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.


Christine said...

thanks for this, mark. it's a really good word, and i feel you on all of it. that perspective of living in today and not yesterday or tomorrow feels really important in my life right now regarding so many things, and hearing you share from where you are at continues to help spur me on. keep writing, friend...

Michelle Kim said...

Mark-- thank you for directing me to your blogspot. Your words are beautiful and I have tears rolling down my face right now. Pain with hope is how I will continue on as well. We all love you and Lucas so much and we will be here for you. Thank you for sharing with all of us your thoughts and feelings.

Anonymous said...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV