Saturday, January 7, 2012

Love. . .

I was horrified and honored to read the agonizing eulogy of a young mother who, along with her husband, lost all three of their precious daughters, as well as her mother and father, in a Christmas Day fire. I can not imagine the scene that day, as she was dragged away by the fire fighters, watching in horror as her life was consumed by unforgiving and relentless flames. As I read, I thought, how would I deal with such a situation, such a monumental ripping apart of my being, as my children and I are separated for the rest of this earthly life. How does a parent come to grips with such a concept, especially when there was no warning, no way to prepare for such an event. . . and on a day of joy such as Christmas none-the-less. Thinking about it actually causes me enormous anxiety. . . yet, there is no guarantee any of us will escape such a life altering event. No on on this earth is exempt from pain and suffering. . . it is what it is. This is a dark world, a cruel world and one that is unforgiving in its desire to try and take from us all that we have and even who we are are. But, there is one thing and only one thing that stands between us and that black abyss. It's love.

Love can and will conquer all. Love is an emotion that can drive a person to unbelievable acts of kindness and heroism, and it's an emotion that can drive a person to unthinkable acts of desperation and destruction. We are all capable of love, even the most vile of humans can feel love. . . the key is the ability to receive and reciprocate without the anticipation of something in return. As soon as you throw in the need for reciprocation, you have cheapened the exchange. . . you have not loved as God has attempted to teach us to love. Look around, see the news, read the paper, listen to people talk of one terrible thing after another. A mother kills her five children and then herself. A father steals a son from the loving arms of a mother and hides him away to never see him again, murders, stealing identities from the young and old, the list goes on and on. Walk through the corridors of any hospital, see the looks of desperation on the faces of the young and old who are abandoned by those that supposedly loved them. The abuse of "loving" is going on all the time. Yet, there are so many MORE examples of real love all around us, all the time, and it's our job to find them and learn from them. . . that's what this eulogy did for me today.

Today, I learned that through unspeakable loss one CAN speak of the one thing no one can take from them, love. I learned that through the eyes of a child and the love of a child's hear,t one can go on. I learned that as a person, who has and is experiencing the enormity of love and all it entails, it can bring you through situations you would have never thought you could endure.

As a parent, I have signed orders saying "Do Not Resuscitate" my child when they eventually stop breathing or their heart fails to continue beating. I have sat there and listened to doctors say, "There is just nothing more we can do except wait for nature to take its course." I have sat there and listened to the hushed whispers of the doctors, nurses, and support staff during rounds as they come up with a gentle way to tell you that the fight is coming to a close. I have planned the final hours of more than one of my children in my minds eye. The final bath, the final dressing, the final goodbye and the final physical touch . . . I have only had to carry out these plans once for a child I was to call my daughter. Even through all of that pain, Love and only Love was the thing that carries you through. I know, I am loved, by many. I also know I am loved by my Creator, God. I know that I have loved wholly and honestly and though it often hurts more than to not love, I don't regret it one iota. I have been granted more than my share of immunities from one of the greatest losses a parent can experience, the loss of their child. But, I have also witnessed more good-byes than I can remember of others, as they exchange their final farewells. From every one of these experiences, LOVE is the predominant emotion for virtually all of them. The love they felt, the love they continue to feel despite the inability for their child to reciprocate it any longer.

So today I feel blessed. I feel like I have been given another opportunity to learn life's greatest lesson. My heart can not fathom the loss of these 3 little girls and the unbearable grief the parents must feel. But, through their loss and their mother's love put into words. . . their legacy will go on. I know they have taught me and I'm sure they have taught many others.  The very thing their precious mother has prayed to happen, has happened. Thank You to Lily, Sarah and Grace, you have, indeed, touched my life.


  1. Beautiful, Renee. It is true - love is the only thing that can save us all...from ourselves. <3

  2. Thanks Andrea. It's just overwhelming the love that came through all of that sadness. So yes, Love can and will save us. I believe that wholeheartedly. :-)

  3. I love you Renee and all that I learn from you! I cherish you and your journey teaches me and gives me strength!! LOVE TO YOU ALL!

    1. Ahhh Brenda, I love you too. I wish I could make things easier for you. We need to get together some time!! Call me, I'm in the book. :-)