This past three weeks of summer have basically been horrible. First, we lost Ellen, the mother of Dawn, one of my best friends. She had been very sick and in the end was in hospice care at home. My poor friend and her brother and other family put their lives on hold, but were blessed to be there when she passed away.
We went to her visitation on a Sunday, but on the Thursday evening before, my other best friend Michelle's 21-year-old son Christian and two his friends were hit by a drunk driver traveling on the wrong side of the interstate. The driver and the passenger (Christian) both suffered broken bones, but praise God they are on the mend. After some complications, he has recovered enough to eat solid foods again. Both he and one of the other girls, Maria, who was in the back seat, are members of our parish. The young lady in the back seat has been in an induced coma in ICU, and was finally moved to a step down.
Three days ago, my sweet friend Janet lost her mother. Her mom had broken her hip, but was doing better. She died peacefully in her apartment. Tonight, a week after Dawn's mom's visitation, we went back for Janet's mom.
Last week, one of my former students, a young man of 25, passed away. TJ was the kind of kid that lit up the room when he came through the door. He was like my Lauren in that respect. TJ loved journalism- like me, he had "newsprint" in his blood. He had worked for his father's cousin at his newspaper, and loved every minute of it. TJ served as the editor of our college newspaper, and the job he did was spectacular. Like me, he had faced the death of a loved one. His older sister Jessica, who was the same age as Lauren, died in a car accident right when TJ was finishing high school. TJ never got over her loss. He and I talked a lot about it, but I knew it tortured him.
He had a rough go of it, and I won't go into details, but he did come and see me about a month ago. We had a wonderful visit and he seemed very positive again. He asked me for a recommendation for a job he was seeking, and I was happy to help him. We parted after a long talk and I never saw him again after that. When I learned of his death, I was heartbroken. For him, for his parents, for his little sister Chloe, and for myself. I have lost someone I truly loved, once again. I spent an hour with his parents and sister, the other day. We talked about TJ, and his mother told me that he loved me too. It gave me peace of mind, but my heart is still broken for these people who have lost two children they loved. I understand their pain, but could not imagine having to go through losing another child. I pray for them and ask God to comfort them and bring them peace.
The one bright spot in this summer is that we are weeks away from the birth of our granddaughter. We have learned since I wrote before that her name will be Rosemary Lauren. She will be called Rosie. I cannot wait to hold her in my arms. I know she will be precious, as all children are, and I will be proud to be her Mimi.
As I contemplate sweet Rosie, I miss my Lauren really badly. I know she would be so happy over this baby who bears her name. I believe in my heart, that Lauren knows all about her and loves her already.
Dear Lord, we ask you for a safe delivery for Rosemary, and for her parents. I pray for Dawn and Janet, and TJ's family in their grief. I pray for Michelle, as she faces this long journey of Christian's recovery and for Christian as he embarks on that journey back to health. I pray for Maria, for her healing and for her return to her family, and most especially to her young daughter.
Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.