Sunday, August 2, 2009

Somewhere in the Middle

One of my favorite songs is "Somewhere in the Middle" by the Casting Crowns. Somewhere between the hot and the cold, somewhere between the new and the old, somewhere between who I am and who You're making me, somewhere in the middle you'll find me.

For me this song follows the pattern of grief as we learn to live the new normal without AJ. One second hot or cold...sometimes the new or the old...and always between who I was and who He's making me.

Friends come and go, but we had a couple of friends that went when AJ died. They stepped up to help us plan his funeral, take care of Eli in the immediate days, and then they slowly went away. About a year after AJ died, I couldn't stand the lack of closure for the friendship and so I called her up and asked her to lunch. We sat awkwardly making small talk for a while and when the conversation afforded the opportunity, I asked point blank "What happened? What changed?" Her knee jerk reaction was "People change"! I replied "you're right - WE did change." We haven't spoken since.

God made the decision to change us the day he called AJ home. Unlike some people who may make a conscious decision to change something about themselves, we didn't get that choice. We were catapulted into a devastating life change that forced us to redefine who we are and why we are here.

Who we are? We are people that hurt on some level everyday. We are a mom and dad that miss our son deeply everyday but must keep on going. We are the parents of 3 beautiful boys - two on earth and one in the arms of Jesus. Our true friendships are raw and without pretense. We are more reserved...more loving...more understanding...more empathetic.

Why are we here? I don't ask God the question 'Why did you take AJ?' I don't feel that He owes us an explanation. I wonder what does He want me to do with this new path He chose for us? I work everyday to share our story with someone with hope that I am making a difference in some way. We are here to honor AJ's life and the change he made in our lives.

We grieved the loss of these friends from our lives for a long while hanging on to hope that they would come around and we could have the type of relationship we had before AJ died. All the while we had received closure just a few months after he died and just didn't realize it. It came in an email and it read, "We want to be supportive, but feel that the subject is too much for our daughter, and honestly, the rest of us too, is to much to handle emotionally. I hope that you understand our reasoning for this, we really do want to support you and pray that you all receive strength and love."

Our true friends and our family are there with us through the constant change we endure.