A Miracle Inside Two Tragedies
The past few weeks have been a hard time for my family. My husband’s great uncle, who is an amazingly loving man, was in the hospital for a little over a week. We were able to visit him twice while he was there. For my younger kids, it was a little harder seeing their great, great, Uncle Allen lying in a hospital bed with tubes and wires coming out of him. Uncle Allen was responsive for the most part, but it was still hard to see his immediate family sad because they knew that he was going home to Heaven.
Well, Uncle Allen did go home to be with God the three days later, around 10 in the morning, on a Saturday. Then came another tragedy. Sitting at a soccer tournament the next day, Sunday, with my 15 year old daughter, watching her boyfriend play soccer, I received a phone call. It was a cousin wanting to know if I had heard the bad news. I thought she was talking about Uncle Allen, but that wasn’t the case at all. She proceeded to inform me that Raymond, my best friend’s father in-law and my husband’s cousin had passed away the night before. I guess half of our town had been looking for him since early Sunday morning, when they found him in a pond. He had driven his UTV in the pond the night before and had drowned. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even talk. I just sat there in shock. My daughter and I headed home to see what was going on.
We got to Raymond’s house to find most of his family there, including my best friend and her three kids, who are 8 years old and younger. I just wanted to hold those kids tightly and tell them that everything would be okay. I then turned around and hugged my best friend and held her tight for a while. In those moments, it is as if all the words in your brain have disappeared. What do you really say?? Sorry. That doesn’t ever seem sufficient.
Well, we stayed for about an hour, my husband and I. We talked with everyone while trying to play with the kids and keep them occupied. While sadness just loomed in every corner, the kids were still smiling and playing. After awhile, I looked at my best friend and asked her if she wanted help getting the kids some dinner and putting them to bed. I didn’t know that earlier that day, she had gone to church as normal and neither her nor her husband realized that his dad had been missing, since the night before. Right after church, her parents had gone to their house for an anniversary lunch. And that, during the lunch was when they had received the call, that his father had been missing since the night before. So her husband, left and went next door to be with his mom and see what was going on, while, my best friend continued to have the anniversary lunch. A little while later, my best friend received another phone call, stating that her father in-law had passed away. Her parents ate their anniversary cake very quickly and left. She then went next door with the kids and all the mess from the lunch was still there.
So her and I took the kids home. She made them dinner while I cleaned the house. All she kept saying was that she had told the kids that papa had passed away, but that they didn’t seem to be understanding. Her middle daughter would laugh about it, which she does when she is nervous and talk about papa going swimming. Her youngest kept wanting to take a mule ride, which their papa did frequently during the summer hours. But, papa was no longer here to do that anymore.
So as the days went on, the dinners were made. Families were visited and hugs were given out often. Till Wednesday came. My mom calls me telling me that my sister had gone into labor. What do you mean?? She is still three weeks early. But, that didn’t matter. Around 5:40 something that night, Corbin, a perfect nephew, made his entrance into the world. Oh, how holding him soothed my soul. His little fingers and toes were perfect. This little bundle of joy came at just the right time. Isn’t that God for you.
Well, on Thursday we went to Uncle Allen’s funeral. The younger kids did okay for awhile. But, when the funeral music began and the pastor started talking and Aunt Helen was crying, my middle child lost it. She began to cry and say that she wanted to go home. Her red eyes, stained with big tears, made my heart melt. So her, my son and I decided to go get ice cream at Dunkin Donuts and go home. Even though ice cream is her favorite treat, she still continued to cry for almost the whole 20 minute ride home. Her poor delicate heart was broken. When we got home, we just snuggled and watched her favorite show. My husband on the other hand was a Paul Bearer for his uncle. He had to go to the cemetery still and help carry his uncle’s casket to the place where it would be buried. He was telling me how when they first got the cemetery, that, it was hailing and windy. But, as soon as the Hurst door popped open, so that they could remove the casket, the hail and wind stopped and the sun came out. Again, God is good at all times.
Friday came, and I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I was feeling the emotional toll from the past two weeks, just weigh me down. I decided to pray. God lift me up. Give me your strength when mine is not enough. Hold me because I want to fall apart. And he did all of that and more. I got up and had breakfast. Sat down and had a nice hot cup of coffee and snuggled with my kids. Then, we proceeded to do a whole day of school, get the house clean and then go up to Raymond’s cabin for a family get together.
Being around the fire at the cabin was surreal. Raymond wasn’t there, only his family. This cabin, he had built with his own two hands. A place that he loved to be. A place that had so many happy memories, was now empty. Playing corn hole, felt off. I wanted to yell, CORN HOLE!! really loud, because Raymond’s rules were, that if you didn’t yell corn hole, then you didn’t get the three points. But, I didn’t. I just sat their reminiscing about all the good memories up there and trying to stay positive.
Well, today is Saturday. I am sitting at the local fire hall, waiting for people to bring food down for Raymond’s remembrance party that we are having today. His calling hours start in a little less than an hour from now. I know that writing all of this down has released a lot of sadness and pain that I have kept in all week. I pray that God will give the family and grand kids some peace today. That He will hold them like he promises He will. That He will give them the strength to keep going in life, the way that Raymond would want all of them to. That God will have mercy on all of them for what has happened.
You see, even in the midst of tragedies God still shows us miracles. My nephew being born this week was truly one of them. Because of his birth, this week has been much easier to handle. This week won’t have to be remembered as a dark time, because God shown a light in the middle of all of it.
Whatever you are going through right now, keep praying. Pay attention to the light within the dark times. Know that God is truly there, even if it doesn’t feel like He is. Stay positive, holding on to His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And may God give you peace in the midst of your tragedies.
God bless all of you,