Fast forward to receiving this article from a dear friend today. As I read through these profound words, I found myself once again thinking over the loss of a parent and how it affects the rest of your life. While making these circles, I came to the conclusion that in many ways during the years of daddy's struggle with alcohol and his terminal illness which came on the cusp of his sobriety, momma left us emotionally. With the weight of raising three children thrust upon her, she survived by becoming emotionally numb. She went to work and performed well--the care of the home was left to the three of us. Leaving lists and orders everyday of what we were expected to do to keep the house running, she came home every night exhausted-depressed--overwhelmed--and withdrew to the privacy of her bedroom--where she tried to regroup and refuel for the next day of the same. And the next day--only brought more next days---and all to be faced alone. So in some ways, we became orphans of a sort--left to our own devises--in some ways raising ourselves. I never had curfews, never was asked about homework, never had many rules beyond keep the house clean and food in the pantry--was never questioned about school. Whether she took it for granted that we would take care of our business or if she simply could not take on one more task--we had lost both parents in some ways when daddy died.
I listened with great sadness when friends talked of family celebrations, dinners around the family table, and their normal family lives. How I longed to be normal. There was nothing normal about our family life--though from the outside it all appeared great---it was dysfunction at its finest on the inside. When I finally reached adulthood and had a stable family of my own---I DAILY endeavored to find normal---and prayed my children would have that Mayberry Normal I so always wanted. The great American dream of 2.3 kids, a house, two cars, dinner on the table, clean clothes in the closet, a neat and tidy house and two parents looking over your shoulder became my Utopia.
Fast forward---with God's provision and grace, we all survived and in the world's eyes have been successful. She was proud of us--and bless her heart--she did the best she could under very difficult circumstances. The loss of daddy and momma's withdrawal though had a lasting and profound effect on each of us.
I often tell others, "When you loose you parents, no matter the age, you become orphans." A piece of who you are is removed and you are left with a gaping hole. It is life altering and a permanent change of the world you know. Good parent--bad parent---their loss is a game changer in the game of life. The loss of a parent at a young age is especially a deep and profound influence upon the person you become.
There is redemption---there is a way to reconcile today with the past---there is a Great Counselor who can heal all hurts and pain. Jesus is always the answer--the answer to all those intense and deep moments in time when life is changed--HE IS THE SAME! Yesterday--today--tomorrow---Jesus never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.