Monday, January 28, 2008

Loss for Generations

I'm not a dreamer. Never have been. I also tend not to dwell on the past. I'm a pretty present-minded guy. This has its advantages and disadvantages. But as far as the future is concerned, there is just one image that I had before the accident that always made me happy to think about. I would imagine being in my late 60's/early 70's alongside my beautiful wife with our house full of our children and grandchildren. My whole life, I've been going to my grandparents' house on Saturdays. Almost every weekend I would see my grandparents, parents, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, niece, nephew. Saturday has always been a day for family and extended family. And so I suppose it is natural that the one dream/vision that I've had of the future is that someday I would be the grandpa and that my sons Nathan and Lucas would marry some nice girls and have children, my grandchildren. Midi and I were also in the process of expanding our family. We submitted an application to adopt a girl from Korea. We were expecting to meet her sometime around the end of 2009. And so my dream included my daughter and her husband and their children, my grandchildren. And Midi and I were not closed to the idea of having more children.

It dawned on me about a little over a week after I lost Midi and Nathan that I lost even more than them. I lost a daughter, the daughter I was expecting to start being a daddy for in 2009. Maybe I lost more children. And I lost a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and who knows how many grandchildren.

And this means that Midi's parents and my parents, and everyone who feels the loss of Midi and Nathan from their lives lost so much more as well. My poor Lucas lost his mother and his twin brother...and so much more. I grieve so much when I think about these things.

But we are not meant to live in the future. The future (except for the promise of salvation) is uncertain. I remember when I read "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis being struck by this idea. The past is dead. We can and should learn from it, but we should not dwell on it, living our life in regrets and what ifs. The future doesn't exist. So we shouldn't be wrapped up in it either. We cannot control the future, as much as we'd like to. I knew this before the tragedy. I know this ever so clearly now. Satan (yes, I believe he is real) wants us to live in the past or the future as much as possible. The present is where we can experience God, where we can be touched by His grace.

I have enough grief and loss to experience in the present. And so I must let go of this phantom future that I dreamed about. I still have hope for the future, but now I don't think about the details of what that future will look like.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pain is Constant

It has been 25 days since the tragedy. I don't want to call it just an "accident" because it was so much more. Physically, the doctors told me that my cracked ribs (I have three) will heal in about six to eight weeks. That seems about right. They feel about half healed. I still feel constant discomfort. Little things like picking up Lucas,turning over in bed, or just sitting in a car occasionally cause slight pain, but it's not too bad. As for Lucas, he suffered some whiplash. He seems to be getting better as he is able to turn his head more, but he definitely is cautious about his neck. When he turns to look at something he still favors turning his entire body keeping his neck still, rather than just turning his head. Some of that may be psychological. He has to learn to trust his neck again.

I have so much to say. I know a blog is out there for everybody to see, but that's OK. I've always been a pretty transparent person for those who know me well. No guile. I guess the weirdest thing is that I have students, past and present, who will get to know a completely different part of me that I have not revealed in the classroom. That's OK, too. I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed about. I guess this blog thing will be like a journal. I hope that it will also be like a conversation. If you out there have something you'd like to say, then feel free to comment. Someday, Lucas will be able to read what I wrote. I hope this blesses him.

There are two things that I want to post tonight. The first is about some wisdom that I received from my friend, Chris. About a week after I returned home from the hospital, I was sitting in my office (Lucas' playroom) with my Barbarian brothers (more on that some other time) just talking and Chris spoke a very simple yet profound truth. He told me that there are two paths that I can choose: pain with despair or pain with hope. No matter what, pain is constant. Since the tragedy, I have chosen pain with hope. Though I am suffering and grieving intensely, I have also been filled with a peace that can only be supernatural, not from my own will power. A peace that can only be provided by the Holy Spirit. I have cried out to God and He has met me in my darkest moments. Praise God. I feel that He is going through this with me. He has not left me. I am not despairing.

Second, many of you have said that you are here for me and Lucas. I thank you. The support I've had has been tremendous. I am so rich when it comes to the things that last, loving relationships. What I wanted to say to all of you is that as you are here for me, I am here for you also. This may sound weird considering that I have lost my wife and my son. But you are experiencing loss also. I am not the only one suffering. We walk through this season of pain together.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's me

Hello everyone. I've decided to start a blog for two reasons. First, I think it will be good for me to write. Writing will help me reflect which I think is a big part of my healing process after losing Midi and Nathan. Second, I think that there are many of you out there who would like to know how Lucas and I are doing. This will be an easy way for you to keep up with us. I don't know how often I will write. I'm sure it will vacillate. Anyway, that is all for now. I have many thoughts that will surface soon.