Friday, February 04, 2011

February 4th, 2010

I awoke this morning to a beautiful snowfall. Looks like we have gotten about 3 inches during the night. Jerry better enjoy this Superbowl, because it will likely be the last in North Texas.

A year ago today began our nightmare. I keep thinking of "The Wizard of Oz." Although Dorothy's dream was a fairly pleasant one, at the end of the movie she awakes with all her loved ones around. Something in me continues to hope that this is all a dream from which I will soon awaken. After all, a whole season of "Dallas" ended as a dream of Pamela Ewing's.

As I blog about the rawness of grief, I do not mean to suggest at all that this is something unique to the Ross family -- or that ours is worse than anyone elses. I served with an elder in Crockett who about 15 years prior to my meeting him was involved in a car wreck with his entire family (I think he and his wife had 5 children). All but one of the children died in the wreck. In the book A Grace Disguised, the author tells his story of losing his wife, daughter and mother in a car wreck. How does one continue after such a tragedy? If anything, what has happened to us has only served to make me aware of the grief pain of others.

How fast the year has gone. I think that is because grief has a way of making everything melt together. It is hard to distinguish months from each other -- or even weeks and days.

I remember a year ago today Beverly and I met David and Jenny at the hospital emergency room. Jenny was sitting in the bed, and I kissed her. Malaya was there wide-eyed, and so I took her to the hospital cafeteria. She had her school lunch box with her, so I got something to eat and we had lunch together. One of my elders, Mike, showed up about then and sat with us. Little did I know at that time that Malaya would not see her mother again. We had been told by Jenny's PA that she was probably dehydrated and would be home in a few hours. Wow!

Some people have insinuated, and a few have flat-out said they will be glad when we get back to normal. I know they mean well, and I appreciate that they care about us. But what they need to know is that this IS our new normal. Our lives have been forever changed by the events that began a year ago today. In some ways, for the better. I never would have known the depths of a person's grief if I had not experienced it for myself. And my faith has been put to the test, as well. I no longer have to wonder how I would respond if given the choice of recanting Jesus or being executed. And I have learned what trust REALLY means. Oh, that word is so huge to me today. Trust and hope.

I love this line from my wife: "Our family has been called by the Lord to do hard, so we will do hard."

"I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes -- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19: 25-27)


Anonymous said...

How could the doctors have been so wrong about her condition? How could they have missed?

Thank you for posting your grief reflections, thoughts, and sharing your raw and true feelings about your grief.

You will never be the same.

Everyone faces it, but it certainly stings like no other when it's tragic. This was tragic, untimely and seemingly unfair.

Thank you for sharing this life experience with us.

Rick Ross said...

Anonymous, I don't know who you are, but want to clarify: The doctors at the hospital were heroic in their attempts to save Jenny's life. The strep had gone on a rampage before Jenny got to the hospital. The only wrong diagnosis was by her PA several days before.

Melanie said...

Love you and yours.

Kristen said...

Beverly's line about your family being called to "do hard" really struck me as well. Words fail me, but I admire you both for being able to write and share both your grief and hope.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy once said "we choose to do the hard things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." I only wish that the truely hard things in this life were by choice. I pray daily that you and your family find that place, where ever it is in what ever form it comes, of peace and serenity.


Missy's Mind said...


I have not been reading your blog for SEVERAL months, as I feel that i was being intrusive on a very private matter for you and Beverly. By Gods grace I opened my blog just a few days ago to register with a DIY blogger in the Dallas area and caught a glimpse of both of your blogs... it was a reminder of your devastation and i wanted you to know that my heart continues to break for both of you and your precious family. I honestly think of Jenny ALL OF THE TIME.

.......You have heard the worst of the worst about me and my life, and the stupid things that I have done. I, now today, and from the beginning of your tragedy with Jenny a year ago, wonder why God chooses to take the best of the best to be with Him, all the while leaving the "screw-ups" like myself here on Earth... my only answer is to say this to both of you in hopes to provide you comfort ~ God takes the best of the best to show people like me how very blessed we are to even be alive at all.

Although I did not know Jenny, I remember very well listening to Beverly talk about the time Malaya had to go to the ladies room during service and danced up the aisle, she told that story while teaching at the ladies retreat that I attended for Mesquite Church of Christ. The glow in Beverly's eyes ~ to think of it now, breaks my heart.

Fast forward 7 years, I am now the proud mommy of two boys ~ the guy I was dating during that retreat is my husband of 6 and half years, he is a fire fighter... every day I think of Y0UR loss and worry myself to the point of little sleep with the thought of losing him or one of my little ones.

Today, I strive to be as good as Jenny, or of what I've read about her. I strive every day to stay on the straight and narrow because I hope and pray that I make my boys as proud of me, as Jenny was of both of you.

I HONESTLY do think of her and both of you often.

My family, brother, sister, parents still see me as the person you met 10 years ago ~ I am not THAT person anymore ~ and it is because partly, and but by the GRACE OF GOD, the guidance Beverly gave me or sermons I heard from you, I WANT to be a better person.

I read Jenny's Care page daily, commented some and prayed fervently, I cried when they took her legs and begged God not to take her from you. I told family, friends about Jenny and how much someone I never knew touched my life. Dinner prayer was focused on her healing & comfort and strength for both you and Beverly. I am so so so sorry for your pain, for your loss.

Know this and be proud of it, your daughter changed peoples lives (mine) when she never even had any idea who they were.

I will continue to pray for you both because I cannot imagine your grief. I continue to cry with you and pray that someday you can kiss your daughter again.

My warm thoughts are with you both~
~missy maness smith

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog and those of your family for the past year. I don't know any of you, but you all have touched me (and so many others) by this horrific event. In your sadness, you have made so many strong and shown JESUS to the WORLD! My prayer life is better because of Jenny and my promise to pray for her and your family. In your sadness, please know Jesus was so at work touching others through your "hard time". My prayers are still with you all. Grace and peace to you.

Jeff said...

The blogs where you are marking a date, marking time are hard for me to respond to because I have done that so often as I journey through my rough days. I have a sense of what you feel and it hurts me to think about it. I think about your family and pray that God will do the things I don't even know to ask for, the things He knows you need better than any of us.

I love you brother. I don't understand the things that happen to us in this life but I give glory to God that you are a part of my life and hope I can be someone to lean on, a shoulder to cry on and most of all, someone to one day, somehow, shout with joy beside as God continues to unfold His will into our lives.

randy said...

For me living with grief is the new normal. I have no doubt that you and Beverly are forever changed. Only through the spirit of God can we deal with the changes that have come our way.