Our 2016 Path Awaits Us!
I met Cindy Bryan through Facebook, just a few short months ago. Cindy’s paternal Grandfather is a brother to my Mama’s adoptive Grandfather, E.B. Shivers, whom we called Pappy. You can read a little about Mama’s adoption story here. Cindy works as a dental hygienist and her story begins while she was at work one day:
Here is a story of a patient who touched my heart recently. I’d settled down to get started cleaning her teeth and as usual I began to ask her about herself…..So I say, “How’s your week been? Getting ready for Christmas?” When she didn’t respond, I thought well okay, let me change my approach because I have I have offended a few Jewish folks over my 33 years. So, again, “I say tell me a little about your family”…..finally a response. “Actually, we lost a child this past year, so I’d just assume skip the holidays, my family has a big hole in it” . That’s a hard response to follow. However, I suppose God had prepared me for this over the last month. I’ve learned the hard way over the course of years when I don’t know what to say, saying, “I’m so very sorry” is great response when nothing else will suffice. (Read Four Ways To Help Those Who Are Grieving here) We moved on through the visit and I asked would you please tell me about your sweet child? She said thank you for asking, you are very kind, and she began to tell me their story, share their sorrow…..Finally she exclaimed for many it makes them uncomfortable for me to talk about my son. I said yes, I know, but you need to talk about it…..typically unless someone asks me about my life or family I typically keep the topic on things about them. But as I said earlier God had prepared me, I think.
So, finally I said…..when I was 5, I lost my middle brother in a truck accident, he was 14, it was July 1967. Christmas time came, and my precious mother was grief stricken….our family had begun to unravel. That Christmas we didn’t have a tree up….my mother felt like you, I’m sure. If I may can I share with you what it’s like to be the one left…..in the midst of your grief don’t forget your other sweet children are hurting too….it reminds me of King David when his child was ill, he prayed and fasted for that babe. When word came the baby had died, he took food and many disapproved. He said, as long as my child was alive there was hope but now that he is gone….he can not come back where I am but I can one day go where he is….. (2 Samuel 12:14-31)
A few weeks ago I was at Disney World, Scott was at a conference and I went alone to the park. As I was leaving an elf asked if I wanted to see Santa? Hummm, so at 53 I’d never had the opportunity to see Santa or sit on Santa’s lap…..it was short line and I said why not. This was the sweetest Santa ever, he took so much time with each person…so I told Santa what had happened with my brother’s death when I was small and me never having the chance to sit on Santa’s lap….he exclaimed, “We must fix this!!”
So, I said never forget your sweet precious one that’s with Jesus, and recognize that your other sweet child very much needs Christmas this year, they need normal, or else they may think they aren’t as good as the one who left….it was sweet moment. As we parted I said “Merry Christmas”…she reached her arms out for a hug…I was very glad to give her one. Christmas does bring sadness and baggage for many….but, our God’s love is sufficient.
Cindy’s story reminds me of a lesson my Mama taught me since I was very small …”When you are down or blue, help someone and YOU, will be encouraged, as well.” Read a post about Mama’s lesson here.
Thanks to both Cindy and Sam for your willingness to share real, true heart-felt stories about our efforts of maintaining awareness about who is in our path.
Wondering who will be
in my path
will it be a new baby brother or a new baby sister?