Monday, February 11, 2008

The Great Sadness

Today is the day. It's the day that I dread, but I know is coming. It has come like clockwork for several years now...never slowing...never stopping...always approaching. In November I begin pushing it to the back of my mind hoping, praying that it will stay. December comes and their is a precursor to the Sadness. It is the moment that I discovered that life is but a vapor and we are not promised today. January comes and allows me to take a breath, but as January comes to a close the Sadness is there, approaching, almost here. And then, day by day in February, it grips my heart and I fight desperately to fight back the tears, the grief, the loss...the emptiness. It is the Sadness that I rarely speak of, not because I am ashamed or do not like speaking of it. I rarely speak of the Sadness because my throat gets tight, those little places at the back of my jaw aches, and tears always burn, always.

Today the tears flow freely and they are almost impossible to restrain. I pace around the house, occasionally staring out the window at the grayness of day. It seems as if even the weather knows of the Sadness. We have been gripped by snow for the past couple of weeks, but the air has warmed slowly and the rains have come. Cold rain and gray skies make for a perfect setting.

We will bump about our lives today. Jennifer is working at A.W.O.P. and I am working from home, but we are really not here at all. We are at that moment...5 years ago...

It was 5 years ago today that our third daughter, Abigail Shea McConnell, took her last breath as she lay in our arms. I have never experienced the depth of grief that we walked through that day. The grief thundered so loudly in my heart and mind that I was numb for awhile. Today, I feel that same numbness. She was 10 months old and although her life was filled with tubes, machines and sleeplessness nights, she was an absolute joy.

Today, she stands with Jesus. She sheds no tear and runs and plays with a strong mind and body. When I talk to Jesus I often ask Him to give her a hug and kiss from me. I'm not sure why I ask. No one in the Bible ever asked something like that, but I ask anyway. I'm not sure if it is an appropriate thing to ask, but it makes me feel like a father when I do it.

I'm thankful for Abby's death in a weird way. If she had not died we would never have adopted Bri and then Ana and then our three sons, Josiah, Noah, and Caleb. I am sure her life and death accomplished many things in the plan of God and one of those things was enabling two of His people to rescue 5 children who had no future. One day we will explain to them how Abby saved their lives.

It has been said that a smart man learns from his mistakes and a wise man learns from other's mistakes. While Abby is no mistake, feel free to learn from our grief.

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15

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