Joe & I went to the funeral home last night for Julie's viewing. (Click HERE to read who Julie is.)
It was awful. We felt a little awkward being there when we'd never met Julie in person, but I felt like I knew her reading hers and Jaden's story in a blog. Her dad held my hand while he talked about how wonderful his daughter was, his eyes filling as his chest swelled with pride. Her mom and I cried together as we agreed that she touched so many...including people like us who she'd never even met. And we hugged.
Joe was able to talk to Julie's husband and tell him to call if he ever needs to talk. Joe shared that he lost his first wife when she was 31 to cancer. It was a hard moment for Joe and I think it kind of snuck up on him--feeling that emotional about something that happened 13 years ago.
But maybe this is that thing everyone talks about when a tragedy strikes--maybe this is an opportunity for Joe to reach out to someone with his own experience. Maybe that pain and unfairness he suffered through can actually add comfort and some level of peace to someone else. I'm so proud of him for doing that. I know it wasn't easy and was way out of his comfort zone.
This world sucks. It truly does. I say "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"
I am so tired of hearing about babies who are abused, babies who die, parents who kill their children, loving, good people whose lives are cut way too short.
I'm sick of worrying about my kids every second of the day because evil exists and lurks around every corner, waiting for an opportunity.
I feel almost bad that Julie's situation has affected me so deeply. I feel like I am intruding on grief that only her friends and family should feel.
But I am cursed with an empathy that "allows" me to feel others' pain. Too much sometimes.
I don't want to just go about my life, relieved that I am still on this earth with my family.
I don't want to forget this family, who now have to find out how to go on without their wife, mom and daughter. Jaden may still have more battle with his own sickness. I worry, what will happen to his older brother and father if something happens to him?
Please pray for this family.
I told Joe last night as we were leaving the funeral home that no matter who is in those boys' lives...it will never be the same as having their mother. We as moms know that we have a special bond with our kids. Even different and separate from dad. We carried them, nurtured them, and birthed them. It's a connection that can't be replaced.
Surely they will be surrounded with love and support and people who will shower them with love and affection. But I worry.
I'm looking at my kids a lot differently these days.
The little things they do like yell that they want to watch something on TV or want a drink...the unthinkable idea that they want to finger paint or play with play-doh is suddenly not looking so bad anymore. They're here with me. They're healthy and who cares, in the grand scheme of things, if they get paint on the table or play-doh on the carpet? They're kids and I want to allow them to be kids and enjoy the little things in life. And I want to enjoy them with them.
I plan to move on as far as posting about this family for now. But it's really hit me how precious life is. And how quickly it passes us by.
James 4:14 says "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
So, for now, I'm doing all I can to make this mist as full and happy as possible.
Excuse me now...I'm off to go snuggle my kids. :)