Four years without John Robert. I would like to say something really profound, but everything sounds pretty empty. I could rehearse all of the “what if” questions and ask a lot of the “why” questions … but even if I knew the answers it would not change anything.
While we could not predict the future, if all things went as expected this would be the year John Robert would graduate from college. I wonder what career path he would have chosen? Whatever it was I think it would have been in some field that truly helped others. That’s about as specific as I think I could get.
Tomorrow might have been a day of reflection and sorrow, but there are several things that have my attention. Mom is having a lung cancer surgery that will have her in the hospital all week. A young friend is in ICU and anxious parents are awaiting answers from tests. An elderly friend is in the hospital and I just found out about it today.
Life really does rush on, with or without us. I’m sure there will be some quiet moments tomorrow that will find Maggy or I thinking about the boy who left us too soon. Just like every day.
If anyone is reading this and they are not yet four years into their journey, I just want to say that the pain isn’t as jagged now as it was then. Do not be afraid you will forget – you won’t. Do not expect a day when it will quit hurting – it won’t. Make sure to reach out to others who are on the same journey. As the Compassionate Friends credo says, “We need not walk alone.” And don’t be afraid to laugh again. It’s what our loved ones would want most.
For those of you who have prayed, served, loved, and cared for us over the four years – thank you. We’ve received hundreds of cards and calls and emails. The testimony of your love is that God has not left us alone in our sorrow. He, His angels, and His people are near. Try to make it without Him? Not a chance.