Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Another Sad Good-bye

"Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2  (KJV)

Six weeks to the day from the day my precious Mother crossed over to be with Jesus,
I got an early morning phone call.
It was my oldest sister, Sharon.
She was crying so hard, I could hardly understand her words.
My heart went out to her....her pain was deep.

"Cheryl, I'm sorry to call you so early.  I didn't mean to wake you up."

"It's okay...you call anytime you need me. 
What's wrong?"

"Shawn found Ashley this morning.....dead on the bathroom floor."

"What??" was all I could answer.

How could this be?

Stunned beyond words, I sat there and listened to my sister as she gave me the details.

Five weeks before, I had hugged Ashley and talked to her...at Mom's funeral.

Now, she is dead??

At 26 years old?

My thoughts went back to when she stayed in our home when Mom had her wreck a few years ago.
Then further back to when she was little.
To a moment I sat in Shawn's living room, brushing her long hair.
She had a sweet, tender heart.

Then my mind went to Shawn, her Dad, my oldest nephew.

How five weeks before, he carried the casket that held my dear Mom.
He had carefully placed it in the hearse, and later on the grid that would lower her body in to the ground.

We are all still reeling from the shock and pain...of losing Mom.

How would he cope....how could he bear this....this loss...of his second-born daughter?

He has already lost one other child....a baby.
Just a few short years ago.

Now, this?

He is a loving, good father.
He gives his all to provide stability and support and love in the lives of his children.

Now, Ashley is gone.

Her three children are left behind, without their mother.

How does one deal with the aftermath?

How does one reconcile a loss such as this?

I could never put into words how bad I feel for Shawn and Sharon and Ashley's mother, Theresa, all of her siblings, her precious little children....and everyone else who is touched by this sadness...this tragedy...this pain.

It seems too soon.
For her to die.
For any of us to feel this.
The wounds have not healed.
They are still gaping open.

One thing that comforts me is that this is one grief my precious Mother does not have to feel.
She doesn't have to hurt and see the fresh tears.
She rests at peace in the arms of Jesus.
She has no knowledge of sadness now.
She will never cry again.

She prayed hard for her family.
Her desire is that each and every one of us meet her in Heaven.

Knowing she is there, makes me want to go there one day....even more.

("Knowing You'll Be There...Makes It Easy To Go Home)" by the Gaither Vocal Band.)

I don't want to miss it.
And no matter how rough the road, I want to follow Jesus...all the way....home.
And while I'm here, I want to be here...for my family....my friends....my loved ones.
Each one of them mean so much to me.
Even more so, the older I get.

It is hard to understand these kinds of things.
Why a life like Ashley's is snuffed out so early...so young.
Why parents are left mourning the loss of their child.
Why little children have to bear the loss of losing their Mommy....at such a young age.
Why hearts have to break and hurt...this much.

I wish I could take the pain away...from Shawn, Sharon, and all of the others.

I'm glad I know the One Who can.

We all depended on Mom's prayers....so much.
I have found myself wanting to pick up the phone...to call her....to ask her to pray...for all of us.
So many times.
The harsh, stark reality hits me with such force at times...that it seems I cannot bear the pain.
She's no longer here....to bear our burdens to the Throne of Grace...to the One Who loves us all...
so unconditionally.

As hard as it is to acknowledge....to admit...to accept....Mom is gone.

She can carry our burdens no more.

I guess it is up to us now.

To carry the torch....that Mom carried for so many years.
To bear the burdens....that she bore...for those she loved....and we love.
To lay them at the feet of Jesus....Who has all power....
to heal every pain and untangle every one of life's problems.

God help me to be faithful...to carry on.

Good-bye, Ashley.

It seems that life's evening sun has set for you....way....too....soon.

Who would have imagined, as you and I stood near Mom's casket, just five weeks before...
 that you would be gone so soon?

It is unbelievable.

I hope you rest in peace.

"Heavenly Father, I ask You to wrap Your great arms of love around every member of my precious family.  Heal the hurt.  Bind the broken hearts.  Mend the wounds.  Make them whole again.  Apply Your sweet comfort to every one of their lives.  Relieve their questions with a tender whisper of Your continued love.  Make them to know that You will never leave them...and that You always do what is best.
In Jesus' Name, Amen."

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