Posted by: Kathy | September 1, 2009

Forgiveness and Resurrection

Almost every Sunday, my dad goes to church and then to the cemetery where my mom is buried. Yesterday, he shared with me an e-mail he wrote to a friend. I was touched by what he wrote and asked if I could post his e-mail on my blog site. Here are my dad’s words, his thoughts and feelings:

Forest Hills is a beautiful cemetery. Situated in Northeast Philadelphia, the grave site is on a hillside surrounded by large, mature trees in the near distance. There is always a gentle breeze and a sense of peace. Usually I am alone, except for the presence of God.

Today, I basked in a small part of the wonder of creation with a warm sun enveloping me. Yesterday, I witnessed the vastness of the mystery of God at the Hayden Planetarium show “Journey to the Stars”. In my greenhouse, the glory of God is manifest in the beautiful blossoms on the many orchids. Science tells of the how of things, our faith tries to explore the why.

Today I cried and prayed. I cried for my loss, Kathryn’s loss, and the effect this has had on our family. But I particularly cried for Marcia as I relived the horror of this illness. She was a strong woman, yet, I cannot imagine her physical pain and mental anguish. The knowledge of her impending death was never fully verbalized, but was right near the surface in those last weeks. The sadness of not being able to march in step with her grandchildren’s achievements as they matured is especially painful.

I prayed silently and aloud. Yet, as I think about it, praying is probably most helpful to the one who prays. It helps to heighten awareness. Yet God does not really need to “hear” these prayers as the Lord knows our needs and thoughts even before they are uttered. Still, I prayed. I asked for forgiveness. I asked Marcia for forgiveness. We had a good marriage and I cherish that I was her husband for 43 years. Yet, in all marriages there are many things that were unspoken and things undone. The past cannot be changed and I know not to be consumed by this aspect of grief. Still, I asked for her forgiveness and I asked God to forgive my many imperfections.

I prayed for guidance – helping me get through this and helping me become a better person. I prayed for strength. And praying is good for the one who prays. I will get through this – this illness has been life-changing for all of us. There is heartache, but there is also the joy and support of family and good friends. I look to my faith for the strength and renewal I need. “God is present in my joy and in my sorrow.”

There were tears in my eyes as I read this, as I can relate to so much of what my dad wrote. And then I told him about some things that I’ve been holding close to my heart since my mom died, things that are tearing me apart. It was good to finally let go.

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Responses

  1. Kathryn, I haven’t checked your blog for quite a long time, but for some reason I knew it was about the date that your wonderful Mom passed away. Your Dad was my doctor for many years and is such a good man. I know that you both will continue to grieve for her and this is normal. I pray for you and your Dad daily that God will give you both the strength to carry on without her. When thinking about life, I always relive The Lion King. It is the circle of life, but doesn’t seem fair. She did not have the pleasure of seeing your beautiful children growing up and for this I am sad. I know your Mom is watching over all of you and if you look for signs of her guiding you, you will find them. I can explain later about this from my own experiences. I am not a pschic or anything like that (God forbid) but there are always signs around me every so often that tell me my loved ones are with me. Tell Dad I was asking about him. He will tell you I am not nuts, haha!!

  2. Wow – your Dad is a beautiful man. It shows in his faith in God and his writing.

    God is an all forgiving God…..he’s been forgiven for his imperfections that first time he asked and each and every time he asks.

    I hope one day to meet your Dad….he sounds like a truly wonderful person.

    God Bless You & Your Family, Kathy! I pray that one day the hurt from your loss won’t hurt so much.

    Take care,

    Claudia


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