The Reality of Family Gatherings

It has been a while since I have written anything on here that seems of importance.  Well maybe not a while.  Just its been a while since I have actually written something.  Sometimes I include things from years ago on this blog, sometimes it is more recent, and sometimes its something I have written in the last day or two… Life has been a bit hectic recently.  After finishing work on Thursday afternoon (what a relief)… I have hardly been near my laptop.  Something I try to do whilst I am on holiday.  Avoid being overloaded by staring at a screen all day.  I hate staring at a screen all day.  But that is the nature of my job.

When I finished on Thursday afternoon, I walked home, and I just relaxed on Thursday evening.  Friday I met one of my sisters at the airport before we went home and went swimming.  Yes, I have done lots of swimming in the last few days to compensate for the amount of food I have consumed!  It seems like each time one goes on holiday – especially a family holiday you get fed so much.  Sometimes I feel like you are being force-fed.  But so be it.. Its life.  To be able to relax and do nothing sometimes is very nice. It is a different reality.

The reality I am used to is getting up and going into work… Thing about having these family holidays is – I simply feel like I am the odd one out.  I have always been the odd one out, but I just feel it more so on this holiday than on previous holidays.  Why?  Because my faith with the Lord has deepened and has become my number 1 priority. It has become so important that I CRAVE my quiet time with the Lord, and that if I do not have my quiet time with the Lord that the day seems to go pear-shaped.  I think it is VERY important to establish a routine and keep to that routine whether you are working or not, travelling, or staying in one location.  Establishing a good routine where you talk with your heavenly father in heaven is very important indeed.  Just because you are on holiday does not mean you need to take a break from spending time with the Lord.  In fact I would challenge you to use that time to focus on God more, and just to spend some undivided attention to him because in your otherwise very busy schedule you might not have the proper time (even   though you should make time to speak with your heavenly father).

I CRAVE my quiet time with God.  I need it.  I know that if I don’t have it, that I feel like I am missing something in my life.  So that is my priority.  Priority number 2 is extending grace to my family and blessing them (which at times can be very difficult when they just constantly criticize you, and make you feel very small).  I blessed them today.  I made pancakes in the morning [still recovering from a migraine attack that I had the previous day].  Then washed the dishes..  We then went with two cars to Hungary where we were not hungry (no pun intended) and walked around and had to pose for pictures.. pictures where I don’t even feel like I am smiling naturally.

The hardest part of spending time with family when everyone is around is this one noticeable thing.  The BIG/HUGE/GIGANTIC Micheline, Elouise, David, Sebastian shaped gaping hole at these family gatherings.  And you know what I hate it.  Everywhere I go I see children that could have been 7, 4, 3 and nearly 2 years old running around, and then the questions go around in my head.  Wondering what would it have been like to have our children running around at these family gatherings?  What would it have been like for my brothers to be an uncle to my kids and my sisters an aunt to my kids.  What would it have been like to be an aunt to my brother’s nephew.  Everything seems to be AMPLIFIED by them not being present.  It makes me sad and then I just want to withdraw from the world.  Withdraw from the family because everyone seems to continue with their lives.  I wonder if they think the same as me – what would it be like to have all the children here that were meant to be here?  We would have our hands full – yes.  But I think it would be so rewarding, and so much fun.  Except truth is I know the dark side of life when reality strikes.  When death occurs and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  In moments like these I have to cling onto the cross and just pray that the Lord hears my anguish, and hears the loneliness in my heart.  I feel that I don’t belong somehow.  LikeI am a failure somehow for not being able to keep my children alive.

So family gatherings or not, I need my space more than ever now, and I need time to just sit in the presence of God to regain my equilibrium.  To regain my emotions, and not to let them sink into this negative spiral where they just seem to turn and turn.  Yes, the children are not here, they are in heaven in a better place.  Yes, it is sad that they cannot be a part of this rat race of a life where we all try to strive to be a better person.  Yes, we try to move on with our lives even when it seems impossible.  Yes, we try to figure out the ‘double you’s and hows of life.  But the answers are not always there.  The answer lies at the foot of the cross where you can hear God’s word.  God’s love seep through you.  You just have to call out to him and he will comfort you. Yes, we miss the kids, but they are surely in a better place then where we are at.  And yes, I wish my children didn’t have to die.  I wish that David didn’t have to die.

I wish that I had gotten to know my kids.  And  was able to each of their little personalities and watch them grow.  I wish I was able to see them at these family gatherings and watch their sticky hands grab for food, and watch them play in the mud and in the lake.  I wish I was able to know what the sound of their voice would be like and the sound of their laugh.  I wish I knew what it was like to be hugged by them.  This is what I wish tonight…  I miss them.  There is a big Micheline, Elouise, Sebastian shaped hole in my life, and large family gatherings always make it hard.  It always AMPLIFIES what was and what is not there anymore.  What has gone.  And then the stark reality hits every fibre of my soul and I just have to cling onto God with all my strength and trust that he will pull me through every emotion that riddles through my shattered heart.






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