This post is about why I’ve been not blogging for the last month.
I think both of my blog readers are also Facebook friends, so this won’t be news to anyone, I don’t think.
But we’ve had an awful November. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the whole last two years have been awful. We’ve gone through an arrest, the judicial process, and health issues.
Just when you think things may be looking up, you’re hit again.
I read a quote from St. Theresa of Avila recently: “Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”
Preach it, Sister Theresa. I’m right there with you.
For the most part I haven’t really questioned God or railed at him. Until this last blow.
Our beautiful, funny, fun, witty, amazing niece Laura Padgett Brickey lost her fight with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on November 10th.
She was sick for just over a year, diagnosed just under a year before she died.
I’m usually more like Job who came to realize that if we accept God’s blessings, we must also accept it when things not-so-good happen.
But this time He went too far. I’m still angry. I know I’ll eventually get over it (and myself) but for now I’m letting myself be angry, sad, in denial, or whatever I need to feel to get through this time.
Laura was two months younger than my oldest and they were the best of friends all their lives. We saw Laura in the hospital the day she was born and she was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen (next to my own, of course), and I fell completely in love with her and that never changed.
“She lights up the room whenever she walks in,” is a cliche’ but it’s true about Laura. She always had a joke or an observation to share. She was tall, blonde, and hysterically funny, an unbeatable combination.
Laura was married to DJ for ten years and they have a three-year-old. She left devastated friends and family and broken hearts when she left us. I’ve shared a lot of memories on Facebook so I’ll only add one more here. Her dad reminded me of this one at her memorial service. When she was a year old, her family moved from Madera to Clovis, at the time a suburb of Fresno. It’s now more like an extension of the bigger city with brown street signs instead of green. A freeway was built to connect the two cities and to help commuters from Clovis to downtown Fresno. It was an expansion of a rural route. Laura decided her little hometown could never have a freeway and refused to even acknowledge it, much less drive on it. To my knowledge, she never did drive on it and never willingly rode in a car on it. The freeway opened when she was a young adult and when she was a passenger going on the overpass over the freeway, she would avert her gaze so she didn’t have to see it.
Laura was a peacemaker. She couldn’t stand to see people she loved at odds with each other. She didn’t always make things better, but she tried and her heart was in the right place. I think now that God gave her that gift so He could take her and she’d know she’d done everything humanly possible to bring reconciliation to all her relationships.
I miss her as much today as I did the day she died. I pray often for her husband, daughter, parents and siblings. And when I join her, I’m going to have a serious talk with God about why He thought this was a “good” idea. I’ve come to the realization that Romans 8:28 isn’t really about what I think is “good.” What is good for me is what makes me more into the image of Christ. So yes, all things work together for “good,” in that even the bad stuff makes me more patient, kind, humble, generous, faithful, i.e. more like Christ. But so far, this loss has just made me angry, hurt, and hurting.
I do trust that someday I might know why. I definitely trust that I will see Laura again and get to spend eternity with her and Jesus. In fact, she better be there to welcome me or I’ll be highly upset.
In the meantime, Laura’s family and mine appreciate so the prayers and encouragement we’ve received.