Seven Years

Seven years or 84 months or 364 weeks or 2,555 days or 61,320 hours or 3,679,200 minutes or 220,752,000 seconds.  However you want to track the passage of time, this is how long it has been since my youngest son Noah was lost to me due to suicide. I’ve written about this before; usually at this time of year when I am forced to relive the events which happened on that day. But this year I want to write something a little different.

It was back in the first part of March I was thinking about Noah and I began to ask myself what day he died on. It took me quite a while to remember, actually having to go back through my Facebook account looking for posts from when it first happened. After figuring it out, I felt like quite a failure as a parent. After all, how could a good parent forget the actual day they lost one of their children? It wasn’t until a few days ago when my bride said something to the fact about today being the seventh anniversary and it had crept up on her, I began to think perhaps we had both turned a corner.

When I say turned a corner, I don’t mean either of us has forgotten the day or Noah, but that we have just traveled farther down the road of life. And the more distance you put between yourself and the horrible things which have happened, the easier it becomes for them to take up less space in your every day thoughts. The passage of time is a good thing.

Something I’ve learned in the past seven years is there are no guarantees in life; things have a way of just happening to people; both good and bad. We try to rationalize it when something horrible happens, but there is no making sense of it. We live in a fallen world, in which bad things happen. Another thing I’ve learned is God never changes; He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I know it sounds trite, but regardless, it is the truth. And when crap hits the fan, you have to hold on to what is true if you ever want to have hope of making it further down the road of life.

For me, today marks another year off the calendar and a few more miles along the path I’ve been forced to walk these past seven years. Would I rather not be on this particular journey? Absolutely. I’d love to have my 20 year old son here with me and my family enjoying the life he should be living, but instead I’m living another reality; the one where he is no longer here with me. It’s not my choice, but I will journey on regardless.

The passage of time is a good thing, believe me when I say it. Though it may not look like it when you are in the middle of whatever you are going through, I promise it will get easier the further away from whatever is challenging you. Just do what my family and I have done for the past seven years; breathe, take a step and repeat. Just keep moving forward.

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How Highway Driving Changed My Life

I wrote this a few years ago, thought I’d share it this morning.

Driving my bride and daughter to school this morning, I was struck with an interesting thought, at least interesting to me. As I merged our Dodge Caravan onto Interstate 44, the early morning commuter traffic seemed heavier than normal.

Accelerating my little four cylinder school bus towards the 75 mph speed limit as quickly as possible, I realized that I had become a part of a pack of vehicles in the passing lane trying to pass several semi trailers.

Wolves usually run in packs; they do so because there is safety in numbers. It is unusual to find a wolf running alone, or “lone wolf” as it is called. Also, normally being described as a lone wolf is more of a derogatory term, rather than a good one.

However driving down the busy thoroughfare with semis on my right and six cars in front of me and three more behind. It was at this time I decided while driving on a busy highway, I would prefer to be alone without anyone around me. This also revealed something in my heart; I have this tendency to want to be on my own, rather than running in a group.

Even though I can easily justify my desire on the highway; seeing the safety factor of not being dependent on the abilities of those around me and the possibilities of them making a mistake which could cause harm to my family not to mention damage to my property. In view of my own personal life however, this lone wolf attitude is not something good for me. When trying to apply the same reasoning to my personal life, it comes across as selfish and short sighted.

What this surfaces in my heart is the need to delegate more; to try not to do everything, but allow those who are running with me the opportunity to use their gifts and talents. Thank You Jesus for revealing things in my heart to help me to grow, and to help those around me have the opportunity to grow as well. Who could have known that me driving my van on a crowded highway could have brought change to my life? It’s the little things in life isn’t it?