Between Monday June 11, and Monday August 25, my family experienced four funerals. The first was the funeral of my much-loved Uncle Tommy. I was blessed growing up with not only my own father, but with many fathers in the form a my many uncles. Expectations and accountability were high, and love and forgiveness were plentiful. When my father passed 14 years ago of a massive heart attack at the age of 46, my uncles tightened the ring around us, and although they could never replace him in our hearts, they did their best to love us even more in his absence. This initial loss of the Summer literally broke my heart, and the morning after his funeral Ukali and I were whisked off to the Buttes Resort in Arizona on a much needed, perfectly timed, all expense paid trip compliments of Vemma. Upon our return, we had a week before my family reunion which, had been 17 years in the making, and was held in our hometown…and which also helped to heal all of our hearts a little.
The second funeral was for a dear friend. Adriane was only 44 years old, and during the time period when Ukali was a Sr. Pastor, our families served in ministry together on multiple occasions. It was devastating to see her leave behind her husband, daughter and son, yet I rejoiced at her home going service , knowing in my heart that she had arrived into the presence of the Lord, where she would be for eternity.
The third was the funeral for my sister in laws father. She and I were best friends who grew up to marry brothers. My grief was for her…for the loss of the relationship she did have, as well as for the one she would now never have. And as a daughter who had also buried her father when he still had his best years ahead of him, I shared her pain.
While all of these losses had great impact, none impacted me as much as the fourth and final loss of the Summer of 2012. This one found my family at the home going service of my husbands beloved grandmother, Vessie Ruth Tucker. This was an amazing woman who had been an unbelievable example and blessing to me since the day I met her 19 years ago, and with her passing I realized again that the living, breathing model of a Titus 2 woman was passing away, and would eventually cease to exist at all, if those of us who had been impacted by…imprinted on…by them did not stand up in grace, and joyfully take their place.
Grandmother passed away on Sunday Morning, August 19.
The family viewing was on the evening of my oldest son’s 16th birthday, Friday, August 24th.
The funeral services were Saturday August 25th.
Isaiah’s surprise birthday cookout (I did not want the memories of his 16th birthday to be only of his great-grandmothers passing) was on Sunday, August 26th.
The burial was Monday morning, August 27.
The kids homeschool assessment was Wednesday, August 29th.
It is now Friday evening, August 31st, and I am writing this post…exhausted…but writing… You may be asking, ‘What’s so great about that?’. Well, potentially nothing….or potentially something. You see, I spent my entire summer blocked….just BLOCKED!!! I could post things that others said, but I just wasn’t able to produce anything from my heart…so I didn’t. I thought about writing at least 20 times a day, but what would I write about? I simply couldn’t connect with myself. Even on Facebook…I was able to post or share things from other people or other pages, but I simply could not find it in my own heart…I had disconnected somewhere from…me.
It was a busy summer..busier than any I’ve had in a few years. And this summer I found comfort in the chaos of business. I didn’t necessarily like it, but being busy was better than confronting grief…and so much of it seemingly heaped on top of itself. But as much comfort as I found in business, I was beginning to find … focus? The comfort began to alarmingly resemble chaos, and the chaos made me long for peace, and the peace reminded me of what I can only find in God’s presence, and God’s presence revived a necessary desire for his Word, and God’s Word reminded me of who I am, and being reminded of who I am reconnected me with Whose I am, and being reconnected with Whose I am, and grandmothers passing, coupled with knowing the peace, joy, love and compassion she exuded in life reminded me of what He created me to do…..which is to serve Him…by serving people…particularly in the Body of Christ…it is to follow in her footsteps, to model my life, my commitment to God, to my husband and my children after the example that she set…and to use the gifts He gave me to enrich the lives of other women through the mediums of teaching and writing. All of this even helped me redefine the focus for this blog, as well as the Vemma Works blog…both of which were grossly neglected this Summer.
I am getting back, not to my old self, but somehow through this season of grief and loss, a lot has been found, and a better me is emerging. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to to get to know this new me in the days ahead. It’s been a looong time since I’ve written a post, and it feels good to be back. I’ll talk to you soon! ~Selena