Saturday, September 05, 2009

Joy and Sorrow

Sept. 5, 2009

How can I mark this time of emotions running full circle?

Thursday and Friday brought all of our family to San Francisco, CA to witness and support the marriage of our daughter, Kristin and her fiancé, Alan. As each family arrived at the hotel after the long trip from Atlanta, the excitement of the children grew and became infectious. Early yesterday morning our California daughter, Bethann, had planned to pick up her father and me for breakfast, and take us on a tour of her apartment and the law firm where she practices with Kristin, and then to the courthouse to obtain the license that Terrence would need to officiate at the wedding. Others had various sightseeing activities planned before meeting with Alan’s family for the rehearsal dinner. Joy was in the air.

Then tragedy struck, and for a brief time we didn’t know what to do. Mike and Kim learned that their father, who had fought for his life after receiving a heart transplant almost exactly one year ago, had died in his sleep. My precious son came into my room with the sad news, followed by five crying grandchildren. My arms were as full as my heart was broken.

The next few hours brought to light God’s plan for family, the reason for love, as we bonded and shared together. It all started to work almost without effort or knowledge of what was happening. We sat together, the children huddled, we talked, we cried…then needs began to be met as we broke off in groups to meet those needs. None of us could prevent the hard blows that Mike and Kim had to endure, but with all of us surrounding them, we could cushion those blows with love.

Plans were made. Mike and Kim are staying with the family and going together to pick up their father’s ashes and finalize the rest of the details next week. Today, everyone will wake up soon and with smiles of gratitude, and sing Happy Birthday to my granddaughter, Isabelle. Yes, we will celebrate life, love and marriage today and in a quiet, gentle way we will hold up my son, my daughter and their sweet families that are suffering a great loss.

On a personal note: As my grown children and I embraced each other to share our pain and my five (Regas/Sabonis-Chafee) grandchildren surrounded me in sorrow, I was profoundly struck by the grand purpose of their father/grandfather’s life. He left the world a better place.

WAP for us.

4 comments:

Queenie said...

My heart is heavy today thinking
of my grandchildren, Mike and Kim,
along with Joe, Isabelle, Emily, William and Andrew, as they recieved the news of Mike's death.
I remember, as I sat on a stool
at the foot of Dad's casket, Little
four year old Isabelle ask if I
thought Popa and Bobba would know
each other in Heaven. I told her
I was quite sure they would, we
would know out loved ones in
Heaven. Now they have been joined
by Popa and that means that all
is well, Gods perfect plan.
Rest easy, my darlings, you have
been faithful.
Nana

juju said...

Merry, Kim and Mike, With out the past how would we be where we are-- God has a purpose for everything. His timing is not ours ,but what a beautiful way to be comforted in the mist of of those who knew your Dad and to see all the good that came out of his life.

tschafee said...

Beautifully stated, Mimi. As always. And precious comments. I know Kim is strengthened by the many prayers coming her way, as I am sure Mike is. It was, indeed, a bittersweet weekend as we both mourned and celebrated. As a husband, I was at a loss in what to do and had to hope that just my presence and support would provide some of the comfort my wife needed. This week will likely be harder, as she and Mike set to the details without all the family surrounding them. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. And thanks to all for the prayerful support at this difficult time.

family said...

Tom...You have been such an asset to this family. You showed your love and support perfectly when you took all the grieving grandchildren from their grieving situation and out for a day of sightseeing. They got escape and Mike and Kim got some time to cry, to think and to adjust. The kid bonded even closer and we all knew they were safe and in your good hands. You are such the servant in times of need and I am so very grateful my daughter picked you for her lifelong mate. Thank you, thank you for all you do.

God bless you,

Mimi