Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How'd you like to spend Christmas, on Christmas Island?

The last week or so has been particularly difficult for me. Everywhere I turn, something reminds me of my dad. Not to mention all the other emotional things going on in my life, this eventually leads to many tears. The other day Patrick and I were sitting in Starbucks talking. Christmas music was playing (rather loudly) and we were enjoying one anothers company and occasionally singing along to the music. The song "Christmas Island" came on not too long into our conversation. Most of you have no idea who sings it or where it came from and that's OK. I instantly knew the song when I heard the musical intro. This song is by Jimmy Buffett and it's on his Christmas album (as if it were on several others?). My dad loved Jimmy Buffett(JB). Always and forever, as long as I can remember, we would get my dad the newest cassette and then cd the day it came out. I'm sure he had every album ever made by Jimmy Buffett, not forgetting all of the books he wrote too. My dad loved JB so much that we thought it only appropriate to play JB music during the viewing AND the funeral.

I can remember making up dances to JB songs with my sister for my dad. I can remember asking the meaning to certain songs at a very young age. I remember listening to JB when I was riding in the truck with my dad (it was JB or classic rock, which I grew fond of both). I remember reading the JB book my dad got me. I remember my dad's favorite JB song AND his favorite JB shirt.

My dad went to a lot of JB concerts and, therefore, had a lot of t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, ect. When we were going through his things the week of his funeral, my sister and I picked out the cd's and the shirts we wanted to keep. I shirts I picked out still smell like him and they are in a special place so I look at them, if I so choose.

As soon as I heard this song all of reality came crashing down on me. My dad will absolutely not be here for Christmas. Not this Christmas, not any Christmas ever again. I began crying and eventually sobbing, singing every single word. Even now, the thought of song brings to me tears. All of my Christmas memories include my dad. Even after my parents got divorced and then when I got married. I always saw my dad. The memories that stick out the most are memories from when I was little, (seven, eight, nine, ten) and some Christmas' are etched vividly into my memory.

I read this in the study notes of my bible yesterday: (from Job)

"How natural it is for Job's well-meaning friends to try to "fix" Job's problems and view his situation through the lens of their own finite experiences....In the face of unexplainable suffering, we can humbly admit that we do not know all that is in God's mind and simply comfort our friends rather than try to fix things for them."

How true. How often have I pretended to know exactly what someone was going through, only to offer unhelpful, discouraging advice. All the while, I think I'm doing good by bringing truth or a kind word. It has become apparent to me, that while in the midst of suffering, a gentle hug and a sweet prayer are much more meaningful than words of wisdom, truth of encouragement.(But to every season...there is a time appropriate for wisdom and truth.) No one can feel my pain. Nor can I feel the pain of someone else. Who knows what other pain may be welling up inside of someone who is already suffering.

May I remember the words of Job, and may this be the reflection of my heart:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." 1:21
"...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? 2:10


Anonymous said...

Wow! Very powerful!! Keep getting it all out!

We haven't forgotten your loss and we are still praying for you!

Love you!

Baby Hancock said...

I love you, Ash! I keep reminding myself of this verse:

"My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the sanre." Psalm 25:15

Hope it helps you, too!