Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Barbarian Con & Lucas' Loneliness

After I graduated from college, I lived with four buddies from UCLA. Our common bond was a shared faith in Jesus, growth and maturity through our days in Bruin Christian Fellowship, and bachelorhood. We rented a house in Mar Vista on Barbara Avenue. It is for that reason (and not because of any unsavory behavior) that we dubbed ourselves "The Barbarians". These men (David, Chris, Jon W, and Jon Y) are more than just friends to me. They are my brothers. We have all been in each others' weddings. We have all been through dark days together. We have held each others' children and we have been through fire (figuratively and literally - just ask Chris) with each other. These are my lifelong pals. We can share our deepest struggles with each other. We have an implied understanding that we will always be there for one another no matter what life throws at us. Though three of us live in SoCal and two of us live in NoCal, we have also made it a point to get together at least once a year to hang out. These Barbarian Conferences or "Barb Cons" are great times to catch up with each other and just hang out.

This past weekend, the Barbarians came down to my house to spend the weekend with me and Lucas. Overall, it was a great weekend. There were two highlights. The first was Saturday dinner at my aunt's house. My mom cooked her amazing chicken katsu and sukiyaki for us. After the awesome dinner, we played some Guitar Hero with my family. It was a lot of fun. I love when different parts of my life come together. The second highlight was the purchase of a new car. The previous weekend, the SoCal Barbarians (Dave, Chris, and I) test drove five cars. I narrowed my choices to two. Now, I know absolutely nothing about cars. It just isn't a passion for me. Reliably getting from Point A to Point B is really my main concern. So I called on my brothers to help me and they did not fail. Dave did the homework, coming prepared with Consumer Reports printouts and other key information. Anyway, to make a long story short, I purchased a car Sunday afternoon. Chris was the champion negotiator while I barely spoke. I was just there to write the check and get the keys. Jon W stayed home to keep Lucas company. It was a great team effort that typifies the spirit of the Barbarians. Everyone should be so blessed as I am with these men of strength and character.

Monday night, Barb Con ended. Chris had to leave Sunday night due to a work trip. Dave drove Jon W to Long Beach Airport and I drove Jon Y to LAX. On the way home, Lucas and I were talking and he completely caught me off guard. He asked me, "Dad, am I going to get a new Oh-ma?" (Oh-ma is the Korean name for "mommy"). I was totally unprepared for this question. I tearfully explained to him that he will never have Oh-ma back but that someday when he is older, he may have a different mom. I asked him if he wanted another mom. He said yes. I cried as I reassured him that if he ever did have another mom, that I would make sure that she loves him. We then talked about Nathan. I explained to him that he will never have Nathan back but that someday when he is older, he may have a baby brother or sister. I asked him if he wanted to have a brother or sister. He said yes.

For me, this is the hardest conversation that I have had with Lucas. It gives me tears just thinking about it. It shows me two things. One is that Lucas is fully aware that Oh-ma and Nathan are gone. Two is that Lucas is very lonely. He is processing his loss. He daily feels the void in his life - no brother to go to school with, no mommy to hug and kiss him, no brother to wrestle with, no mommy to sleep next to, no brother and mommy to laugh with. Oh, my poor son! I wish I could make it better for him. All I can do is grieve with him, reassure him with my presence and love, and help him establish a new normal. And I must do this while God grieves with me, reassures me with His presence and love, and helps me establish a new normal.

For those of you reading this who believe in the Holy Spirit, please pray for me and my boy. Pray that God would grant me wisdom and strength to care for Lucas. Pray for Lucas to feel safe and hopeful. Pray for me to abide in Him.


Josefina said...

Mark we are continually praying for you and Lucas. May his spirit rest heavily on you both as you grieve and lead your precious son through this treacherous time. the Arnolds

Anonymous said...

Mark - I've been catching up on your blog since Chris gave me the address last week. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably. Your writing has helped me to process my own thoughts and grief, and to know how you and Lucas are doing. I think of Midi and Nathan every day, and I pray for you and Lucas every day. May you both have peace and strength, and may God give you deep wisdom as you take care of your precious child. -Kristie Savage

Anastasia said...

Mark, I've been reading for blog for a little over a week now, and I wanted to let you know that you have been a living testimony for me. While I have not experienced the loss of two very important people in my life as you have, I have encountered unforeseen and difficult circumstances that left me deeply depressed and disillusioned with God. Your messages of choosing pain with hope and holding onto Jesus in the midst of your grief have moved me deeply and encouraged me to begin rebuilding my relationship with God. The Lord led me to a verse in the book of Psalm that has brought me much comfort. I thought I would share it with you. "You keep track of all of my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book." (Psalm 56:8, New Living Translation)

Mark, I read your posts, cry with you, and pray for you and Lucas. May our faithful Heavenly Father continue to sustain you and give you hope.

Peace, Anastasia

B.A.K. said...

mark, thanks for continuing to keep your friends updated on how you and lucas are doing. i will definitely keep you both in my prayers as you have been. -tina

Tracey Gee said...

Mark, thank you for opening your heart and your grieving and healing process to so many of us. It really is a tremendous gift that you are giving. We are thinking of you and Lucas often. Thanks for letting us know how we can be praying for you. Blessings, the Gees

La Mikia said...

Mark, we too want to thank you for sharing so vunerably. You and Lukie are constantly in our prayers, and we continue to ask the Lord to show us how we can love and support you better. We love uou and are praying for you. ~the Castillos

Anonymous said...

Mark - Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and blessings during this time. I am praying for you both continually. I read A Grace Disguised 3 weeks before the accident, and my heart just broke for you and Lucas, knowing what it was like for that family and in part what it might be like for you and Lucas. You are such an excellent father and your faith is truly amazing. You are a blessing to your son, your extended families and us. We love you and will keep lifting you up. -Carolyn (BCF '95)

Jennifer said...

Mark, thank you for the courage to let others grieve with you. We go boldly before the Lord on your behalf.

"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of tears they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with blessings. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

Jenny Dickson
(sister of Rebecca Rollins)

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Mikasa its me Mario!! Remember from gab but anyways i just wanted to say that i am so sorry of what happened and that i have my church and myself praying for u everyday man ok. but if u want to get a hold of me u could email me ok latez mikasa and hope to see u soon

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Mikasa
i just want to let you know that you and lucas are in my thoughts and in my prayers. in a sense i have an idea of what you feel, my aunt whom i was real close to passed away on january 10th. Just know that God is going to give you and your son the strenght you need to be happy agian. Lucas is blessed to still have you. I will be praying for u both.
-Maureen (MO)