Wednesday, November 23, 2016

And just like that, it's 20 years later.

20 years. Two decades.

I went from believing there is a God who is in the heavens, who is alive, and who loves us….to
knowing He does.

From that last phone call from Bill, to knowing he died, to hearing he died. To being in a hospital
room and the chaplain walking in to tell us. I already somehow knew, but my sons did not. There is
no more painful moment in my memory than watching them find out.

I couldn’t even make my arms reach out to comfort them. I was frozen. I remember saying to the
other people in the room, “Please help my boys.” but no one could. No one could hear me. We were
all in shock.

The chaplain or maybe it was the police, I can’t remember now. But a man in that room said I needed
to come identify his body. I couldn’t. My mom and my neighbor Dee volunteered.

So that was being done, and I wanted to take my boys and go home.

But here’s where the blessings started peeking through. As my brother Richard drove me and Logan,
McKay, and Tyler home from the hospital (Brock was on his mission), amid the near silent sniffling
coming from the back seat, Richard flipped on some quiet music. As it played he broke the silence by
saying, “As hard as the days and weeks to come will be, you will also see many blessings.”

At that moment I felt a flutter of peace come over me. I trusted Richard’s words, but also knew from
past experience, that’s how it works.  And it did.

I truly learned what angels on earth means. They came into our home and into our lives. All different
ages. Many creative acts of service on our behalf. Some there for us day after day. Some there for
months and years.

Two decades have come and gone and we are at November 23rd again. So much has happened. Many
good people who we love so much have been added to our little family, which is not so little
anymore. So many blessings. So much to be thankful for.

Life does truly go on and happy days do come back. And amidst the many challenges that continue to
come to all of us, the blessings come too. That's how it will always be. We are never alone, even in
those doubting moments we think we are.

I talked to all 4 of my sons today in some form.

Tyler and I were talking through text this evening. He was 10 when his Dad died. Now, like his 3
brothers, he’s a happily married man. A father of 3. I asked him how he feels about this day, the 20
year mark of his Dad’s death.

This was one of his replies:

Have a wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!


grandmapeg said...

Tyler's words are beautiful, and as painful as death can be, I know that there are blessings that can come to us as we believe and have faith. You have been blessed so much in these last twenty years so that is proof that blessings do come out of the most terrible things that can happen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jill. I love it.


Susan Anderson said...

Just beautiful, Jill.

Scrapally said...

Beautiful thoughts. Thank you for sharing. I can't even imagine going through all that your little family did, but they obviously all have a good take on the experience. I agree with Tyler's comments on the Lord and His tender heart. Beautiful.

Karen Mortensen said...

Beautiful post Jill.