Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tragedies and Miracles and Thankfulness

Yesterday, as I logged onto the Internet to read my daily news as normal, I was greeted by a story that just brought tears to my eyes and big ole' hurt in the pit of my stomach. A former Alabama football player who is actually the same age as I am and had played running back while I was in school had been injured in a car crash in the south of the state. He and his 3-year-old daughter were alive, but his wife and four of his children had all died in the accident. I immediately cried upon reading the news, my mind making an almost impossible attempt to grasp such sadness. How can he ever move on? How could you live with such sorrow? Still this morning, I am thinking about the unimaginable grief he must be experiencing.

And then, almost simultaneously, I read an email from my mother telling me such happy, happy news. My cousin, Clancy, is in very serious condition in a hospital in Texas. She has a myriad of problems; she is autistic, deaf, bound to a wheelchair, living in the mind of a 3-year-old although she is close to 30. She is having surgery on Friday morning to try and make it possible for her to eat again (right now she is only being fed via IV and she is withering away to almost nothing); she also has been suffering from pneumonia for weeks and weeks. I have been afraid for days that I would hear that she had passed away. I fear her passing, because the loss my aunt and uncle will feel will be profound; I also relish it, though, because I know she will finally be able to talk and run with abandon in heaven.

Amidst all of her sickness, my aunt (her Mom) had said that she didn't know what she will do when Clancy dies; she thinks she will just lose her will to live. And amidst all of this came the wonderful news. My other cousin, Lacy (Clancy's sister), has tried to become pregnant for years. She has had awful endemetriosis and has had grapefruit-sized tumors removed from her ovaries. She and her husband were now eagerly looking forward to the adoption process, ready to start their family. Mom let me know in this email that Lacy is pregnant. God has dropped a miracle into this family, just when it was needed the most. My aunt will have a new baby grandchild; a new family will begin; and we can rejoice in the lives of Clancy and a new baby alike.

I will never reside inside the mind of God, but I do have a sense of His love. I have a sense of His care at all times--even when things look as if they will never turn around.

I have learned that it's okay to keep on questioning and I know that there will always be fear, but I have also learned that I can have a comfort in NOT knowing. That's okay with me, because I have an assurance--based on times I have seen His hand at work--that there is joy and comfort and laughter, and God never ever leaves us.

I know that God is always here. He is here in those times of laughter and ease, but He is also there in doubt and sadness.

That doesn't make tragic circumstances easy. It DOES give me a chance to grow stronger because of them, and to be a living, tangible example of kindness.

God is in the tragedies.
God is in the miracles.

He was there when someone I loved left me...He was there when I felt so alone...He was there when I heard the word "cancer" and heard the word "stroke"...He was there when I wondered where money would come from...He was there when I held my daughter as she cried...He was there, even when I may not have realized it until later on.

He was there when I held a new life...He was there when I said "I do"...He was there when I did cartwheels on the beach...He was there when healing began...He was there when checks arrived in the mail...He was there for homeruns and straight A's and birthday parties...He was there in such happy moments.

And today is such a wonderful time to ponder on such things.

Because today and tomorrow and this week, I am taking a few extra moments to be thankful for the good things in my life...to treasure my parents more than I sometimes do...to hold my daughters a little bit tighter than usual...to say an extra prayer before the day is done...to say "Thank you" for getting me through the tragedies...and to say "Thank you" for the miracles big and small.

26 comments:

HEWY said...

I heard the news today and it broke my heart. It really reminds me that even if you try to do everything right, it could all end one day.

Susie Q said...

Oh Cheryl...I can not imagine how anyone moves forward in the face of such tragedy yet I have seen many do just that. IT is truly the hand of God in their lives isn't it? Bless dear Clancy and your Aunt and Uncle. How wonderful to hear about the new baby! I will keep them all in thought and prayer. There are sweet miracles even in the midst of pain and sorrow. Smiles through tears...

Have a sweet Thanksgiving dear Cheryl. I am blessed to know you.
Love to you and all your precious family.

Love,
Sue

Nina Diane said...

I'm too choked up to say much....Cheryl, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are all so blessed.

Adrienne said...

What a great, great, great entry. You have a wonderful way with words.

~gkw said...

OK, you have me crying at work... that was wonderful.

Misty Busic said...

Thank you so much for that Cheryl. We do always need to remember that He is there with us through everything. Thank you for writing this. It just made my day and Thanksgiving more meaningful and beautiful! I love you girl!

Greta said...

i cannot imagine the pain he is going through...

i am very elated to hear that your cousin is having surgery and that the other cousin is pregnant...

GOD works in mysterious ways to such that we might never understand

happy thanksgiving girl!!

{{{{hugs}}}}

camport said...

Wow. What a heartfelt post. I love the way you put it all into words. Some people seem to blame God or wonder how an all-loving God can let bad things happen. They don't realize that God never intended it this way, but when sin entered the world, so did a whole boatload of other bad stuff.

I am glad you have the peace of knowing the truth. God bless you and yours{cliche, but I totally mean it}.

:)

Mississippi Songbird said...

What a heartbreaking tragedy.. I'm so sorry.. I'm praying for the familes.. God Bless you and I hope you and your family have a safe Holiday..
Bunches of hugs.....

baberry said...

Wow, Cheryl, preach on! This is one of the most moving things I've ever read. I'm close to tears because I'm so moved by your words. Thank you, Cheryl for your inspiring words of wisdom. Many Blessings.

Yvonne

patti_cake said...

Thank you for this wonderful uplifting post Cheryl. My heart is so full... full of sorrow for that man and his poor family and full of joy for your Aunt and her family.

Heather said...

Such a beautiful post today Cheryl, thank you!

Cheryl said...

That is such a good post. I love my Aunt so much and I know the pain that you are feeling when she is in pain. My Aunt has a battle with cancer now and she is being so strong. Your post is wonderful for Thanksgiving. We must always give thanks. Glad to hear the news about the baby! New life. New beginnings. God is good.

Dawn Bibbs said...

Wow, Cheryl...what a beautiful post. It is SO comforting and encouraging when a person or a family can still see God's mercy, especially in times of tragedy. Sure, it's a no brainer to see Him and feel His presence when things are going good. But it only makes us stronger emotionally and in our faith when He grabs our hands during those trying times. We're only human and He knows that. That's why it's ok for us to question why He allows certain things to happen. It's hard during those times to realize that He DOES know what He's doing. That's why He allows us to seek those answers to those hard questions...to seek HIM!!!

I'm excited about your families good news. Please keep us posted.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Love ya!

Just Me Again said...

Such sad, sad, news indeed. But as always, your post is so positive and beautiful...right down to what we should all cherish. This is why I am so THANKFUL for you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday my friend!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I heard the same news Cheryl. So very sad.
In life, everyday, we have so much to be thankful for. This was a beautiful post.
Y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

rhonda said...

what a tragedy...and right before the holidays is going to make it even harder...what a beautiful post...my blessings are plentiful too...and you are right...God is always there.

Disney Scrapper said...

Thanks so much for sharing this story.

scrapperjen said...

What a news filled day - bad and good.
God bless you all!

Trish said...

What a beautiful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Phats said...

wow what a story

Hope you, Gary, and the kids have a great thanksgiving

oh yeah beat the HELL out of Auburn!

Paul-ene said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you TODAY!!! I promised myself to play "blog catch up" tonight. So I am stoppin back tonight to read up on all blog post I missed lately. Been busy getting ready for the holidays. Tis the season.

Have a great TURKEY DAY and eat tons of good food.

skrpndiva said...

What a great miracle! TFS Cheryl!

Jacquie

Tawnya said...

Cheryl,
Your post is very moving. I plan to read it again. I cant imagine that kind of tragedy. I am so excited for your family and that beautiful news of a new life forming. What a blessing indeed. Thank you for the words written here. Appreciate them so much. Blessings, Tawnya

Corey said...

What a great, great post Cheryl. Thanks for all the wonderful reminders. Lots of love and prayers to your family!

Lynilu said...

A beautiful and moving post, Cheryl. We can never be too mindful of the blessing around us, regardless of the tragedies. Thanks for such a thoughtful reminder of how great life is. :')