Small Town Tragedies

Small town tragedies
12/29/14
Less than a week ago a tornado hit the outskirts of our neighboring town wrecking havoc. Lives lost, homes destroyed, business torn apart. Driving through there on Thursday as we went to the coast brought back visions of the coast following Katrina. Tin tossed into what remained of tree tops, notices on Facebook of pictures found on the other side of town, photos of the young girl who lost her life, leaving behind a young son and a grieving husband. These are images one shouldn’t have to see around the holidays, especially Christmas–that time of year we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, that time of year of giving and putting others first.
Then last night the prayer chain request came through-a young life had been snuffed out. Age 15, the son of a mother who had lost her life just a few years back in a fatal car accident. This young boy was visiting a friend, they were looking at a pistol when it went off taking Devin’s life. So young, yet gone. I think of his grandparents who were raising him, his twin brother and older sister. There was an older brother but I believe he was grown already. Grandparents who had already laid to rest their only daughter.
My own granddaughters grief stricken, trying to make sense of it all. We stood tonight in the circle of people gather at our local school for a vigil in honor of Devin. I heard the prayers for peace, for understanding, for comfort. I wondered where would that come from for these young people who are struggling with accepting the loss of a friend along with their own identities and purpose in life. I listened as young men, 15 or so years old, stepped forward and expressed their loss, their love for this young man gone from us and offered up their thoughts on why and how God allowed this to happen. I heard the grief take over as one young man broke down and cried–yes under the cloak of darkness but exposed yet by his voice and still not concerned about what others thought. Awesome! Being able to express their thoughts and grief during such a time will go far in helping them heal.
May God be with them all. May God be with us all.

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Ordination

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This young man is like a son to me. He and my son (the one in jail) grew up together, drank together, got into trouble together and could have gone to jail together–but my son would not rat out his friend. I am glad that there is honor among thieves-literally-today that is. Back when, I wasn’t so full of compassion and love for others. Back when I wanted anyone and everyone involved to pay the same as my son was paying. But that wasn’t in the plan God had for the lives of all involved and through all the days and nights of living with a child with addictions, I have grown and learned so much.

When this young man was in his teens, probably 16, 17–rather than go to school he went to work with his dad at a lumber yard. He somehow got his arm caught in the machinery and ended up losing the arm. For a number of years following the accident– Dana would stop by my house and sit at the table where I would be painting and talk to me about his life, his problems, his thoughts, his missing limb, his girlfriends. Sometimes even late, late at night he would drive by, see a light on and stop.

Eventually he met he a good woman, married and settled down to help raise the daughter she brought into the marriage and the son they had together. He went through years of heavy drinking and the problems that can cause in a family. He never spent time in jail, but I am sure his wife went through hell during those years–until a few years ago when something happened within the marriage that caused Dana to realize it was time to clean up his act–and so he did.

He began coming to church. He stopped drinking. He began to be the husband his wife always knew he could be and this past Sunday night he was ordained as a deacon in our church–his ordination occurred on the same night as I learned my own flesh and blood child had been incarcerated after 5+ years of freedom.

It occurred to me at some point during the ordination service that had he not chosen to follow his addiction down it’s ugly path, my own son could be standing in the same position as Dana. In fact the Sunday the deacons were announced I told Dana and his wife that I couldn’t be more proud than if it were my own son. In fact, Dana said that I was as much his mom as his own which truly warmed my heart–but this wasn’t my flesh and blood standing up there and while I found the “answer to a prayer” (see previous post) and the fact that while my own son was sitting in jail, my *might as well be* son was being ordained, not only funny in a twisted sort of way and ironic–the one thing I did notice was no feelings of resentment, anger or jealousy toward this young man or his family for the joy there were experiencing. That my friend, was the true blessing of the night for me!!!!

Only a person who really knows me would know how much this says to me and about me. I grew up filled with insecurities and doubt, seeing the world as a huge scary place and the people in it as out to best me. Years of al-anon and self therapy, prayer and work have brought me to this place I find myself today. Yes, I can still feel smug and vindicated when certain things happen to certain people. I’m not proud of that, but I’m still human; I’m also still a work in progress. I am very thankful to God that He has brought me this far, allowed me to grow, allowed me to see where I fail and where I succeed. My God is an awesome God!!!!!

Answered Prayer-I think

9/14/14
I sit here tonight just pondering on the latest developments in this roller coaster I call life. The girls are wanting to go live with daddy part time and my son in Louisana the other part–I love my son but there is so much chaos, drinking, disorder, confusion and God only knows what else that I simply am not comfortable with them staying there for more than a day or two. The girls think their dad will set homeschooling up for them, and they can do school when they darn well please, they can do school and live with dad when he is home from work and they can go my son’s and do school there when dad goes back offshore and it simply isn’t going to work that way..so…
I’ve prayed and asked God to handle this situation-work things out so that the girls can’t go to my son’s either because their father won’t allow them to, or they decide they don’t want to or my son doesn’t have time or space for them.
So today I get a phone call from son’s step-son. Seems my son is in jail, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm. When the law was called to break up the fight son was involved in at his home and the law walked into their home, propped up by the door was a gun–son is a felon so cannot be around guns and there goes that charge against him.
God sure has a way of answering prayers. With son in jail there is no way my girls are going there either from my house nor their dads. I simply do not seeing daddy agreeing to them going there without my son there.
It’s funny, but it isn’t funny. I hate son is in jail. He’s been out of jail now for about 5 years and lets himself get into a fight and off he goes. Of course I have been knowing that the time was nearing near. Son has never been good at freedom for more than 5 years and more often it has been 3 years then he blows a gasket and does something that lands him in jail. He had been doing so well, working, fixing up the house his woman owns, just really a likeable person when he wasn’t drunk…but now who knows when he will get out if he does.
I think about that; the pain of knowing a child is in jail, the fear of knowing the other adult child might end up there within the next few months and the fear of not having the girls here and I have to say that such things as *I wasn’t given the right information* simply fade into the background and people who become so focused on such petty things should stop and count their many blessings.