The 14th To The 14th

Saturday, 15 Dec 2001

I can still go into his room and smell him. Bury my face in his bedspread and drink in my son. He's almost here, he could be in the other room, watching Saturday cartoons like he used to do. But he's not. It's been a month. A full month. The e-mails full of scriptures you sent are still there on his bed. A card from his friend that arrived after he went home, unopened. It's still there. His glasses are still on his dresser along with his watch and his wallet. Everything from his memory table has been put back into place and pictures hung back on his walls. It's all very neat, just sitting there, waiting to be visited by whoever might walk by and glance in. A good place to go from time to time, to be with Phil and remember him. I will keep it that way for now, no need to hurry and change anything. I might regret it if I move to quickly. I think I will know when it is time to change things. God will let me know, and He lets me know that now is too soon.

Last night I was so sad, just so sad. Was it because it had been one month? I don't think so, but maybe. Maybe I was just overtired or maybe it was just time to wash the wound clean with a flowing of tears. Wash out anything that might build up and cause unneeded scarring. I found in the middle of my crying, my anguish, that I would not die. This would not kill me. I've heard the only way out is to go through. I believe that's true. I think I was a bit disappointed to learn that it would not kill me. Maybe if I cry enough God will take me home too...but no. I know that's not right, it's not my time. I think I'm running a marathon and I'm carrying a baton that needs to be passed on. Lessons learned, and faith shared. I can do that. I can do what God is calling me to do, with His strength. People say I'm strong, but I'm not. I'm weaker than I've ever been, and happy to be so. I'm happy to let God carry me, and He is amazing me. I pray and I pray and He answers my call. He carries me in public, he helps me to share about Phil, and He lets me grieve mostly in private. He knows me. He knows what I need and when I need it, and He allows for that. Everyone's grief must be so different. As different as all our personalities. Even death must be so different. I hope that each death can be seen as clearly as we seem to see Phil's now. His life was such a perfect package of God working. His sixteen years were here and gone, it seems now, but so neatly tied up. We learned so much, and were able to finish the details our personalities needed, to be satisfied. From afar, it may seem like a tragedy, but from within, it is seen as a gift and our hearts are filled with gratitude. I heard about two men killed on a freeway in Florida, hit by an 18-wheeler. To me, it sounds so quick, so filled with unanswered questions as to why God would allow that. But to them, to their families, maybe they understand it. Maybe if they heard about Phil they would think the same, having unanswered questions. Maybe they would wonder why God would ever allow a 16 year old to die. We can't know all that God is doing, but I think those closest are given some light if we open our eyes to it. I'm just wondering about these things. I hope you don't mind.

We have our tree up, and a few decorations around. It's going to be a simple Christmas, just quiet. Probably just the four of us. We want it that way, or do I want it that way? Probably. I love people, I love to be around people and I love to visit and laugh and have fun, and I've been doing a bit of that, but I love to be alone also. That is how I re-energize. To be alone with God and my writing feels good. I don't mean to be a recluse or rude, but I think this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now. Capturing my thoughts and putting them down, so as not to miss each step along the way to healing, so maybe I can help someone else along this path. Maybe they will read my thoughts and not feel so alone. Maybe they will know then that the anguish won't kill them, that being alone is okay if that's what they choose. Maybe as I find the way out by going through it, I'll take them along with me, they'll find the way out also, especially if they've gotten stuck in the darkness. I don't plan on getting stuck in the darkness. I want to heal and I know it will take time, but I will heal! Yes, I'm stubborn and hard-headed, and God knows that about me. Maybe that's why he chose me to write about this. He knew I would not give up no matter how much it hurt. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says "I would give up chocolate, but I'm not a quitter". That's me! There's a job to do, and it will get done, no matter how long it takes. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even here on earth. Phil saw that light, and he was angry when it didn't take him home for good. He was angry that he ended up back in his own bed, having thought he'd arrived. I see that light here on earth. The finish line down the road, that's lit and calling to me. Walk this way, or run this way, but keep going in that direction, following after the One who knows the way. The less I stumble and the less I detour the more satisfying this race will be, filled with all the good things that God has planned along the way. Bring it on God! I'm looking forward to the rest of the life You have planned for me! I'm looking to You and hanging on with all the strength You give me!

Face to face

This life can be so bumpy, so filled with fear and dread,
The tears can fall so quickly, the darkness can easily spread
But I don't want that darkness, I want the gift of joy
I want to see God working, and I want to truly enjoy
All that God is doing, all that He has planned
For the life I'm living, I want to let Him expand
Upon the life I'm living, so when my race is run
He will welcome me home, being greeted by His Son
I want to also hear the words, well done my chosen child
You had your share of heartaches, but you trusted all the while
And you kept your focus, on Me, where it should be
You didn't let the evil one, lie to you foolishly
I want to know the life I live, is going where it should
I want to follow the right path, not wander through the woods
I want to cross the finish line, arms raised and banners flying
Glad for what's behind me, to arrive where there's no crying
I want to be an athlete, that draws upon God's strength
Not just one who works at it, but one who works by faith
I know that it is possible, because I'm not the first
And I won't be the last, to feel all this hurt
But maybe by my hurting, and running out this race
Others will want to follow Jesus, and meet Him face to face
That alone is my prayer, for He is our only Hope
I cling to all His promises, each day He helps me cope

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We need all your prayers! Prayer is so powerful. When Phil had had enough, when he finally looked at me and said "Mom, I don't want to do this anymore. Is it okay to ask God?" I said it was, and we prayed for God to take him home. He went home within a few hours, after 5½ years of fighting this fight. Was God listening to this young boy, to his mother? You bet He was, and He heard our prayer and He answered it. He hears all our prayers, even when it seems we don't get answers right away. God's timing is perfect.

Thanks so much!

Love, Diane

P.S. Please feel free to share my e-mails with anyone you would like. Many have asked if it is okay, and my answer is YES! Please do! I write to hopefully help another, and by your sharing, maybe it will do just that.