For a period of time while I was growing up, from around the ages of 10 to 18, my family experienced more loss than any family should ever have to experience. During this time, it was middle of the night phone calls that we each dredded so much. I discintly remember several times between those ages, being woken up by the house phone ringing in the middle of the night. I remember the tight chested, "oh please not another" feeling that accompanied those horrible rings. My sister and I would meet at my parents door, take a deep breath, and walk in their room to receive the news. It was never good. Never.
But for the past several years, there was a small respite. We had several close calls, but thankfully the seemingly constant flow of funerals and used tissues and 2AM phone calls were not as frequent anymore. It was a blessing. But the past couple of weeks, it seems as though our cycle is returning. You see, we lost my great aunt Barbara two weeks ago. Her husband was one we lost during those bad years. I am glad she is with him now, but it hurts that she's no longer with us. She was such a loving woman, who you always knew was thinking about you and praying for you. I hurt for my grandfather having to bury his sister that he loved so much. I hurt for our family that is spread across several states. We joked during those 8 years that funerals had become our family reunions. I heard that her funeral was like that, a reunion of family members who hadn't seen each other in a while. I'm sad that I missed it. I'm even sadder that they had to see each other on those terms.
And then yesterday I got a call that our dear family friend, Sandy, was killed in a car accident. Someone ran a stop sign and hit her, it was instantaneous. I'm glad she felt nothing, I'm glad she's with her loved ones she had lost. I'm not glad that she's gone from this world though. You see, Sandy was one of those people that always made you smile. She was so positive and unwavering. I used the word steadfast to describe her to someone yesterday, and I think that's a pretty great word for her. She was steadfast in her faith, in her life, and in her friendships. She always had my family's back, during hard times and good. I will always be grateful for that, and for the wonderful friend she was to my mother. In a world where true friends are hard to come by, she was a true gem, and will be so incredibly missed.
My sister said on facebook yesterday, that during these times it is a wonderful thing to say "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." And while the pain of their loss is still very real, and while we may not understand why the Lord let them be taken from us, we can rest in the fact that we don't have to understand, we don't have to feel that pain alone. It might be hard to trust in the Lord during times of sorrow, but friend, I can tell you it is much easier to trust Him than to handle it alone.
Please pray for my family, for Mr. John who is Mrs. Sandy's husband and for their family. And give your loved ones an extra hug today.