sonora. Fostering a young girl. He got to experience being a grandfather to our foster daughters’ baby. Belated Christmas dinner with Randi. Days later he was gone. There was a number on him. God knew. We did not. In the “not knowing” when the end day is you take life for granted. You also get to just enjoy life.
After Mike died, I felt I was more equipped to handle a spousal loss than he would have been. I had been the one taking care of the finances, doing the planning for where the kids needed to be and when. I knew exactly where all the paperwork was for all the things that came up afterward. While life had forever changed, I was better able to handle the crisis.
What I gained after that life changing event was a second chance at love again, another family to love. My circle, too, had expanded. God gave me new chances and made life worth living. I fell God has put me into this family for his own reasons and purposes. If nothing else, I know that me, my girls and my family have made a positive impact on our second family.
So, what is different about this experience? The one with the “C” word. The one that is casting a pall over the house we live in.
While this experience may be trying to tell us that George’s life may be shorter than we expected, that is still unknown. The exact time is not known. Given medical science and its knowledge, this life could be extended for years. Alternative medicine could be an answer. We do not yet know what is in store.
This is probably easier for me to say since it is not my life hanging on a hinge right now. If it were me, I also might also suffer the anxiety that he is experiencing. He commented today that he wished he did not know about this. For some reason, God has intervened by way of a tiny little, small as a grain of sand kidney stone verified by a CT scan. HE wanted us to know. But why? Did he wanted us to know so we would have the time to plan? Is this His way of telling George he needs to let go of some of his responsibilities so, if or when the time eventually comes, the transition will be easier? Is this just God’s way of telling George he needs to take life less seriously instead of always worrying about the future? Telling him “Oh ye of little faith, do you not know the plans I have in store for you? You need to put your faith in me, my son.”
George had a conversation with God the other day. He asked Him to make a deal with him. He told Him, I am not done living yet – then turned that around and said, “I don’t think you are done with me yet, your purpose for me is not yet done.” We have got to believe that.
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth Would care to know my name Would care to feel my hurt? Who am I, that the bright and morning star Would choose to light the way For my ever wondering heart? Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord You catch me when I'm falling And You told me who I am I am Yours, I am Yours Who am I, that the eyes that see our sin Would look on me with love And watch me rise again? Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea Would call out through the rain And calm the storm in me? Not because of who I am But because what of You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord You catch me when I'm falling And You told me who I am I am Yours Whom shall I fear? Whom shall I fear? 'Cause I am Yours, I am Yours