Tag Archive | death

A Far Greater Part of Our Future Than of Our Past

Remember Me (2)

 

There are times when an ordinary day becomes tremendously significant and profound comfort comes from a most unlikely place.

Seventeen years ago it was a crisp, beautiful Saturday like today.  My husband was at his regular early morning tennis match, my soon to be 9-year old daughter was nestled comfortably in her bed.  I  was excited about the day.   On the kitchen counter was a decorated birthday cake prepared the night before for my daughter’s birthday party to be held at the local swimming pool that afternoon.  On the table were  the preparations for a morning baby shower to celebrate my sister’s 10-day old son.  The plan of the day was fun, life affirming celebrations!  But nothing went according to my plan.

Something was horribly wrong.  My quiet, well-planned morning quickly became paramedics pounding on my door, my pajama-clad daughter being shuttled by strangers to the next-door neighbor and an ambulance transport to the hospital for an emergency C-section.  There would be no sibling rivalry, no dad coaching his son’s little league team, no cousins playing and growing together.  No 17-year-old son doing whatever they do regarding their mom.

JaredA couple of months ago, before she returned to college, one of the things my daughter wanted to do as a family was visit her brother’s gravesite.  In our little somewhat yearly ritual we look at the gravestone, clear off grass and any other debris and think about what might have been and what might be.  We look at the other grave markers and take note of the dates and the families and allow a little stab of pain to enter our hearts as we see new markers have been added and know the pain others have experienced.  This time though, a phrase on one of the markers caught our attention and spoke profoundly to our hearts.

Future Hope (2)

We pondered that last phrase and considered the truth of it.  He is a far greater part of our future than he is of our past.  The pain of the past, the emptiness of the present is nothing compared to the joy and gladness we will know in the future.  We grasp at straws to extract as much meaning as we can from the seven months and nine short hours that our Jared lived with us on earth.  Throughout each passing year we remember at odd and sometimes unexpected times this person that we did not have the opportunity to get to know and wonder, as the Kenney Chestney song says, “Who You’d Be Today.”   But our eternal future stretches unendingly before us filled with promise and hope.  A hope that we are assured will not make us ashamed or disappoint us.  A hope that serves as the anchor of the soul.  And he’ll be there.

We miss the good that we imagine would have accompanied Jared’s life with us here.  But this world is filled with pitfalls, and I have spent sleepless hours praying for my daughter, concerned about her well being, wondering about her future. I admit, I have not had one anxious thought about my son’s well-being.  I have not said one prayer for his safety or his future.  I have perfect assurance that he is in good hands and immune to the dangers of this mortal life.  His mortal has already put on immortality.

Parents want their children to be remembered.

Parents want their children to be remembered.

This grave marker also struck me because the parents put “Remember Me” at the top of it.

That was such a large part of my grief, thinking no one would remember my child.  How could they?  They wouldn’t even know he existed.  That is why I chose “Zachary” for his middle name.  Zachary means God remembers.  That is why I wrote a book of poetry expressing my grief and God’s comfort following our loss and called it “God Remembers.”

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I am grateful for these other families and their silent encouragement to me – left on the markers remembering their child’s short life.

It was a blessing that day to be reminded that my eternal future is a much larger part of me than this earthly existence.  And that my son is a far greater part of my future than he is of my past.

 

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The Good Life?

Ahh, the Beautiful People
Living on the pinnacle of dreams
The good life isn’t always as it seems
They are all too human after all
Not the god-like beings standing tall
In the glow of all this world esteems

Ahh, the Powerful People
By all the man-made standards they excel
With genius, beauty, strength they do compel
But these must all diminish over time
None occupies for long the heights sublime
Just one prevailed against the gates of hell

Ahh, the Brilliant People
More wise in their own eyes than simple truth
They cling to their ideas and their own proof
By their own good works they choose to stand
Not humbled beneath God’s almighty hand
But will they stand the test of faded youth?

Ahh, the Pitiful People
With wealth of grace they lack and suffer loss
Their fortunes, fame, intelligence – but dross
Martyrs to their faith they can’t find hope
In power, prowess, people, pot or pope
Stumbled by level ground at the foot of the cross

 

“Thus saith the LORD, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”    Jeremiah 9:23-24  The Holy Bible, Old Testament

 

 

A Certain Hope

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When my heart is filled with sadness,
And the songs have all been sung,
When there’s nothing left to say,
And yet the sorrow’s just begun,
When there’s no one to turn to,
And no where to hide,
From the anguish of the soul inside-
When all around my world is cold and gray,
I still hear Him say,
Be not as those that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Be not as those that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
When I shall awake, I shall be in thy likeness
When I shall awake, I shall be in thy likeness
For eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
Neither has entered in the heart of man,
The things God has prepared for them that love Him,
For them that love Him.
So, be not as those
that have no hope,
Weeping’s for a night
But joy comes in
The morning
I shall awake in thy likeness.

From God Remembers published 2010

Loves Lost

Gary
How quickly you return to me
After so long an absence
You were my girlhood crush
Our mothers were best friends
You probably thought I was just
A silly little girl
And I was.
You seemed so
Much older than me

Remember that night at the fair?
We rode so many rides
Just you and me
What were we, 10 and 13?
Swirling on the Matterhorn I thought,
How much I loved you
I told you
We were supposed to return with the tickets
Instead of using them all ourselves
Our moms weren’t as mad as I thought they’d be
I was sorry we made them worry
But oh what fun
Being next to you.
Then 3,000 miles apart
We wrote, years passed.

Tonight a TV show brought you back to me
A sick child
Vague symptoms of a mystery illness
Poor respiration, salty skin. . .
Ah yes, I remember
Cystic Fibrosis.

I answered the phone when your mom called
Joy and pain
In a split second
I knew
Almost before she spoke
That it was her and you were gone
At 17
She came to visit us you know
Now she’s gone too.

So many years have passed
Is anyone else left to remember you?
Gary, my friend
I loved you then
And I treasure the memory of you.