Yesterday was 18 months since Amanda died. 1 ½ years. It’s unbelievable. Both ways, on one hand it seems like yesterday on the other it seems like an eternity. Of course, I thought about it all day off and on. My mind wandered to words spoken over the last year and a half.
Donald Trump has been in the news a lot lately regarding something he said 11 years ago. I am not here to defend him at all, I just can’t imagine having the stupid things I have said being broadcast all over the news. (This is not about what he said – I am not here to defend him – this is not about politics!)
Over the last 18 months, I have shared some very private things/thoughts with a few people. Some of those things have been repeated to others, which has gotten back to me. At the beginning, you think you can trust people, then you realize after a while – you have to be very careful. I don’t think they really meant any harm or I hope not but it makes me put up a guard. The worst is when a child tells me something – especially something they have misunderstood or it’s beyond their comprehension or it’s completely wrong – which is the case when things are passed around. The ole whisper in the ear trick. It sure is not a good feeling. Can’t imagine it on the news.
I have said some very hurtful things. Some very dumb things. Things I am extremely sorry I said, embarrassed I said. Some things were said out of anger, hurt – some things were said out of stupidity, not thinking. Some things were said sarcastically which apparently the people did not realize. They took it seriously and repeated it. Some things were said out of pure grief and despair.
Part of the grief over losing a child is searching for someone to listen. Listen to your hurts, fears, sadness, madness, questions and to understand that a lot of what you say is not necessarily right thinking. There are people will share with others their thoughts about how crazy or mean or hateful they think you are. That’s a hard lesson to learn. But, those people who listen, stick by your side, understand some times you aren’t thinking right and they don’t repeat what you say – those are true friends. Those are people who love you.
Our church had a four night “revival” time a couple of weeks ago. The Pastor talked of forgiveness. Forgiving others. I admit it is a struggle. The Pastor said “Circumstances in life that require forgiveness never go away.” Isn’t that well spoken truth. Forgiveness is something we have to deal with over and over again in life. The act of forgiving others says a lot about a person. It’s not forgetting, only God can actually forget and He does when we ask forgiveness from Him. But we do need to be kind, polite and considerate to them when we “run into” those who have hurt us.
I have some very good friends who listen and care. They don’t try to give me the answers to everything. They don’t repeat what I say. They let me vent. I hope you have some friends like them too. The pool of who I can talk to has shrunk very small.
Then there is my husband. I don’t want to add more stress to my husband. He is struggling himself. We talk, don’t get me wrong, but each of us is trying to stay strong for the other. We do not want to put more pressure on the other. Our struggles are getting worse. For some reason, people seem to think enough time has gone by. Not true. We are living. We are trying to not let the worries of this world take away our joy. We are depending on the Lord to walk with us and carry us through. But, out of our love for each other, we try not to bring the other down. Good? Bad? I am not sure. It’s reality.
I see his face, I watch him, I hear him talk about everything else in the world and I know – He is struggling. He is a man therefore he doesn’t talk to very many people about it. He has been hurt so very much. I am afraid for him. I see his heart and I know. He doesn’t trust people like he use to. He is afraid – I’ve never seen him afraid. He has been hurt by people who he loves and well, use to trust. We are walking the same path, though differently. Together but apart – trying to shelter the other. He lost his little girl, his baby. People say, little boys have the heart of their mother – girls have their daddy wrapped around their little finger. Amanda sure had him wrapped and he loved every minute of it. My husband is a good man, Godly man. A man who has always been loyal to his family and friends. A man who has always been there for others. A man who has always tried to do the right thing. A man who would give up his very own life for his family and his friends. A man who takes you at your word. I look at him and see the changes. It kills my very heart. It rips me apart. It makes me very angry.
I can’t change it for my husband. My husband can’t change it for me. Only God can help us run this race He has given us. All I can do is pray and follow His lead. I know we are not alone. Sometimes we feel alone. But we are not.
Amanda will not return to us. One day we will go to heaven where she is, but she will not come back to us. Our baby girl is gone on this side of eternity. Until then we have those of us “left behind”. We have to uplift and support each other. We have to depend on God. As hard as it can get, He is in control. We have to depend on Him for each step. We have to walk by faith. “Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.” – Barbara Johnson “We walk by faith, not by sight…..while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.” 2 Cor 5:7 & 4:18
We just gotta have faith! We gotta pray! We gotta respond with love! We gotta be there for each other! We gotta keep walking! Not alone, but with Jesus! We gotta run the race before us! Our race, not an easy race, but a race non the less – “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God .” Heb 12: 1 & 2 (NASB)
Love to all of you,
Manda’s Mom #APG