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.