No, it’s not the 5th season of Grey’s Anatomy, your favorite sitcom, or the latest hit on Netflix. For me, for Jay, for Collin, for my family, it’s the 5th season of our life without Trey. My boy. My heart. (Number one thing NOT to say, “Has it been that long?”) To me, it was yesterday.
I have blogged for years about my grief and groaning, and for some, it has helped. For others, I’m not sure they have understood. It will be the same with this season. As I thought of this coming year as a “season”, this scripture came to mind in Ecclesiastes 3.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
In this scripture, the writer, Solomon, does not define the length of time for a season. Is a season a month, a year, 5 years, ten years? One commentary said, “Ecclesiastes offers the Christian an opportunity to understand the emptiness and despair that those who do not know God grapple with. Those who do not have a saving faith in Christ are faced with a life that will ultimately end and become irrelevant.”
Solomon was telling us a very important fact. Solomon tells us that life is really a matter of timing, for timing is everything. If timing is everything, just how am I going to handle this season?
I can tell you every date beginning January 1 to July 7, 2012, but I won’t. Jay and I lived a nightmare. Trey only had two (I think two) occasions that he broke down in tears with me. Both of those occasions were because he was worried about our family and how we would hold up after he was gone. I felt it was necessary to see me strong and tell him that we would be just fine and that God would take care of us. Why? Why did I not tell him that I would be lost without him? Why did I not tell him that losing him would devastate my entire existence? It’s the truth. The only thing that has been holding me together has been God’s grace.
This season never ends. If you grew up during my childhood years, we watched our home movies on a reel to reel projector. That is what my mind is like; a reel to reel projector is replaying blips of Trey’s life over and over in my mind and as much as I grab my head, as much as I cry tears, they won’t go away.
People look at me at church when we sing 10,000 Reasons, Lay Me Down, The Stand, and Forever Reign as tears flow down my face. I know those that don’t know me are probably wondering why in the world I am crying. I will always cry when we sing those songs. They bring back memories of his last breath, his moments of worship during these favorite songs, the exact moment he asked that Anna Wakefield sing Your Great Name at his funeral.
One thing that comforts me (again, through God’s grace), Trey had underlined in his bible Ecc. 3:11. Wise beyond his years, Trey looked over the first 10 verses and rested on the fact that God had put eternity in his heart. I wish I had one ounce of his wisdom to look beyond the worldly pain to what God has for us in eternity. I have to say, with respect, when people say to me that I will see him again in heaven, you have to remember that I am his mother. I am mortal, human, but I do hold Christ in my heart. I say all of this to tell you that even though he is in heaven, I want my baby here! I want him back! I have cried out to God for just one more moment with him. Mothers…I think you get that.
I can’t believe Collin is going to be a senior. I am in the process of making arrangements for his senior pictures. With this, comes excitement because I didn’t get to experience this with Trey and I want it to be a good experience for Collin. We have made the decision for the place and the clothing…wow! As I held him in my arms the Saturday night of Encounter at Central Church, I told him, “You will always be my baby.” Collin carries such heavy burdens for a teen his age. I wish I could take them from them.
In July, Collin will turn 18, another milestone in our family. I see all of his friends turning 18 and it excites me as we prepare for the time that he will turn 18 and he will gain the responsibility he has longed for. My prayer is that with responsibility will come wisdom. Or maybe that should be reversed!!!
July 5 will be the 5th anniversary of Trey’s death. The 5th anniversary of #prayfortrey. I had the opportunity to go back and read messages from that time period and I am overwhelmed with the love and support we were given. I still have people that I meet today tell me that they prayed for us. But as with most St. Jude families, the prayers do not need to end. To tell you that I relive that day a couple of times a week is an understatement. I truly, truly, could not do life without some of Trey’s close friends that have remained in our lives. If I tried to list them, I would forget someone.
July 31 Trey would be 21. I dread his birthday because he loved celebrations and I just don’t know how to handle this one. I am seeing all his friends turn 21 with all the joy life can bring and there is no life to celebrate. I don’t know if we will celebrate his birthday or his home going. Either way, they are both milestones that we will not overlook.
Season Finale…to be continued
I cannot tell you how much we have treasured your prayers over the last three months. We have battled a scare with Collin having kidney surgery, and now we are battling Jay dealing with cancer. I can tell you we are fighting hard. We know that God did not promise days without trials. He only promised that He would be with us during those days. Those that have read my blogs know that I am very transparent. I can tell you there have been days that I have cried out for God and asked “WHERE ARE YOU?” This is not out of lack of faith, but out of frustration with our circumstances.
Why would Jay have to get cancer again? Why is Collin still homebound and not back at CHS? Why did he have to have a cancer scare and have part of his kidney removed? What are they going to do when he goes back to St. Jude in March? Why is my Trey baby in heaven instead of trying to finish up college and finding a sweet young girl to marry? Are people still missing him like I am? God, please, just show up! So many questions, but yet God tells me…Be still…I’m not done yet.
But God, I’m tired! I’m exhausted! I’m depressed! I am on · the · very · edge. But you say to me in Matt. 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Rest? You mean the kind that I’m getting now by going to bed at 6 p.m. and getting up at 5:30 a.m. and not accomplishing anything in life? The restless kind of sleep that gives me continuous migraines I can’t keep under control? I think He means peace. When will God give us peace? Again, I hear Him say the familiar verse, Philippians 4:6 & 7 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” I love how the Message words this scripture.
So a couple of days ago, that’s exactly what I asked you to do. #prayfortheerwins You didn’t know (1) I was having a migraine, (2) Collin is struggling with homebound school, (3) Jay has not felt good for a couple of days, (4) Jay took the EMS Lieutenant’s exam on Thursday while not feeling well, (5) Monday was the nine year anniversary of Jay’s dad’s death, and (6) Valentine’s Day was the last day I took Trey to the pediatrician to find out what was wrong with him. Our hearts have been heavy and all I knew to do was reach out and ask for prayer. One friend texted me to ask me if everything was okay, my dear friend Shawn. If there is anything I learned from the Central Church youth Encounter weekend, it is okay to share your burdens, tell others you love them because you are not promised tomorrow, tell them you appreciate them, and pray for each other. WE ALL ARE SUFFERING WITH SOMETHING!
Again, thank you for praying for us. I am praying for you. I know that God has a plan for our family. I don’t know what it is and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a control issue. But there’s one issue I don’t have. I know, without a doubt, that he bore my sins on a cross to save me. That’s my promise and the answer to all my hurts and questions. Eternity. Jesus. And someone now, at the end of writing, I’m calm as the glassy sea. Do I have all the answers? No. But I know who does and I know where to go to get them. I think I am blessed.
Yes Jesus Loves Me
Yes Jesus Loves Me
Yes Jesus Loves Me
The Bible Tells Me So…