East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"

I fight sins not tragedies.

 Joscelyne's Memorial Service

Thursday was Joscelyne's memorial. It was a beautiful service and I guess a good 200 people came out. I didn't cry and I believe a large part of that is due to the presence of those 200.

My former boss, Nancy, and her husband. My heart leaped at seeing her face. She was my boss when I was 19, working part time mentoring freshmen.

Tamara, one of my oldest friends. We use to make mud pies in my backyard when I was 7.

Carly, my friend of 15 years who I hadn't seen for over one.

Robyn, who showed me support just as I did for her when her mom died suddenly four years ago.

Clarissa, who inspires me with her determination, took the lead and arranged for the food for the family attending the repast.

Maria, who's quiet faith reveals a deep trust in the will of God.

There were some who tearfully and repeatedly questioned my emotional state. "How are you?... But *really*, how are you?" I'd reply, "I'm okay. Well, as okay as can be." Some of their faces remained incredulous. I kept thinking of them even when I got home that night. I slipped out of my black dress and poured a glass of wine, which I took to the bedroom. I plopped on my bed and thought over the past year and a half.


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 The dress I wore.

I couldn't lie, it had been tough. In June 2011, my mother's house caught on fire, and she wound up in the intensive care unit for two weeks. She then came to stay with us and had a nervous breakdown. By the time I had Zoe at the end of July, I thought I was going to have one. Mom went to stay with Jos when I brought Z home from the hospital, but my worries were far from over since my health soon collapsed and I wound up spending half of December 2011 in the hospital. When things didn't improve, I had to resign my job in the spring of this year, cutting our household income in half, despite the cost of the new addition. My mother never fully recovered and was moved to a nursing home; within months she went from getting around independently with a walker to being bound to a wheelchair. She's only 63. Meanwhile, I have a visiting nurse, a box of IVs and a fridge with meds. Plus, my dad recently had surgery. And then Jos... My brother-in-law is a widower at 28, and my nephew and niece are motherless.

Tough might just be an understatement.

Yet, I realized as I sipped my Moscato, I felt no pity for myself. No woe is me.

My Uncle Curtis delivered the eulogy at the service. He referenced John 9, the story of Jesus healing the blind man. The disciples asked if the man was blind because he had committed some sin- or maybe his parents? Jesus said no, this wasn't the case at all, but that the man was blind so the works of God could be displayed in Him. In other words, bad things can and will happen in our lives through no fault of our own. We live in a fallen world. Yet, through faith in Christ, God works through us.

My resolve has become to respond to life's trials with my eyes set on the light of Christ. It's not easy, of course. Many times, as in this past week, things have appeared so dark. I see as through a mirror dimly.

No tragedy, though. No tale of woe. Just my journey through creation that yearns to be free from decay, against spiritual darkness. May God work through.


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