Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Different Now

Beverly and I began P90X last night. We chose the "Lean" workout schedule. Our 1st workout is entitled "Core Synergistics." I am convinced that this is taken from Cold War Russian KGB code, meaning "Intense Torture." Oh well, the good news is that it's only another 89 days.

10 months ago today Beverly and I entered a journey we would never have chosen. In yesterday's Star-Telegram there was a Dear Abby (actually now written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter) that spoke for both of us. It is fairly long, but a blog is an online diary, and I wanted to have access to this for years to come. So bear with me.

Dear Abby: My beautiful 20-year old daughter was killed in a car accident. I am writing this not only for myself, but for all parents who have lost a child, and to all of the wonderful people who asked, "What can I do for you?"

At the time there wasn't much anyone could do to help, but after two years I have an answer: Accept me for who I am NOW.

When Rachel came into my life, it changed me profoundly. Losing her did the same. Her father and I work hard to honor her memory, but we will never "get over it" to the degree of being who we were before. I am different now. In some ways -- I think -- better. I am kinder, more patient, more appreciative of small things, but I am not as outgoing or as quick to laugh.

I know people mean well when they encourage me to get on with my life, but this IS my life. My priorities have changed. My expectations of what my future will hold have changed. Please extend to me again the offer of "anything I can do" and, please, accept me as I am now.
--Different Now in Riverview, Fla.

"Abby's" reply: Please accept my profound sympathy for the tragic loss of your daughter. I hope that your letter will help anyone who doesn't understand that the death of a child is the most devastating loss parent can suffer. They may get beyond it, but the never get "over" it. To expect that they would is unrealistic, because it's a wound that may become less visible but never goes away.


Kristen said...

Thank you for sharing. Accepting people where they are and for who they are in their current circumstances is challenging. My definition of love and friendship has definitely changed over the past few years and I truly value those few people in my inner circle who let me be honest and say that holidays are not always joyous occasions. I pray peace for you and Beverly this week.

Jeff said...

I hope you know that my "what can I do for you?" is open-ended. I hurt for both of you and pray that God will cover you with what He knows you need. I am thankful that I can journey with you and hope you know what a deeply meaningful part of my life you have become.

Anonymous said...

That letter is so true! We are almost eleven years out and it will never be the same. I am so thankful that God can take shattered lives and make them whole again, even though it is a different whole.

Life will be good again someday :-) and Jenny will still be very much a part of that good life. Praying for your family today & through this entire holiday season!
~Amy Toombs

Anonymous said...

Rick, I am still so sorry. I pray for you and Beverly-the Ross Family means so much to us here at Grace Street. A friend told me after the loss of her son that she never asked for a 'new normal' but that's what she now has to live with. I can't even imagine. We love you and lift you up to our Heavenly Father especially during this season. Wayne Mask

bartsirmandvm said...

I wish I could tell you how my heart feels without it sounding cliche. I've never hurt like you hurt. I trust that who you are NOW will be used to minister to those who are hurting like you hurt.