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Your comforts delight my soul…

11 Jan

I’ve been meditating on Psalm 94:17-19 all morning.

“If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, ‘I’m slipping, I’m falling,’ Your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.” (The Message)

The New Living Translation says, “When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

The King James Version says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”

It has been three years since we said good-bye to Sammy, but I still have HoPE.

When I read verses 17-19 of The Message, I picture myself frustrated and frightened while dangling from a cliff that I had been trying to climb on my own.

Finally, I cry out that I’m falling, and instantly the Hand of God reaches down to firmly grasp my wrist to support me and assures me that I am going to be okay.


January 7

7 Jan

January 7. I spend 364 days of the year dreading that one day.

It is the day I had to say goodbye to my only child. He didn’t go off to college or join the military. He didn’t elope in Vegas or run away from home. January 7 is the day when he took his final breath on earth and took his first step in heaven.

On January 7, 2008, we celebrated Sammy and his life. In his final hours, he heard the voices of the people who loved him, the people who prayed for him, the people who cared for him. He heard us all gather around his bed as we each spontaneously told our sweet memories and stories about him. In those last hours, he heard the familiar sounds of laughter that he had heard every single day of his life. Not a day of his life was wasted, and every day was a celebration. I pray that those familiar voices and chuckles brought him comfort.

Sammy passed away on January 7, 2008 at 10:40pm. January 7 gets a lot of attention because it’s the day marking the anniversary of when we said goodbye.  But for Steve and me, January 8 is an even harder anniversary because that marks the day when we had to learn to live without him.

It’s a no-mascara, Kleenex-carrying kind of day…

28 Dec

On a typical day, I have wardrobe drama. That’s where I stand in front of the closet trying to figure out what I’m going to wear. If it’s toward the end of the work week, it also includes wracking my brain in a desperate attempt to remember what I wore earlier in the week. Back when I was younger and more self-centered than I am now, I would tell my mom that I wanted a wardrobe change when I died. I wanted an outfit for the evening calling/visitation, and then I wanted a different outfit for the funeral the next day. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to be caught dead wearing the same outfit twice. Thankfully, I’ve grown up a lot since then.

In recent weeks, the morning drama has been more focused on whether or not to wear mascara. If the mood is good, I wear it. If there’s a possibility of tears, I don’t. After Sammy passed away, I don’t think I wore mascara for at least a year; that was a no-brainer.

Today is a no-mascara, Kleenex-carrying day. Steve and I are going to Cincinnati today for a “celebration” service for Lula, one of Sammy’s friends. I say Sammy’s friend because she and Sammy are hanging out in heaven together now and that is a great homecoming celebration. The tears and mourning are for her family and those who must now continue on without her physically present in their daily lives.

My heart breaks for broken-hearted parents because I know the pain they feel. The emotional pain is obvious to us all, but I know the physical, mental and spiritual pain that they will experience in the coming days, weeks and months, and I’m helpless to do anything about it.

Today, I will witness two parents who will show unbelievable strength and courage. It’s the same strength and courage I exhibited 3 years ago, and while they’re being strong and courageous for everyone else, I will be shedding the tears that they are trying to hold back.

Today, the mascara remains in the tube while the Kleenex doesn’t stand a chance of surviving.