I hope to make this the preface of a book one day. Picture credit: Adriana Carolina
In five years I became a customer of three different cemeteries. Life dealt me a severe blow when dad passed away in 2004. He and I were close, but could have been closer if it weren’t for the divorce twenty-four years before. Our friendship, now as two grown men, was starting to blossom when I got the phone call. His heart had given up; massive heart attack just shy of his sixtieth birthday.
Two and a half years later tragedy struck again. My newborn daughter lived for only twenty minutes, her entire life spent in my arms. Attempting to comfort her grieving mother was useless, so I just held our precious Luana close to her, long enough for a painful kiss goodbye. The feeling of total inadequacy and powerlessness tortured me.
The unthinkable happened again. Three years after losing my daughter, the life of my only son was taken from me. Victor did not survive his second surgery. His little thirteen-month old heart quit at the operating table. Taking his lifeless body from my wife’s arms was the hardest thing I had to endure, and handing over his little casket was the lowest point of my life; sorrow that defies comprehension.
What was it with me and heart attacks? Was I doomed to suffer a premature one, too? And what was this about burying my own children? That’s not the natural order of life events. Oh, and there’s that statistic. Most couples who lose children end up divorcing. I had every reason to be fearful and bitter.
I chose to be faithful and better.
I didn’t know I had a choice. I thought tragedies were meant to break you beyond repair. My familiarity with death was so strong, I didn’t realize living was an option. I determined to merely exist, but God loved me too much to let me rot inside. He gave me a sense of duty to my surviving daughter (now my only child) and to my wife, whose pain was unbelievably worse than mine. Duty became purpose and purpose became passion. I love living.
I am a Christian. I cannot imagine choosing betterment over bitterness apart from the enablement from the giver of life. Over these last few years God gave me the desire and opportunities to teach at a seminary, complete a doctor’s degree, start a second one, resurrect (and excel at) a very healthy hobby, and inspire people in the process.
In the next few months I plan to chronicle my journey from trial to triumph, from pain to passion, from sorrow to success. By doing this I hope to inspire you to not only endure, but to enlist your suffering, and choose life over death. But let’s make this personal. Let me know your struggles (or forward this to someone who needs some encouragement). I would love to help you through your journey. Your cost? Five minutes to write me an email. Hit me up at email@example.com, or post a comment.