Sometimes, in life, things occur, that go to the core of me, and the only way I can attempt to manage, is to try and write my feelings down. Lucky you, I have found a way to send this off to the whole wide world...however, sometimes, I am afraid I can't do justice to something that is monumental in my world. This is one of those times. I have had this heavy weight on my heart, and I have to write, so bear with me.
My title, is from a song my Mother loved, and myself as well. Strange...do you know it is actually based on Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 2, yep, the Bible! Likely everyone heard this in the movie Forrest Gump, it was there, because, if you listen to the words, it is the story of life.
So, today, life is what I am thinking about. Oh, you have all heard my fears of getting old...however, at 57, no matter what, I have lived a few generations, even if I hope to live for at least one more, I must consider myself lucky.
I have buried both my parents. That is the way life is suppose to go.Perhaps my Mother left far too soon, but my Dad lived to see his grandchildren grow, and even to see Great Grandchildren. Again, children should be left to mourn their parents, to hold onto the lifetime of memories, and continue on the legacy.
What is not suppose to happen, did, yesterday. A father lost his son, a child I knew, a child that is the same age as my son, a child that my children knew, one who was a part of their group of friends. This parent will now have to bury his child. I have been having such a difficult time with this, because, it could easily happen to any parent. It is just not something I really gave much thought to, and truly wish I could stop dwelling on it.
It was an accident...How easily that word rolls off your tongue, a broken glass..just an accident, a fall, and a sprained ankle...just an accident. A 23 year old boy, injured so badly, in a crash, that he does not survive...an accident. A glass can be replaced, an ankle heals, but this accident has taken a young life, and caused a whole family, in fact, a whole community, grief, disbelief, and pain. This accident will change lives completely, and has left an empty space.
A parent always thinks of their children as such. Oh, we have babies, we have kids, we have teenagers, and then they are grown ups, but, they are always our children. No matter how old they get, the fact they are our children does not change. We are the ones who remember from the beginning, the very first day they came into the world. Their memories may begin as early as 2 or 3, but....never as far back as ours.
We try to do our "job" properly. Every parent knows, your main focus is to ensure your child is safe. The fear of them running out onto the road, you hold their hands, and protect them. You teach them to swim, because heaven forbid, they may fall into a pool or lake. You walk them to the bus, because strangers are out there, and you worry. You check their candy on Halloween, just in case something bad is in the bag.
However, the day always comes when you can no longer hold their hands to keep them safe. They start to live life without you. No matter how blase a parent may act, most of us have a difficult time when we let go of their hands. They likely don't know how many times we lay in bed waiting to hear the outside door open, to finally fall asleep, with the comfort that they arrived home. Maybe a quick call, when they are suppose to be home from trip, just to ask how things went, in truth, it is just that hand, touching..to quiet the worry.
To let go, for such a short time, and to have the knowledge that never again will this parent know the comfort of the sound of the door in the late hours, or the quick call to ensure all is well, is devastating. It is every parents nightmare, and there is not a single thing one can do to protect themselves.
The song...To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
Yes, it is true, however, this was not the time for this child to die. I believe everything happens for a reason. That is the way I was raised, and I admit, there have been many times I questioned the reason. This is definitely one of those time. I wish I could understand why a parent must now live life without their child, they raised and protected for 23 years. A young man who never got a chance to live, a young man who will not be there to hold his father's hand, ever again.
So, I suppose I have put down the words, and done my best to say what I am thinking. This time, however, I don't feel the weight lifted, instead, I feel a total loss of control...a wish that I could grab all the hands of every child, and keep them safe, until I am gone from this world. Then I would never have to imagine the grief this child's parents feel.
Hold onto those hands as long as you can! The season that you have to let go, comes far too soon, and no matter how life is laid out before you, the day will come when those hands can no longer touch.