Posted by Danny
A couple of years before my maternal grandmother died, she lost her mind. It was a sad sight to see. She was the grandmother who would drop what she was doing when my brother and I came to town. She’d sit in the floor and just be with us. Fond, fond memories.
Her last year or so, she would sit on her couch with a pad of white paper and write, over and over again, count your many blessings. She had lost her mind, moved out of her house, had very few belongings left and yet, the phrase she was compelled to write was count your many blessings.
It sort of makes me feel like a fool.
I have so much to be thankful for, and yet, sometimes I spend a ton more time thinking about what I’ve lost. Understandable, and yet, perhaps too much focus on the wrong thing.
When Lisa died, she wore a necklace that a friend, Charlotte, had given her the weekend after she was diagnosed with cancer. Each of our girls had an identical piece. It had six charms – one with each of the girls’ initials, one that represented love, one for faith and one for hope. I wanted to wear her necklace at Lisa’s Memorial service, for some reason it made me feel closer to her, and I think it sort of represented a bond with my girls.
Charlotte heard me say I wanted to wear that girly necklace and immediately phoned her friend back home in Boulder, the woman who made the necklaces. Overnight I received a one of my own – it was a bit more manly, like dog tags for a soldier. It had three of Lisa’s charms and two of my own – 1) Lisa 2) Always.
The woman who made my necklace and overnighted it to Raleigh had no idea at the time that she would experience a similar loss in the year to come.
You see, her infant daughter, Lilly, died 18 months after Lisa. I have my girls – I am blessed. Sahra lost her daughter – a pain I can’t even imagine.
This woman who worked hard to get me my most prized possession, is now struggling, just like I have. This is her story:
Yesterday morning we held our little girl as she passed into her next adventure. She was loved and held and so peaceful. It happened in moments, she opened her eyes and smiled and then she was gone. She lives in us now, in all of us and in our hearts we will carry her.
Even I, who has experienced such deep grief, cannot relate to her pain. And yet, we find that with those who have significant loss, good things come. This is Sahra’s response:
My loss leads me to want to find a cure for colon cancer and to help young dads who have suffered similar losses to mine. I’m not sure how I will do that, but I pray that God will open doors. I am determined to do good with the blessings that I have.
Perhaps that helps give meaning to something that seems so meaningless.