Oct 19, 2010

We Learn In the Retreating

We learn in the retreating
How vast an one
Was recently among us
A perished sun.

Endears in the departure
How doubly more
Than all the golden presence
It was before!
~ Emily Dickinson

You see, while we were mourning the loss of my grandmother which was totally expected, we got a call that my father in law died in his sleep. Totally unexpected. He has been in great health. He has been vibrant, active, joyful. And suddenly, he's gone. So the shock is debilitating.
But what I want you to know is that he valued life. The Slikers all valued life. He lost three children to premature death in the past few years and like all of us, he knew the brevity of life. After we lost the first -- Nancy -- we decided to value "Family" more than anything. Then we lost the second - Bobby - and realized we needed to put feet to our plan. If we value life, then we need to get together more often than just funerals. So we began family reunions that were Outrageous. Family Get-Togethers to the max. Because we all knew how precious life is. And then, we lost Marilyn. So we've kind of been taking a breath, recovering our losses, trying to get back to the normal.
And we had bonfires and we played games and we had ramily reunions -- all to emphasize how important we are to each other. All for the purpose of taking time out of our lives to HUG each other and say "I love you!!"

And still.... after my grandma died, we got the call...... Dad Sliker died during the night, along with Gram. And still, after all this time, time isn't enough. The family reunions aren't enough. And now.... Papa has died. Totally unexpected. We weren't prepared for this, just talked to him a couple days before. Oh my gosh, if we could only talk to him one more time! Hug him one more time. It doesn't seem fair.

Here's what I think about Grief. It sucks.

A brian andreas quote I keep thinkin about: "I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy."-
I love you, dad Sliker. What a stinking, stinking bummer I couldn't hug you one more time or be there for you as you walked through the dark valley of death.....


Ruth said...

What a difficult time for you all. Praying for God's grace and strength.

Connie said...

Such a great tribute, Val.