Loss and Gain

{Originally composed on 6/7/17, shared with the world on 01/04/18}

Losing a parent does something to a person.

My husband lost his Daddy to a short battle with cancer two years ago last month. I lost my Mama to a short battle with cancer 5 months and 1week ago.

I felt sorry for my husband when Pop passed away. A lot of people mourned over the loss of this generous man. I mean, a lot. The line at the visitation evening at the funeral home stretched into a 2-1/2 hour wait to reach the casket where his mom and the rest of us were greeting folks and receiving condolences. We shared tears and laughter with so many friends and acquaintances of Pop’s, which included folks on “both sides of the tracks”, literally and figuratively.

I sympathized for my husband and my heart was sad at our loss. Then, my Mama died. My heart hurt, it physically hurt. It literally felt heavy inside my chest. I understood. And then I empathized with my dear husband.

Losing a parent does something to a person.

After the dust had settled from having to sort through Mama’s things and distribute them to satisfy and honor my Daddy’s wishes, we attended his remarriage. He married Mama’s best friend a couple of days shy of the five-month mark of her passing and the same week-end that we had celebrated their 50th anniversary the year prior. My Daddy’s new wife is a sweet, godly woman and we are happy that Daddy is not alone. But, the many life events that have transpired in this calendar year have sent mine and my husband’s minds to a new levels of stress.

After my father’s wedding in Ohio my Mr. Patient decided we would return to our middle Tennessee home the very long way and leave our cares in the Shenandoah Valley of beautiful Virginia. After a stop at a Cracker Barrel to buy a paper Rand McNally map, we headed toward a relaxing adventure which promised peaceful views of countrysides and backroads.

2017-06-01 17.47.11
Pendelton County, WV

The long trip home with our three youngest children consisted of several days of peace, quiet times, tears, not-so-quiet times, children’s songs, smiles, stomach viruses, observations of life and scenery, discussions of life and God’s Will, laughter, road games, crumbs in the car, melted ice cream cones, mountain vistas, deep valleys, curvy roads, travel advice from hotel folks, waves from friendly farmers, encouragement from fellow Disciples, Amish folks in buggies, Mennonite folks on bicycles, Appalachian Trail hikers galore, conversation with a retired Army African-American gentleman, too much pizza, well-behaved kiddos, tired kiddos, many educational sites, and memories to treasure.

The long trip home did something to us.

It helped heal. It offered a time to realize that the Peace of Jesus is real and ours for the asking. It helped us prioritize.

2017-06-03 13.01.37-2
Forest, VA

It helped us to revisit a lifestyle idea that we had abandoned about 5 years ago. It helped us to sigh, relax tense shoulders, breathe in God’s freshness with every breath of mountain air and earthy, forest floor scent.

It helped us to live again because we weren’t sure if we could.

Losing a parent does something to a person.

 

 

{01/04/18 Update: We will be sharing soon what that lifestyle change will be. Thank-you for walking life with us. Let’s go through it together. It’ll be better that way.}

3 thoughts on “Loss and Gain

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  1. Losing my dad 30 years ago changed me in a big way. It drew me to the Lord. It was difficult realizing my 3 little ones wouldn’t have this sweet grandpa in their lives. But I was comforted knowing I will see him in Glory. I still miss him today. He would’ve been 105 this Jan.

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