Many people have told me that the holidays would be the toughest. I never realized how right they would be.
This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Chris' house, Chris is my oldest son. There was Chris, Amanda and my three grand-children. Kurt, my youngest son and his new red-headed girlfriend. My in-laws, Frank and Peggy were there too.
Chris' job is to prepare a deep-fried turkey. In years past, we have accused Chris of making a burnt offering to the Gods, but this year he did pretty good. My job is to prepare a Brown Sugar & Bourbon Ham. I fix the ham just in case Chris cremates the turkey again.
Peggy, my mother-in-law and Amanda, my daughter-in-law prepare the vegetables including copper pennies, sweet potato casserole, potato salad, macaroni & cheese and other goodies. These ladies have this down to an art and I love them for it.
Kurt, my youngest son is responsible for preparing large quantities of deviled eggs. When I say large quantities, I mean in the neighborhood of 36 to 48 deviled eggs. We usually make him do this because he consumes the largest majority of them.
We all sat down to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal. Christmas music was playing in the background and everyone was enjoying the fellowship and good meal. I can't understand how I could go from feeling good one minute, to utter sadness and realizing that the one reason I had for living was gone.
I tried to choke back the tears, but more I tried only increased the unhappiness that was invading my brain. The more I tried to control my emotions, the more emotional I became. I looked up to see Kurt's girlfriend watching me, it was then I realized that Debbie would never get to see our grand-children grow up, how our sons turned into fine young men, or that Kurt has a wonderful person to share his life with.
The tears finally overwhelmed my ability to hold them back and began to run down my cheeks.
Somehow, I feel that I need to be the strong one. I'm supposed to have the strong shoulder that my children and grand-children can cry upon. I know that I need to be there for Debbie's parents who have lost both children. I'm the one that is supposed to ease their pain.
For God's sake, I'm a man...I can handle this!
I couldn't take any more and had to leave the house. As I walked out to the front porch the tears began to flow without hesitation or thought. My body was heaving as Chris came out the door and encircled my body with his arms and held me tightly.
As I sobbed into his chest, I realized that my oldest son was holding me, but it was God that had his arms around both of us. After a few minutes, my tears subsided and I was able to regain control.
Until a person has experienced loss, it's hard to understand the concept of God making us remember bad experiences and grieving over the people we have lost. To heal, a person must feel that pain so that they can once again appreciate the good things in their life.Grief is not fair, and today I've learned that it is much like riding a roller coaster. One minute you feel in control, only to lose it a few minutes later to emotions. But, I realize that the pain, grief, joy, hurt, sadness and happiness are a part of God's plan to make us better.