Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Denise's Story

Dear Reader,
There are many forms of loss in life--loved ones, loved things (houses, cars, etc), meaningful routines or lifestyles, life-long dreams and goals, physical abilities . . . Let me introduce you to a young widow named Denise who is learning to stay close to God through a variety of losses. The first picture is of Denise and her two little boys, along with their friend, Jon, who built the altar behind them. The next picture is from last Memorial Day weekend, of her husband, Tim, having some fun with one of their sons. Here's her story:
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My husband and I walked through grief together as we experienced two miscarriages. Then, within two years, we were blessed with our first son. About twenty months later, we were blessed with our second son.

The following year we experienced grief again, though not over a loved one, but our first home.

In the summer of 2008, we lost our first home due to a natural disaster. We both grieved differently as we were faced with the many challenges of cleaning out our home, reorganizing the belongings we had left and finding a place to live for our family. Together, we made life-changing decisions for our family. It is from losing our home and the grief that came with it, that I recognized the emotions and struggles that accompany it.

We were able to move to a town where our church is located and closer to the school where I teach. With our families a couple hundred miles away, God brought us closer to our church and school friends. We consider many of our friends to be "family." God brought us here, because He knew another time of grief was just around the corner.

A few weeks before the one year anniversary of losing our home, we decided to build a sandbox for our sons in the backyard. My husband was excited to work on this project. He built the frame, ordered the sand and arranged to borrow a friend's truck and dump trailer.

The big day arrived to pick up the sand. He went to the boys' day-care and picked them up. It happened to be our youngest son's 3 year-old birthday. All three of them made the trip to pick up the load of sand. The sand was dumped in the wood frame and all of it wouldn't fit. After a phone call to our friend that loaned the truck, they decided to return the truck and trailer with the sand. Our friend could use the sand on the farm somewhere.

On the drive to the farm, after a stop sign and a second minor hill, the sand shifted in the trailer and he lost control. The truck and trailer crossed the center line, came back almost corrected and then lost control again as it went into the ditch and overturned. The truck and its cab crushed the most on the driver's side and in the middle.

My husband died at the scene and my sons were miraculously spared any injury. Although the cab's roof came to a point at my oldest son's head who was in the middle, he suffered only a small puncture wound.

The act of love from a dad for his boys ended with his heavenly birthday. As the one year mark approaches, we still grieve. But, the story isn't over. We also rejoice. We rejoice for a son's birthday, an uncle's birthday, and daddy's heavenly birthday.

Now I don't have my husband to walk with me through grief. But because I loved him, I grieve. I miss so many things. I struggle through days trying to balance being a mom, a teacher, a housekeeper, a financial planner, and the list goes on and on. God walks beside me each step I take. Even though, at times, it feels like three steps forward and five steps back. On those days, He picks me up and He carries me. Christ is my strength.

My loving companion is experiencing the joys of Heaven. Each day, I get up to share with my boys the love they have from me, from their dad, and from their Father in Heaven. One day, we will all be reunited and share in the glory of Heaven that God has given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. It isn't easy here, but our reward is being prepared for us. Until then, there is a message of salvation to share!

Thank you for letting me share my story! I know the story doesn't end here. It is only the beginning of a new road with ruts, bumps, deep crevices, joys and blessings all along the way.
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Denise, thank you for sharing your story and your faith. It's an encouragement for all of us. Readers, this is a photo of the altar built in memory of Tim for the school where Denise teaches. fbh
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Please pray for Denise and her two young sons as the Lord lays her on your heart. If you want to leave her a little message just click on the Comment link below. A message box will open up and you can type in your note. You may choose "Anonymous" identity if you don't have a Google account, and then do the word verification. Your comment goes directly to me first so I can make sure it's not spam. You won't see it on the blog until I accept it, which might be right away, or maybe not until the next day, depending on my schedule. If you have any trouble with it please let me know.

Check back tomorrow for a helpful resource, Friday for a funnie, and Saturday for a wonderful Easter song. And have a sweet and meaningful "Resurrection Sunday" as my husband always called it. I think we widows appreciate Christ's resurrection in a new and deeper way, don't you?
Blessings on you all,  

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