Monday, November 23, 2009
The big topic at church and in our small groups right now is, "defining moments". Everyone seems to have one, some have several. I guess my big Ta Da was when I realized how much I need other people. I know that doesn't seem like much, but believe me, it was hard to get there.
I always had a lot of friends in school and didn't spend many weekends alone. But somewhere along the way I quit trusting people. Maybe it was the bitter sting of all the knives in my back or the constant ringing in my ears from the gossip. But I learned to keep people, even friends at a distance.
After I was born again, got married and had children, I felt like I needed friends even less. I was quite comfotable being alone. I had everything I needed.
I never cried in public. This was a skill developed over many years and I was very proud of it. My mother was a crier and it embarrassed me. I also married a crier. So many times, Jon would give one of his "mini sermons" at the dinner table and he and Sarah would break down in tears while Eric, Lauren and I sat in awkward silence. I wasn't heartless. I understood what he was saying. It just didn't make me cry.
Things started to change around the time my mom was diagnosed with A L S. I was constantly blinking back tears, and I had to carry Kleenex in my purse just in case the radio played a Vince Gill song. I don't know what it is about his voice, it just makes me cry.
After she died, it took me a while but I finally was able to suck it up and go on. After all everyone looses their mom at some point, right? It's just normal.
But the loss of my sister was different. It took months for it to sink in. There is something about the death of someone with your exact DNA that makes you realize how mortal you are. She was the one person I always turned to, and now she was gone.
I made up for all the years of not crying the night Lauren died. I cried until my eyeballs were sore and then I cried some more. I never knew it was physically possible to cry so much.
We had driven all night to Sherman, in hopes of bringing her home to get well. She was gone when we got there. The doctor let us see her before the coroner took her away. Then there was nothing else we could do, so we drove home. Everyone was so nice, offering us a place to stay. Telling us not to worry, they would pack Lauren's things for us and help us get her car home. We were in shock and all we could think to do was get home to Sarah, call Eric, take care of those we had left.
On the way home it occurred to me, I needed help. I couldn't do it alone. I was talking to my sister in-law on the phone and she asked what she could do. I knew we would have company when we got home, and so I set aside my pride and asked if she would clean my house. This was huge for me. Something I would never ask another person to do.
So many people came and helped. They fed my family and took care of all those heartbroken kids who had been such good friends to Lauren. It was amazing. Ive never known such heartache and felt such love.
I think to really experience God's love you have to let His people love you.
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