Tomorrow is the date my cousin passed away.(2006) I find he has been on my mind allot.
Maybe it is guilt. Maybe it is stress. Maybe it is his way of letting me know he is still close. I don't know.
We weren't very close. My husband saw him more than I did because he worked with him. We would run into each other on occasion, spend a few minutes catching up, then go months before seeing each other again, so why has he been on my mind?
I keep thinking about the last time I really saw him. It was his sister's wedding reception. Everyone knew he had cancer and he was in allot of pain. We had a divorce going on in the family that was taking up allot of our interest. (just like a tabloid, we should be ashamed of ourselves) Anyway my cousin came in and sat on a chair in the family room of his dad and step-mom's house. Most of the guests were outside congratulating the lucky couple. I was in the kitchen talking to my aunt and happened to see him sitting there alone, when I went to leave. He was rubbing his leg because it hurt. (cancer of the bone)
I remember thinking that I should go and sit with him. It was a strong feeling that I ignored because I didn't want to embarrass him or myself by trying to sound sympathetic. At the time I felt words were very inadequate and intrusive. Why would he want any attention from me? I didn't know what he was going through, I wasn't a part of his life, I wasn't going to suffer while he fought this disease! So I ignored what God was prompting me to do, gave some stupid comment about how good it was to see him and left.
How I regret not going to him then! I could have just sat there with him, I could have held his hand, I could have talked about when we were kids, I could have let him know I loved him. (He was a little hard to love, but I did) By the time I got my courage up to let him know I cared, it was to late. His life was coming to a close and his family was surrounding him and taking those last days that belonged to them to be together.
I wrote letters, I hope he read them. I said goodbye, mailed the last letter the morning he passed away. I hope it got to heaven. I hated the funeral. Watching the video of his life made me realize how short a time we had him, I was angry he got to leave and left me behind. I was hurt that his children won't have the memories that I do. I was relieved that he wouldn't hurt anymore, And I prayed that his siblings would be comforted in their heartache.
It took me over a year to go back to his grave. I never went back to any one's grave before until a friend taught me how comforting it can be. I still wish I could go back and be better, but I also know he knows how I feel. Yes, hard lessons learned, cousin- But I learned it!!
I wrote him this poem while he was still battling his cancer. I wanted him to remember that God is with us in our darkest hour, and he knows our every weakness.
Today I heard you cry. Tears stained your face and I could feel you shake with fear. My heart aches for you and the trials you must face.
Your journey is a difficult one. The way is not easy but not every road is straight- not everyone walks the worn path.
Yes, your path is starting to climb. your success 'till now was easily won, but it is time to work.
Your faith needs to be tested, your heart strained. Close your eyes to the darkness ahead, Listen, I will guide you. My voice will find you in your darkest hour. My love will be your lantern. My hand will give you leverage to pull yourself up. Reach for me, you will find the strength to climb.
Your feet will find purchase in the footprints of your brother, who came before you, DON'T GIVE UP, I will be with you every step.
When you need me, cry out. I hear your every breath. I will comfort you, lead you, and we will finish the climb -together.
I hope my cousin found comfort in these words, understood that he was not alone, and knew that we loved him. You reached your summit, cousin. I know it was worth the climb!
"But he that endure unto the end, the same shall be saved"
November 2017 :)
1 month ago