Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weep, Remember, Live

As many of you know this has been a very rough summer for me and my family. Not long after losing my cousin in Afghanistan, we lost a dear family friend to cancer. All in all, it's safe to say that I'm glad the summer is over and I'm looking forward to starting fresh this fall. It seems like every time I think I'm done crying, I'm not. I have never had to deal with death before, at least not of anyone this close, and then times it by two... wow, I'm emotionally spent.

Something that has helped me tremendously are words spoken at my cousin's graveside service. They were given as a benediction of sorts and I honestly feel like it was directly responsible for starting me off on the path of healing. (Which is proving to be a much long and tougher road that I ever expected.) I contacted the Chaplain, Chaplain (Colonel) Larry McCarty, and asked him for his exact wording, and while I still think that the three words; Weep, Remember, Live, are powerful in and of themselves, having the extra explanation in there just adds to it, and makes it even MORE memorable.

Weep — Jesus wept and so must you. Weep, grieve by leaning on your family, friends and above all your faith. 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 teaches that as we weep, the God of Comfort and Father of Mercies will hold us close. And He will give us the strength to one day help others who are going through the same storms of life.

Remember — Hold on to the precious memories. Cling to them. Never let them go. Remember the precious promises of God, promises like John 14:1-3 (see bottom of post for verse.)

Live — Live life fully. Seize the day. For life is a precious, fragile gift from God. Live your life fighting the good fight of faith and finishing strong. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (see bottom of post for verse.)

I know it's going to be a long long road, and certain things like my guilty pleasure of Lifetime's "Army Wives" will never be the same, nor will a show like "The Big C" (a COMEDY about a women living with cancer) ever really seem funny to me.

Another part of the healing process for me was getting my first and probably only tattoo. It's to replace the prayer bracelet that I wore during his deployments, until it broke during his last one. (I know, I don't even wanna think about the "omen" that turned out to be, good thing I don't believe in those! Anyway...) It was much bigger than I originally intended but the more it heals, the more it "grows" on me. It makes me feel like there is no chance I could ever forget, it's hard to explain really, it just makes me feel like his memory will always be with me... everyday. I hope that every time I see it I will be reminded to pray for Brian's wife, brothers and mom. I know it will be harder for them than I can even imagine!

So in the words of Chaplain McCarty, I'm gonna Weep, Remember and Live (repeat)

(“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3)

(For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8)