Friday, February 10, 2012

And then, 24 hours later....

If you haven't read the previous post, this one may be hard to follow.

24 hours after Lisa died, our world was turned upside down all over again. I had not yet come to terms with the idea that Lisa was really gone, but had a little peace knowing that she was in Heaven and not hurting anymore. I had every intention of making the drive to the town where Lisa lived for her funeral services, but that never happened. You see, Lisa died on a Thursday afternoon at about 4:30. At 9:30 the following morning, my brother-in-law and his wife had a wreck. Sweet Kelly did not survive. By 2:00 that afternoon, Larry & I were signing papers for the hospital to release her body to the funeral home, identifying her under a white sheet and facing some of the most grown up, surreal, shocking moments of our lives. It is the only time I've ever been the responsible adult signing that kind of paperwork after a death. I hope it is a very, very long time before I have to be that responsible adult again. We went through the motions and did what had to be done, but I felt a little robotic in doing it. It didn't occur to me until later that I was emotionless, just simply stating the facts of what was going on as we were asked, nodding my head and signing whatever was put before me. I couldn't cope with more tears & sadness that day. Plus, Larry needed me there to support him and I think that's all I could do...just function, just focus on getting him home. And as it turned out, we had little understanding of just how big a turn of events was about to happen.

It ended up working out that Kelly's & Lisa's funerals were scheduled for the same day, actually during the same hour of the day. Since family comes first, I had to forego Lisa's funeral. I'm sure she would've understood.

Losing Lisa broke my heart into a million pieces. She was my sweet girlfriend. Losing Kelly was difficult as well, because she was my sister-in-law. Though we weren't as close as Lisa & I, she was family. It was most tragic because it meant that five children lost their mothers in that short span of 24 hours. My heart could not have held one more ounce of grief in those early days after their deaths.

Fortunately, God cheered me & diverted my attention by giving me the opportunity to love & to give & to serve. You see, God had opened our hearts to adoption a few years before, but we had not yet completed the paperwork to begin the process with the State. We know now that God had different plans for us. He just had us get the paperwork started to stall us. He knew the exact children He would place in our home. He knew the plans He had for us. Plans for hope & a a future. Eight days after Kelly went to Jesus, A&K moved in with us. Our dream was to raise them. Our hope was to love them, to walk them through this season of horrifying grief---losing their parents both at once. And we did. For 13 months, they were my babies. For just over a year, they were snuggled and hugged and embraced and nursed and counseled and held.

But God had another plan in store that included another home for them. While it broke me into a thousand ugly, painful, broken pieces to have to let them go, if I could do it all over again, I would. I would love to have been able to skip over all the grief & pain that led up to adopting (or fostering...whatever it was that we did!) and I would love to skip all the sorrow & anguish that came with ending it, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

You see, it was what we were called to do. And like so many other callings on our lives, they're not always easy. The paths we must walk are covered in jagged rocks and broken tree limbs that have fallen during our storms. But God doesn't ask us to only take the smooth paths. And He never allows us to walk those hard paths alone. So while we may have to put on steel toed boots & do a lot of hard work to lift those limbs out of the way as we walk, we journey on. With Him. Because He calls us to.

Those 2 days in February 2006 were two of the worst of my life. But for the two women who were lost on those days, I will remember them every year. Lisa & Kelly, you will never be forgotten.


SandyL said...

I have tears in my eyes...cause I remember this day so clearly.. Gosh the children have really grown since then. Such heart ache and when you look back you wonder how in the world did you make it through ONLY cause God was carrying you.

The Texan said...

Oh Liz my heart hurts for you but you know Jeramiah 29:11 well. I love you and will continue to pray for you and your family. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

waldenbunch said...

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My sister died at 53 years of age, 3 months after we got custody of 3 siblings (we already had 2 bio kids). They kept me going because there was no time to dwell on the great grief I felt. I was needed elsewhere. That was 12 years ago and I'm not sure I've completely grieved even now.