Yesterday we said goodbye to a wonderful man who is just gone way too soon. I've been overwhelmed for the last 8+ days with emotion for this man and his family as his life took a drastic and unexpected turn and what seemed like a recovery process turned into a 4 days of tears, prayers and goodbyes.
Scott, his wife Christine and their three kids have been our friends almost as long as we've lived here...almost 11 years. With our oldest and their youngest being only 5 months apart we've done birthday parties, social times, sports, church, community events etc. together for years. And we are just a small part of the lives that Scott and his family have touched. That was very obvious yesterday as hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to this man's life and to support the loved ones he leaves behind.
And what a tribute it was. Everywhere you looked there were signs of the life this man had lead, the loves of his life. Photos of him with this three children and his wonderful wife, of him with his nephew, niece, sister and brother-in-law. Of him with this parents in years gone by and recently too. And photos and stories of him with his many, many friends. And there were tears..tears of anger, tears of sadness and tears of laughter too at the stories shared.
A friend of Scott's from his college days spoke of that feeling of anger that we are all feeling right now. It is so hard not to be angry when you think about loss of someone so young. At only 45 with a wife who turns 40 this year, a daughter who just started highschool and a son and daughter who are 11 and 12 you can't help but feel angry that they won't have this man in their life. It's Not Fair! Oh how often I have said that over the last week. It's so hard not to be angry when you think of all the things you saw Scott at, all the things he was involved in that will now just have a gaping hole.
And of course that just leads to so many tears of sadness. My heart aches for this family. For these children, this wife, these parents and parent in laws, this sister and her family and this community of friends.
Last Sunday I went for the first long run I have done in a long time. It seemed easy to run, the time just flew by and that's because I prayed and talked to God the entire time. I decided today that I would share what God and I shared that day as I ran down a trail within view of the place Scott loved the most, his farm.
I begged God, I admit it. I begged him for a miracle. I begged him to show the doctors they were wrong, that there was something they could do and Scott's life could be saved. I begged him to show his amazing healing. I begged him to give them more time and to bring Scott back to a level of consciousness where he would be able to tell his family all his dreams for them, where they could spend days together sharing their love, their stories, remembering past memories and creating new ones.
And then I begged for understanding. Help God to see why this is happening, Help me to accept that this is your will. Help me to come to terms with this.
And with that acceptance (which I don't have but knew that I had to come to terms with) I proceeded to pray over this family from where I could see their home.
I prayed for Christine. For the times that would come when she would be lying in bed and the tears would fall and for the emptiness she felt in her heart but also in her bed...when the space beside her seemed so vastly empty and her arms ached to hold her husband again and she ached to be held. I prayed that she would feel the warmth of his arms holding her, that she would feel his presence and know he was there and always would be. That she would know only their bodies were separated but their hearts were forever joined. I prayed that she would always hear his voice in her head, encouraging her, loving on her, living within her.
I prayed for Katelyn. I prayed that when she walks down the aisle on the day of her wedding and she's missing that opportunity that all girls dream of; being on Daddy's arm, that she would sense Scott, her sweet Daddy, that she would actually be able to feel the pressure of his arm on hers, that she would see her mom's tears and know that they were tears from a Daddy who missed her and was sad that he'd missed this day but also tears of joy at the love that she had in the man she was walking towards at the front of that church.
I prayed that Emma would hear the clapping sounds of her Dad's hands as she walks across that stage in June to get her grade 8 diploma and again in 4-5 years when she gets her highschool one. That she can hear his voice telling her just how proud he is of her and all she has accomplished...and just how beautiful she looks in her grad dress.
And I prayed for Darnell. I asked God to make sure that Scott's cheers for Darnell's goals in hockey would ring out over the crowd and that Darnell would never have any doubt that his dad, his biggest fan, was there watching his game.
And then I cried some more as I am crying now and asked God to help me understand, help me accept what I can't understand. I asked him to help me and all around us to accept that His ways aren't our ways and that when we prayed for healing for Scott we had to accept that God's version of healing might not be the version we had in mind, the version we desired with all our hearts.
And today I know that God did heal Scott, I know that he made Scott whole again, full of life, love and energy....I just wish it didn't have to hurt so much and that tears did not seem to fall so easily.
Yesterday at the funeral a young family friend sang this song. And I am trying so hard to keep it in my heart....
"When I Get Where I'm Going"
But when I get where I'm going and I see my maker's face, I'll stand forever in the light of his amazing grace.
It's something that I have to remind myself at times...that when I get there I won't just see the loved ones who've gone before me but that I will see the Lord and that I will forever be in the presence of His amazing grace, His ability to forgive all our sins, all our mistakes, all our wrongs and watch Him wipe that away just as he wipes away our tears. There it will be tears of happiness...for we are home, we are back with Him. Our sins will be shed, our struggles forgotten. What a place that is!
For now we are here and we miss Scott. But if we close our eyes we can imagine him in the light of God, forever smiling down on us. He wants us to celebrate that smile, that love and that zest for life he had and not to cry for him...he's home now.