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August 2015

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Leesburg Chapter

August 2015


A Warm Welcome

Anita and Roland Crisostomo, parents of Nicholas Crisostomo

Lydia Lupino, mother of David Lupino

Rachel and Tim Small, parents of Madison Small


Love Gifts

Thank you for your love gift:

Kay Turley, in loving memory of her granddaughter, Paige Johnson


Spiritual Crisis

When I lost my two and one-half year old son, Stephen, to leukemia, I was completely devastated. My whole world was shattered, and I knew of no other place to turn to but God. I remember experiencing the unconditional love of many friends and family, and therefore, I began to feel closer to God than I ever had felt. Losing Stephen was the worst thing that had ever happened to me and I felt that nothing any worse could ever happen to me again. So, I trusted God to get me through this terrible, terrible time.

My son, John Michael (who we call Buzzy), was seven years old at the time of his brother’s death. He became my reason for living. I knew that I had to go on for him. My children meant everything to me. They gave my life purpose and meaning. When I was a child, my dream was to become a mother, I have always loved children. I have always wanted to have several children, and wanted lots and lots of grandchildren. I can remember a time before I became a mother when I saw a movie in which a mother’s son died and I felt that had to be the worst thing that could ever happen to someone. How could that mother go on? I knew that if that ever happened to me, I would not be able to go on.

When Buzzy was born I became a mother at the age of twenty. My dream was fulfilled, and I loved being a mother. Five years later, Stephen was born. Another son for me, a brother for Buzzy. We were now a family of four. Little did I know that in less than three years what had happened to the woman in the movie would happen to me. Stephen died, and I was able to go on. I had to go on for my other son, Buzzy.

A little more than a year after Stephen died, my son Todd was born. What joy! God gave me another son to love and enjoy. Life would go on. Life was good again. Again, I had two sons to love and to receive love from.

God had shown me through losing Stephen what really was important in life. I chose to live my life accordingly. I treasured my children and my time with them. I raised my family with Christian values and even led classes at my church which taught parenting tools to young parents. I wanted everyone to know how important and special their children should be to them. I wanted people to realize what precious gifts their children are. I felt that I had learned a lesson that many people don’t learn until it is too late, and I wanted to share that important lesson. I valued my children and the time I was able to spend with them. My purpose in life was to make their lives happy and healthy and safe.

Four years later, my beautiful daughter, Kami, was born. More joy! Finally, after three boys, a precious little girl to love. And, oh, how she was loved, and, oh, how she loved. She loved people and all God’s creatures. Kami was filled with so much love, and she received so much love in return.

My oldest son, Buzzy, became drawn into something he couldn’t seem to escape from no matter how hard he tried. He became involved with drugs and the dark world of the drug culture. He was a very sensitive and loving person who made some very wrong choices which led to his destruction and the destruction of my entire beautiful family.

One night Buzzy “snapped” and stood up at the dinner table and started shooting a gun that he had hidden in his pocket. When the gun was finally empty, all three of my remaining children were dead, and my husband, Gam, was seriously injured. Miraculously, no bullet struck me.

For days and weeks after this terrible tragedy, I was “in a fog” and I was busy taking care of my injured and totally distraught husband. I did not think about God, and I tried very hard not to think about what had happened.

As time passed, Gam got better and didn’t seem to need all my “nurturing,” That left me with more time to deal with what had happened, but I didn’t want to deal with what had happened. But, sooner or later, we all must deal with what happens to us in our lives.

I began to question God. How could you let this happen? You know what is in my heart, you know I loved you and tried to live my life for you. What about all the evil people in the world? What about the drug dealers? They still have their children. HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?

So, I became angry with God ... very angry. I got so angry with God that I even questioned his existence. I did not experience this when Stephen died. I felt God engulf me with His love and trusted Him to help me get through that terrible time. Was that not for real? Did I just talk myself into believing God was there so I could continue to go on? I must have. God was nowhere to be found now. I could not find God. Either I lost God or God never existed in the first place.

These are the thoughts and questions that came pouring out to me in what I call “my dark time.” I could find no reason or purpose for living. My children were my purpose for living and they had been taken from me. How could I ever find meaning and purpose again? How could I go on living when “all is lost.” If what I found meaning in was gone, how could I go on and why would I choose to go on?

I did not want to see or talk with anyone during the dark time partly because I knew that no one had answers to my questions and partly because I did not want anyone to know that I even had these questions and that I felt this way. Just because I knew there wasn’t a God, I didn’t want to take other people’s hope from them. Let them keep kidding themselves. They are better off.

I eventually did share my feelings with my husband, a close friend, my counselor, and finally my pastor. They were all concerned, I think, that I might end my life. No one had answers for me. I knew no one would have answers for me. What I have come to realize and feel that I must share is that we all have to find our own answers to those questions. When I began to talk about the dark feelings (getting the feelings out) was when I began down the road toward healing. I have learned that the thing we most don’t want to talk about is the thing we need to talk about the most.

Through the love and persistence of fellow strugglers and friends I was able to see a tiny pinhole of light. I use the word persistence because my friends and strugglers, as well as God, never gave up on me. They were always there, it was me who was not letting them in. Once I let in that tiny pinhole of light into my dark place, I began to see hope again. Slowly, at first, but as I let the light (love) in, the pinhole got bigger and bigger. I have found God again (He never left me), and the God that I am coming to know now is truly bigger and better than the God I knew before. I know that my children are still with me (just as God is) in spirit and that someday I will be with them in heaven.

Though life is still a struggle and dark times do creep back in, I feel I have found meaning and purpose in my life again. My purpose is to honor God. I am to “press on,” even in my trials and struggles for the glory and honor of God. That was my purpose even when I had my children. I just didn’t know it then.

To my fellow strugglers, I encourage you to find a reason “to keep turning the pages” to see what is still out there for you. During my darkest time, my reason to “keep turning the pages” was to help my husband pick out a monument for our children. I felt he needed me for that and it was a final gift I could give my children. We now have the task completed and because I kept turning the pages, I have found my real reason to keep pressing on. I hope that you will search for your answers and that you will find meaning and purpose in your life.

It was through the love and care of others that I was able to see “God’s light” again. We must all reach out in love to each other so that others can know that He is there - even in the darkest of times.

I am aware that there will be times that I am not able to reach out to others and, hopefully, during those times, someone will reach out to me. We don’t know what each new day will hold for us. If we will risk reaching out to one another so that we can help each other out of the “dark places” we will find healing for ourselves. I know this to be true.

~by Becky Greer

Used with permission.