Have you lost a Loved one?

Have you lost a Loved one?

I want to say something…I feel almost compelled to. It is a message to anyone who has lost someone dear or who will lose someone.

You may or may not be ready to hear this right now, but try to remember the meat of it. I think it may help you later.

I have heard all the polite sentiments… that it was just his time, or that God called him, or that these things just happen.

Well I’m here to tell you that the first sentiment is absolutely true and that the last is definitely not true. These things Don’t just happen, and yes… It Was just your loved one’s time.

These are not hollow meaningless murmurs coming from me, and I will tell you why.

When I woke up in the middle of the night and found my husband dead, I was in shock. I went through the motions of getting dressed, calling our children and calling the police, but I really wasn’t there. I was in a personal hell, wondering how he could be gone and me still here. How could it happen? Why?

Later it was replaced by wondering if there was anything I could have done, noticed, prevented that would have kept him alive. Because there was no sickness, no wasting away. He went from a vigorous man to a dead one in a day.

I didn’t rail against God like so many do, nor did I blame Him for Danny’s death. I tried to accept it on any level I could at the time. It was only after some of the shock wore off… a month or so, that I began to realize how much preparations went on beforehand. How very planned his death was. It gave me a lot to think about.

The work in the shop was winding down, and our ability to keep good money coming in was diminishing. We still had enough to live and occasionally had a windfall to carry us over on thinner times, but customers were going down like bowling pins, and new ones were harder and harder to find with machine shops like ours, all looking for work too.

It would have broken Danny’s heart and will if he had to see the shop go down. Working was the only thing he had. And working for someone else, if he could even get a job at his age, would be hard on him. WE didn’t have Social security, retirement or any other money to fall back on. He always said he would work until he died. And that is exactly what happened. He died before he would have to admit he couldn’t take care of us anymore. That alone would have killed him, but he was spared the guilt and sorrow it would have brought.

Danny was 64 when he died. He spent 63 of those years wishing he could play something. Anything, guitar, drums, whatever. The poor thing just could never find the beat. He could not follow it or feel it. So no music. It was his biggest, constant, nagging regret, one that he mentioned all the time, because he LOVED music.

10 months before he died, he found the beat. You don’t go your whole life and suddenly find it easy to feel the beat and pulse of music. But he did. And oh did I ever thank God for that… every day that I saw the joy in his face, the animation and interest in his eyes, it gave me joy too!

You never saw such a happy guy. He came alive in a new way and spent hours with drumming… thinking about, talking about or doing it. I made a makeshift drum set for the shop, out of the way and with a casset player at hand, and if he wasn’t drumming, he was talking about it, or studying drum books.

He would read something, try it out, go work on his machines, and then stop, sit down at the drums, work something out and go back to the machines. He would figure out something in his head and it just clicked and he had to try it out.

That is, I believe, a gift God gave him before calling him home.

Danny. in all the 41 years of our marriage, was never the demonstrative type. Not one for sweet talk, kisses and hugs at odd times, or loving nicknames. That last year, he took to calling me sweet names instead of Chris, would get up and give me a kiss, just because. Come put his arm around me when I was cooking or doing something at the mill or lathe. HE started to loosen up and let me see in more demonstrative ways how he felt. I always knew how he felt, but he just wasn’t easy about doing ‘mushy things’ to show it.

That was, I believe a gift God gave me before taking him away.

My son had a decent paying job welding. He made enough to support himself. But if he got laid off, he would have a fraction of what he would need to pay rent and food, etc. Five and a half months before Danny died, Danial’s boss got a job from the government , working at a military base for a few days. That job paid each man a LOT more than they made normally. So much so, that if Danny got laid off within 6 months of the big weekly pay, he would get enough to pay rent, gas, and food easily.

So three weeks before Danny died, and just within the time limit for keeping that big paycheck in the system, my son’s boss laid him off.

That was a gift to him and to me. Because I don’t see him still being able to concentrate on welding under the circumstances of his father’s death.

Nor do I see me being able to cope, all alone, in that big empty shop where Danny and I had lived and worked for the last 18 years. Having Danial there every day was my lifeline for a while. And he was able to almost single handedly get the shop in order to sell off the pieces and clean it up. I couldn’t have. And considering the money I didn’t have, I couldn’t have hired anyone to do it for me.

Business had been slow, very slow, not unusual at the beginning of the year, but slower than usual. So instead of having 6 or 7 jobs that needed to be put on, there was just one, and that one was one we ran so often, that there was a machine already set up for it. We had the material so I got to have one more receivable in before closing down. At any other time of year it would have caused a big problem for our customers, who had a tendency to wait until the last minute to post a job. It was hard enough calling them and telling them to allow enough time for getting quotes on future jobs. It would have been a lot harder on them if they had to scramble to find a vendor with their customer breathing down the back of their neck!

The owner of the property we were on, lost it to the bank, and with the economic crunch so bad, they were more than happy to let me stay without paying much rent, just to have tenants showing. It was kind of them, and much appreciated by me.

Everything fell right into place. Everything was planned to the last detail. Even a place for me to move to, and my mom to be with. It was/is good for both of us.

So no, it didn’t ‘just happen’ and yes, God did plan it perfectly.

All this to show me again, in these times when every source is trying to take us away from our belief and trust in God, that He is there, He is watching, and He has everything in hand.

Know that if you lost a loved one, it was in a time and way that was best for you, best for your loved one and best for your life as it is.
A new time of growth and a way to show God your devotion and belief in HIM.
Rest your sorrow on God’s shoulder and let Him help you cope with missing your loved one.

May God bless you all.
Amen

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