Sunday, May 30, 2010

When words are not enough...


Tony and me at my wedding reception.  He greeted my guests as my "cousin Bubba"

Confession:  I want to be a hero.. I want to be the person that has all the right things to say at all the right times.. I want to be able to write my little post and it somehow be so amazing that everyone turns from it with a smile on their face to go on with their lives to live happily ever after...I want to write something that inspires people to live stronger and be better.   I have that post sitting in my drafts... It's title: "Someday I Hope You Get the Chance to Live Like You're Never Dying".. But we all know it's not that simple.  It's supposed to be a play on words.. I want to tell you what an inspiring life that Tony lived.  One where he never pitied himself.  One where he embraced each day like it was his last while all along never believing that day would ever come.  One that made doctors shake their heads in disbelief.  One that made everyone want to embrace the God that he loves that gave him a hope we could not understand.  A life that made parents hold their children tighter and husbands love their wives stronger.. I want to tell you about my Aunt and Uncle's strength.  A strength that helped Tony fight way longer than anyone thought possible.  A strength that enabled them to let go when it was time for Tony to move on to a new phase in life.  And a wisdom that allowed them to pull in or give him a push when needed.  I want to tell you about their love.. The kind that actually loves people into being better.. The kind that didn't result in just one child embracing life but three children that embraced life and embraced the kind of love that is so unreserved that it opens a person up to a pain that is almost too much to bear.  And, I want to tell you how they embraced three more children as their children found their loves... .  I want to tell you about the beautiful child that was given to he and his wife, through a series of unlikely events, too coincidental  to be coincidence.  I want to tell you about the way he loved that boy.  I want you to know that Tony was not special because of his disease.   He was special in spite of it.    And, while all of these things are completely and totally without a doubt true, they are anemic.  They only give you a glimpse of a picture that can not be described.  The problem with the human language is that I find myself trying to explain such abnormal, extraordinary things with such normal, ordinary words. 

I walked out of the visitation on Wed. night
and saw this rainbow right over the funeral home and
made a mad dash for my camera. 
Chloe said it was "Tony's rainbow". 
PS: It had not been raining..

The truth about me is... I'm angry..  I could tell you what an awesome service it was and how it tied everything together with a neat little bow and how we all went away with a warm and fuzzy feeling in our hearts.  But that would be a lie.. And leave it up to me to say all the things we're not supposed to say.. The service: beautiful? yes. Honoring? absolutely!  Was God there? I have no doubt.. But, while I wanted to thank God for the beautiful life that Tony lived,  the selfish part of my heart was screaming, I hate this.  I am angry..  I know what you're thinking.. I'm the preacher's wife.  I should never have doubts.  Especially not about God.. And you know what?  That makes me even more angry.  And here's some news that shouldn't be new.  God already knows.. It's not like I could hide it from him anyway.. But just to make sure He knew, I told him.  I'm angry that my family is hurting and that there's nothing that I can do.  I am angry that we didn't get our miracle the way we wanted it.  That I had it all worked out in my mind, the people that needed their faith strengthened by seeing a miracle (myself included).  And as He so often does, God said to me, "Dana, I don't need your help".  And, that makes me angry again.. I'm angry because, though we all want to say that time heals all wounds, I know that it doesn't.  While time may teach us how to live with the wound, it will never completely heal it.  And I'm even angry at the suggestion that it should.. I'm angry at myself for being selfish.  For not just being okay with letting him go and being healed.  I'm angry that I'm scared.  That people will be right.  That everything will be okay.  Because I'm not okay with just okay.  I'm angry that faith has been confused with acceptance.  That faith has been portrayed as believing without ever doubting..  I'm angry that I know that this won't be the last time I feel this kind of pain.  Or worse, I'm afraid that I will give into my fears and guard my heart so that I will never have to feel it again.  And I'm sorry.  I'm sorry that this is left open.  Because I just can't bare to close it. 

And just in case there's someone else out there that has those same fears.. Just in case there is someone else other than me that has had the ridiculously stupid thought that they'll try to keep themselves from everything that is good about life so that they can save themselves some pain, I'll share a quote that I found as I was desperately searching for words of comfort:

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more."

—Erica Jong

And so here I am again, raw and open.. Because I can never keep up a show of being something  I am not.  I have no doubt that we will come out of this deep abyss even stronger..  That the prayers and support of those we love will pull us out.  And I know that through our screams we will continue to hear God whisper,  "I am here".  We will soon laugh about the good times and marvel at the miracles that came from Tony's story.    But, for now, the abyss is deep and it is dark and I am weak and only time can teach us a new way of living..  So please give us grace as we learn to make peace with our new pain..  

From the dove release at Tony's funeral.
It has to be the grace of God that allowed
me to catch this shot.  Once I was asked to do it,
I got so nervous and was shaking so badly at the thought
of only having one chance, I just knew that everything
 would come out blurry. 


Kristine said...

Personally I'm glad that you are the preacher's wife and know all the "right" things to say to make people "feel" better and choose to be REAL and AUTHENTIC. We are meant to walk along side of each other and bear one another's burden in faith and love. We should be able to hear and know your anger, pain, and reality of life without being threatened by it and thus needing a lot of "words" when what your feeling is raw. I'm sorry for the hurt and loss you are feeling and pray God will be so present as you walk through it day by day.

Tina said...

As you stated words are not enough and words are not what you even want to hear right now. I've struggled with the anger about doubting, and questioning God through unexpected trials. When sharing with some, they can't see why I can't see God's plan at that time. Then I really get angry. I've come to the realization that God is there for me during my good times and my not so good times. He gave me plenty of examples of great men and women of the Bible that did question and doubt God, not to seek equality, but to seek solace in a terrible situation! Our prayers have continued to for you and your family and they will continue. It was God today, that pricked your heart to tell you that you need to write out your feelings. He was saying, Vent to me dear child, this is part of the healing process, not to forget, bu to be able to go on without anger and doubt.

Love, Prayers, and Hugs dear friend.


Anonymous said...

Dana, You have a remarkable gift for words..I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face because it will be 2 years this september 17th that i lost Cody and everything you are feeling I have felt. The anger , and yes I told God I was angry and it took me a while to be able to even pray again, although i could feel God with me I was so angry i didn't want to...but he didn't leave me and for that i am forever thankful. Everytime someone would tell me that time would make it better I wanted to scream at them that NO IT WILL NOT and it doesn't, not yet anyway and it will never be OK that he is gone, you are not suppose to outlive your child, but i have and I will continue to untill it is my time to be called home. One thing I have learned with the passing of TIME is...the fear of looosing another loved one stays but it fades a little, you will be able to laugh at the sweet memories & cry at the same time. When I was a little girl, then as i grew into an adult i saw the love you are talking about with Uncle Gene & Aunt Nancy, Tony, Gena & Tammy, I'm so sad that I didn't get to see Tony & Tammy & Tyler's love, but no doubt it was as strong. I also got to grow up watching another great love & that is your Mom & Dad..I always wished that my parents could have had that kind of love, the selfless giving, holding closer through times that are bad...I didn't have that so be so thankful you & Denise, Tony, Gens & Tammy had that , not all of us do. Don't give up and build a wall around you, embrace all the love out there, because once that wall is up it takes a long time to tear it down...I know believe me ! So keep writting, keep expressing yourself , keep the end love is all we have and it is awesome. I love you Dana !!! Love, Molly

allison McClendon said...

I remember how angry I felt after my first husband, Allan, died, and for the same reasons you state. And even after I was shown clear signs that all was well and as it should be, I'd break down sometimes and feel such rage that he wasn't here. You're right--it doesn't ever really go away, but it becomes easier to bear.

Jay said...

I love you.

Nellie the Great said...

Thank you for putting this into words! Seriously, I was/am feeling a lot of anger about Tony's loss. Since I'm not family and didn't even know Tony, I didn't want to say anything, feeling that maybe it wasn't my place or that it was wrong of me to feel that way in the first place. I'm glad I'm not alone, and I hate that all of this even happened. I also want to say that I love you, and I am seriously here for you. If you need to talk, I will find a way to drop what I'm doing and come over to your house. Anytime. I will be there if you need me.

April Cluck said...

I know all about the anger of which you speak. It has been just at 2.5 years since Jacob died and you would think that the anger would have subsided by now, but it hasn't and at this point I'm not so sure that it ever will....not completely. I am really, really mad that I have to go to the cemetary tomorrow and place flowers or whatever at the base of my baby's grave because this didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, and I'm even angrier and ashamed that I feel this way... I know exactly what you are feeling. I am proud that you have the courage to come out and say what you really feel about this situation...and others that you have spoken out on. Too many times we are told that what we are feeling isn't ok and that we should be ashamed of those feelings or what would God you said...He already knows and God gave us these feelings so that we can feel, and greive, and have faith that HE will bring us through whatever it is that HE has brought us to. I doubt very seriously that God gave us any emothions that he didn't intend on us actually feeling...again...I am proud of you for giving a voice to those who need one and for letting others who feel the same way but are afraid to voice it know that they aren't alone.

Have a blessed day and know that you are loved and I am praying for all of you!!!

Holly-- The Storm Chaser said...

That dove pic is GREAT. And so was this post.

keri said...

i love you.
you are
this post is
the picture is
thank you.

Anonymous said...

i love you and am here for you always. beautiful picture you captured. xoxo.

BASSakward Tales said...

there is a song by lynda randall called, "The God on the Mountain". It brought great comfort to me when my precious father in law passed away. It says the God on the mountain is the God in the valley, the God of the good times is the God of the the lyrics and read it...i hope it might bring you some comfort....i am so sorry for your loss and your always

Jen! said...

Beautiful post, Dana. You honored your cousin's memory by not spouting out pat answers, but by asking the hard questions and feeling real emotions.