Monday, March 24, 2008

Remember, But Not Experience

A few more thoughts from Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament For A Son...

"Photographs that once evoked the laughter of delighted reminiscence now cause only pain."

"Something is over. In the deepest levels of my existence something is finished, done. My life is divided into before and after."

"...instead of lines of memory leading up to (their lives) in the present, they all enter a place of cold, inky blackness and never come out. The book slams shut. The story stops, it doesn't finish. The future closes, the hopes get crushed. And now instead of those shiny moments being things we can share together in delighted memory, I, the survivor, have to bear them alone. So it is with all memories of (them). They all lead into that blackness. It's all over, over, over. All I can do is remember (them). I can't experience (them). The (people) to whom those memories are attached are no longer here with me. (They're) only in my memory now, not in my life. Nothing new can happen between us. Everything is sealed tight, shut in the past."

The statements above are so true. All I can do is remember them. I can't experience them. But I will take what I can get at this point. I want to remember them...all the time. Even though looking at photographs causes pain, I want to do it often. It is all I can have of them now. So if you are out there wondering how you can talk to me or how you can bless me then this is what I have to say. Don't hold back. I want you to share with me your memories of Midi and Nathan. Your memories are like the photographs that I want to look at. They may cause me some pain, but I want them because it is all that I can have of Midi and Nathan now. I know that you do not want to make me cry, but I'm asking you to not hold your memories to yourself because you are afraid of hurting me. If you can record your memories in some way (a letter, a collage, a recording, or even on this blog) then that's even better as I (and Lucas) will be able to see/hear it again and again at our choosing. Those of you who have already done so, thank you, thank you, thank you. Andrea, thank you for sharing with me a few weeks ago at Life Group about your memory of Midi when she and I first started dating. That memory blessed me beyond measure. And Fina, thank you also for sharing with me at the wedding reception how my love made a difference in Midi's life. To have made a difference in the life of such an amazing woman of God fills my heart with gladness.

I miss them so much. But I miss loving them, not just the love that they gave to me. It is in the giving of love that I felt so fulfilled. It is the giving of love that made me feel like a man. Midi was my true love. She loved so freely and I loved her so very much. She was so special that I felt that I had to share her with others so that others would be blessed. Her love wasn't meant for just me. That is why I always encouraged her to visit her friends or a former coworker and reach out to people who needed love. She was extremely generous with her love. And Nathan was the apple of my eye. I know that my judgment is biased but I think anyone that knew him will tell you that Nathan was truly special. He was so gifted. And he was such a giver, which you don't see very often in a 4 year old. I remember how he would so freely share a toy he was enjoying with Lucas. This may not be saying much 'cause I'm not exactly a genius, but I think Nathan was way smarter than me. He scared me sometimes. But it was his empathetic nature that truly amazed me.


Joe G said...

Nathan was truly an amazing little boy. Getting to know him and teach him about Jesus on Sunday mornings filled my heart with so much joy. He was highly intuitive and emotionally intelligent. While he would’ve loved to have fun with the toys he was playing with, he was constantly scanning Lucas to make sure he was okay and having fun too. Even though it was Lucas who wanted to run around and be chased more often than Nathan, he would join in with his brother to make him feel loved. Nathan had a knack for compassion that can’t be taught. Even though he was so young, I always saw Nathan as a boy who would grow up to be an amazing leader. Just as some athletes are born with natural physical abilities, so Nathan was born with natural leadership. He loved to play, but when it was time to pray and learn about God, he was always the first one to clean up his toys and sit on the mat Indian-style before anyone else. And while I’d try to motivate his brother and the other kids to come sit down, Nathan would quietly and patiently sit there waiting. He was such a good listener and learner. His attention span and ability to focus were always ahead of the curve. And his heart was so big. Even though I’d only see him and spend time with him on the Sundays that I would teach, his heart was so open to me. I loved him so much.

sebastien said...

I met Midi long time ago during a christian camp back in 1992, didn t really had a long talk with her as my english was soo poor at that time and wasn t able to communicate,but while I was living in LA for some years I met her and her brother Denis time to time at church, I remember her kindness and smile, I was really sad and felt sorry and some how couldn t and still don t understand why such a nice person had to go ... I wish I could say to her thank you as she did pray for me and that many years later my wish was answered, I find my biological parents after more than 30 years of separation ( I am a Korean adopted child from Belgium )
Mark, I don t personally know you, but your strenght and faith in God is amazing ... I am a christian but since quite some years I "lost" my faith and my believe along with it... and nothing tragic happened to me .... Mark some how you are teaching me a lesson .... you have all the reasons to be mad and disbelieve God and therefore you seems even more strong than ever .... I am just amazed and I admire you and your level of faith and love for God .... I don t know if I ever will be as strong as you but you are showing and teaching me with all your writting a way to not be discouraged and forget about God, you are giving me strenght and exemple
Thank you for all your sharing


I am truly happy for you with your words of wanting memories that we have of Midi and you. It feels as if it were yesterday that you and Midi were married and what it felt like for me to be part of your special day and doing the flowers for your wedding. Gus and I both cried like babies when we first saw Midi get out of the limo at the church to get ready to say "I do". I remember she told us to stop crying because we were going to make her makeup run!!! Gee who know little Millie Kim would shut My mouth as well as Gus, you know that's a hard thing to do!. I along with Gus loved Midi very much and we were so happy that she married a great, loving man such as you. I personally am so proud of Midi and her life, you, her children and I miss her and Gus so very much. I know that they are together with God, probably laughing at me as they or shall I say we always did with eachother, if it was at Business Funds, or at dinner, we always had so much fun together. Something I want to give to you is the video that I have had of your engagement party at Gus's house. I recently found it with my tapes and it would give me great pride and pleasure to give it to you and as you said, though I know it will bring some pain, I believe that you'd treasure this with the same love you treasure Midi with. Please let me know if you would accept this gift of love and admiration of two of the most amazing people I have ever had the absolute pleasure of having in my life "Mark & Midi Mikasa.
Give Lucas my love, the same love I have for his mother and father.
God Bless you mark and it makes me stronger knowing that you have become stronger and will continue to do so. As for the man that cause this to happen to you and your family, he dose not know how blessed he is that you are such a forgiving person, he should be greatfull and be the bigger man and turn himself into the proper athorities. Like you said, God see's and knows all and only he can help this man redeem himself and that will happen it time my friend I promise you that. Since this accident I have asked neighbors, friends, anyone that lives in the area I do if they or anyone they know might know who this man is and the story behind him and ask for help in finding hin. Someone knows where he is at and he will be found one day.
God Bless you and Lucas, You are always on my mind and in my prayers. Because of this I too have become closer to God, though I've always had him in my life, my relationship is stronger, maybe because Midi has something to do with it and I thank her for that as well. Two of my dearest friends are with him now and someday I will see them again, only to pick up where we left off, laughing, joking and loving eachother.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you don't know me, but I have been reading your blog after finding it "accidentally." I pray for you and your son as you come into my thoughts during the day and night. Your story breaks my heart, and I am thankful God is in your life.