There is this song...
I learned that this song is even more special than I knew it was because God put this song in my path as well as my sisters in the midst of our Charlie story, probably close to the exact same moment. I had no idea until today when I had it playing in my car that it reminded us both of Charlie. I do that a lot, without others knowing; I play songs that take me back to July, that remind me of him. Today, Kari just happened to breathe a little heavier and then uncovered her story surrounding these lyrics. As she drove to the hospital on July 17th to say goodbye to Charlie that song came on. We agreed in that moment, without even having to say one word out loud, that the lyrics are the most perfect words to describe some of what I know we all feel sometimes.
You call me out upon the water
The great unknown where feet may fail.
This summer and even beyond my "feet" have failed me. It was impossible to stand in the middle of the thrashing ocean I was unexpectedly thrown into within a matter of minutes. I had Charlie on June 30th and on July 7th I was rushed to the back of the emergency room at Children's Hospital where they put a trachea in my seven day old son's throat right in front of me. It was horrific. All I remember hearing or seeing was his little body on the table and one of the nurses yelling, "Someone tell his mom what is happening..." I was in shock then and I think I stayed that way for the entirety of our stay in the PICU. Even after he died as I planned Charlie's funeral and then sat through the service I don't think I had really grasped that he was gone yet. The verse in this song reminds me of grief. It immediately takes me to my grief; which I kind of equate to a person right now.
I believe we tend to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. So often our friends and who they are is very telling of our own character. As we grow and learn who we want to be, we gain wisdom, and our friends and relationships change. I can think back to a time or two in my life that someone I associated with or I may have even called a friend was a weight pulling me away from who I wanted to become. Sometimes they are a bad influence or have a bad attitude and we have to let go. People do that to one another. Misery loves company I guess is really true. That "friend" or person that I associated with in July will not let go.
He is an extremely heavy "friend" that wraps his arms around my throat and hangs off my back making it hard to breathe sometimes.
Today I went to my Uncle Bob's funeral. It is the first person in my life that has passed since Charlie. I couldn't help but look around and see grief and sorrow wrapped around his wife, children, grandchildren, and other family and friends that loved Uncle Bob.
Uncle Bob was special. He was actually my mom's uncle but my brother and sister and I all took that name for him too. We wanted to have a special bond with him and my Aunt Dee, a special name for them that meant we were close family. My Uncle Bob reminds me of my grandpa because he cared about everyone else before himself. He had a genuine spirit about him and smiled big when he saw you.
As I reflected on grief and looked around today I realized that while grief holds us back and makes it hard for us to look up and move past the sadness of losing someone you love, it also eventually loses its grip. That "friend" I call grief is actually not a friend. It is someone I have to deal with. It is someone that has helped me learn who I want to become and has changed me but pretty soon I have to sit down and say, "There will come a time when we see each other less and less. I don't plan on completely banishing you from my life because I know that is not healthy, but you cannot hold me back. You have to let me be who I am supposed to be."
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
A greater friend I have in Jesus. He is mightier than grief and sorrow. He is my strength and today during Uncle Bob's service I heard a line from a poem that I clung to. Bruce, Uncle Bob's son, read, "Why cry for a soul set free?" It's true. Charlie, Uncle Bob, my grandpa, my grandad, and so many other we all love have been set free. They are not in pain and they will never again experience sadness. So while I believe grief is real and there is a time for sorrow, I also know, as I am gaining wisdom through this, that I will not let it ruin me. I will not let it take the person I am supposed to be away from me.