There are memories in time that are captured, like photographs in your mind, that flip and blend into slow rolling movies without sound. Little quips.
This one starts with sound. The phone ringing and a glance at the clock to see it was 2:30 in the morning. The feeling that something was wrong. Then the movie goes through several moments of screaming, drying, disbelief, more phone calls and crying.
We were woken up to be told that my husband’s sister had been found with a gun shot wound. They were going to rush her to Anchorage for the best care. The pleading and begging prayers started up. The longing to move heaven and earth to have her healed, they would take her to the hospital and the staff would be astounded at how the wounds had fought hard and the Lord had healed her. Miraculously.
But that news didn’t come. Instead they saw more damage than could ever be repaired. And a waiting game began, of when the immediate family would be ready to say their goodbyes.
And this is where another scene gets intense. I am standing in my childhood church that I attended with my grandparents. A small fisher’s village community church. We are standing in the hallway when we get the call that she has been given over to natural progression and didn’t last long. There are people surrounding us, but I felt like I was in a bubble alone. We went in to the service and sang, It is Well With My Soul. I could barely breathe much less sing, and inside I was crying out – IT IS NOT WELL. My soul is not well.
I had a hard start with this dear sister in law. I wasn’t what she was expecting for a sister in law. We had a rough patch starting out, but we both worked hard and with a soft heart to heal and move on. I felt like through the struggle, we were made into real life blood sisters. I would call her often for advice or recipe help or just to see how her kids were doing and how her job was working out. She had just been able to come down and visit us and in person all of those feeling intensified and I knew that total restoration had been made, and more. I felt like my friend, my sister, had been snatched from me.
For the pain that I went through, my husband and his brother were forever damaged. I can’t share their struggle, only my own, but I will share that it has been a daily walk of trying to live without this dynamic woman.
In the weeks to come, we would find out why she chose to walk away from life. Her mind was so damaged by the physical pain she bore, that she thought it would be better for the family if they didn’t have to endure as well. Crazy lies that satan plants. She was also struggling to come to terms with some childhood memories. We were unaware at how satan was tormenting her so. She was so vibrant and strong and courageous and the get it done girl. We were shocked to learn of her inner turmoil.
When the turmoil came out everyone had to cast a finger of blame, and for the father of the family – the finger got pointed at my husband. Emotions ran high and satan was at work in a heavy way. Assumptions were made of who knew what. Thinking we knew everything, we were told that we didn’t do enough to stop her pain. Mind you, we lived in Oregon while she lived in the bush in Alaska. So in the same month, my hubby lost his father as well, as he turned his back on us.
Why do I interrupt my normal cheery take life by the
horns surf board and ride sort of posts? Because today, Today is December 5th. The day that my dear sweet sister in law threw herself her last birthday party. It is the day that my heart is raw and tears are at the surface, and I do not push them down. She was kept alive for a couple of days and passed on December 7th, my son’s birthday. I celebrate life, and her new life in Christ on that day.
My plea – for everyone – is to take the time to be transparent. In the blogging and facebook world we seem to post so many triumphs, joys, nature walks, best success stories of math – the times when the home is bloggably clean and we have been doing great things. But we each have a story. A raw story. We might even be living raw right now.
This year our world has been rocked a few times with people coming out with crazy deep horrible stories – when they got to the point where they could bare it alone no more. I am glad that they spoke up, made a change, and started the repairs. But why do we wait until that last moment, the moment when we can’t take it any longer?
Today I challenge you to think of a friend that you haven’t heard from in a while and give her a call. It could be your gift to me, in the name of Tishie, to reach out. OR maybe you? Are you the one that is in that raw delicate state? Could you? For my sister Tish? Make that phone call?
I haven’t used my blog to ask for prayer requests before, but I do earnestly seek prayer today for Tish’s family, as they mark the 10 year passing, Children have grown, graduated college, had children. The hubby has grown his family and established a new life. The brothers seem to do better with each year, and the dear sweetest in the world mama, my mimi – she needs your prayers today. I also ask on behalf of a friend who lost her brother, suddenly of a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. Young, in his 30’s. I think that is why this year is so raw for me.