(Originally Published on Facebook 1/4/15)
A year ago today Bethany and Katie were laid to rest. January 4, 2014, runs through my mind in bits and pieces like a slideshow of still photos – moments captured in my mind – interspersed with video-like footage – blurred images alongside others in sharp focus.
Memories of personal encounters during the visitation – my college roommate’s husband standing before me unashamed as tears fell from his eyes – impossibly young friends, teachers and school nurses extending sympathy – friends who had driven several hours, many of whom hadn’t seen us in almost ten years – a man who only identified himself as “a friend”. Bethany’s broken-hearted boyfriend and his equally broken-hearted mother standing alongside her sister and the soft pink tulips (Bethany’s favorite flower) we cherished.
Pastor Wes and Lisa meeting with us just prior to the start of the service. The comfort and blessing provided by the presence and participation of Bill Boren, our Pastor from Kansas City and long-time friend, who had performed our son’s funeral twenty plus years before. The music and message.
The sight of those two flower draped caskets standing in the cold air at staggered heights one in front of the other, the cemetery chapel providing a fitting backdrop at the graveside service. How I wish I’d taken a picture of that starkly beautiful, sobering and painful view.
The luncheon that followed – and the hospitality the church ladies extended in inviting and making welcome the numerous international students Bethany had befriended at UCA.
The discovery of the stroke my oldest brother suffered leaving him hospitalized at Northwest Regional.
The dark drive back to Little Rock with my crazy brother who was insanely willing to spend three hours on the road with us all because he wanted thirty minutes with Gracen before taking upon himself the responsibility of driving Bethany’s car another three hours back to Bentonville, in what had become inclement weather, before driving on to Tulsa planning to catch a flight home that same night.
Today was a day of bittersweet flashbacks of well remembered, sharply-edged pain, gently buffed smooth and soft by hugs of comfort and sorrow shared between friends and family. Yes, a year ago today Bethany and Katie were laid to rest and tonight Gracen will drift off to sleep in her over-sized Pineville Fire and Rescue t-shirt.
February 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm
Janet, I am a stranger that stumbled upon your blog this evening. I want you to know God is sovereign, He loves you and you are not alone. I don’t understand your pain but I am and will be praying for you. Much love 💞💞
February 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm
Hello Rhythm In Life!
How did you happen to stumble upon my little blog?
I appreciate your prayers and concern for me. Yes, God is sovereign and that is a comforting and frightening thought simultaneously. It’s terrifying knowing firsthand of the horrors He allows in the lives of His children and comforting in knowing His grace is sufficient even when it “feels” inadequate. I find I can always look back and see His sufficiency down the road.
Thank you for stopping by to read my blogposts and for taking time to banter with me!
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February 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm
My name is Susan. I stumbled on your blog through WordPress. Yes He allows even the unbearable pain. As I have already told you, I don’t understand your pain but I can only imagine how hard it is being a mother myself. His grace is sufficient!