Saturday, December 20, 2014

One year ago today -



Today a member of my family made a quick and insensitive comment in the midst of a discussion about a friend's cancer treatment. My immediate reaction was tears. All is talked about and forgiven now, we don't stay mad long in this house....but all it takes is one real, raw look at my memories of cancer and these past few years of having our dearest friends ripped away from us for it to be the most sensitive of topics for me. 

I cried my eyes out for a half hour because the ache hurt so much. 

And I've found it hard to recover from that conversation today because all the memories came rushing back.
So vividly that it makes my whole self ache with sadness & pain. 

I really do not believe that loss gets any easier. I just think that some memories fade. 

Today was 1 year since I visited Elise in the hospital and spent several hours holding her hand and talking with her. Hours I'd never trade for anything in the world, not even for a picture of us together. The words and truth and love she spoke into me from that hospital bed carried me through that Christmas, and this year. And I miss that I can't talk to her more. She was a loving & a consoling friend. 

The night before I went to see her, I wrote THIS. I barely made it through reading that tonight without bawling for the 5th time today. I believe that God blesses me the most of anyone reading things on this blog, because He was the One that allowed me to write it, and knew I would need it. It's everything I needed to be reminded of tonight. 

And these - oh, all these precious memories that mean so much. I miss you, Elise. So very, very much. 

You blessed me more than you will ever know that day, one year ago. I love you always. And I'll see you soon. 

~ Jean Marie ~

1 comment:

Joe Armfield said...

Thank you for your post - you have such a sweet and tender way of expressing your thoughts through words. You were a special friend to Elise and I know that she was blessed by your visit that day in the hospital.

As we get closer to the one-year anniversary, it becomes more difficult. Christmas Day last year was horrible, as she was no longer able to get out of bed, even with my help. I spent the entire day in bed with her - most of the time she keep her eyes closed and said very little. The boys brought us a simple lunch to eat and then sat down on the end of the bed to be with us. She apologized to them for not being able to get them any gifts or even a card. It didn't feel like Christmas at all. I had bought a big Christmas tree and decorated it with lights and our favorite ornaments - however, she never even got to see it at all.

This past year, as I have wrestled with grief, one of the things I have been praying about is that I would bring maximum glory to God during the midst of my grief. That's not always easy, but it is what I strive for.

When John Newton lost his wife Mary, his grief was such that he confessed he feared his love for her had been so great that it might border on idolatry. Wow - what a statement! I would like to share one of John Newton's writings, that he wrote on the anniversary of her death. This is also my prayer.

"Lord! She was thine and not my own:
Thou hast not done me wrong;
I thank thee for the precious loan
Afforded me so long.

Yet mercy sweetened my distress;
And while I felt the rod,
Gave me abundant cause to bless
An all-sufficient God!

Sharp was my pain and deep my wound
A wound which still must bleed;
But daily help and strength I found,
Proportioned to my need."