Cloud of Grief – A September Memory
I used to send out a fathering newsletter a few years back, way before I began blogging. I found this article I wrote shortly after the attacks on September 11th and I though it would be good to share with you all. I pray for those who are struggling today because of the love ones the lost that day…may God bring healing to their hearts. Blessings, Jay
A Cloud of Grief
There is a cloud of grief hanging over America that mimics the real cloud hanging over lower Manhattan. Out of that cloud have come many horrific stories, tragic in every way. Two from a recent NY Daily News report really moved me, they were short but the impact on the subjects of the stories will be long lasting. Here are their stories. (BTW, I changed the names)
She never got to say, "I'm sorry."
And now, three days after her husband vanished in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, Mrs. Smith was trying to convince herself that soon she'd get the chance.
Woman at Armory on Lexington Ave. holds picture of loved one. "The last time I spoke to Israel was Monday night," Smith said yesterday at St. Vincent's Medical Center, where hundreds like her came in hopes of finding loved ones.
"We were arguing about silly things," said Smith, 30. "I went to sleep in my daughters' room. On Tuesday, he left for work at 4:45 a.m. I was still asleep, so we never had a chance to talk."
A Little Girl Lost
Mr. Jones knew his ex-wife was dead. She worked for Morgan Stanley on the 107th floor of 2 World Trade Center. He saw her body on a slab in a Jersey City hospital. She never had a chance. Now he was in Manhattan, going from hospital to hospital with the other weeping relatives, looking for his 6-year-old daughter.
"My ex-wife brought my daughter in that day to meet her co-workers," said Jones, 46, of Trenton, NJ. "She told me that she was so excited about going to work with her mama and being in a tall building. She told me she wanted to go up to the observation deck."
Jones said his ex-wife managed to call him on her cell phone after the suicide plane struck."I told her please try and get our daughter, and then I told her not to take the elevator, and I told her I loved her and that I was on my way," Jones said, the words tumbling out. Now, he said, all he has are regrets and fading hope that his daughter is still alive.
"We got divorced because I was a workaholic who spent too much time away from home," said Jones, who designs weapons for the Defense Department.
"If I had one more chance to speak to my child, I would retire and devote my life to my family."
Everyday we have opportunities to forgive, to heal relationships that have gone sour and to communicate clearly the love we have for one another. We are not promised the next breath we take in and neither are the ones we care for. This tragic series of attacks on our nation and the stories of the people directly involved, should remind us of the fragile hold we have on life.
In our home we have two basic rules that we all understand; one is, “Nothing is more important than loving each other”, and number two is, “There are two kinds of people who enter our home, those we love and those who need our love”. From there a foundation is established which helps us filter our emotions and gives us a place to return to when those emotions need adjustment. It helps us communicate and show appreciation for each other. It also helps us recognize when we have our priorities out of whack, and allows for grace to correct gently.
The father in me has been slapped awake with the great loss of fathers, and what fathers have lost in the measured madness that was sent our way. The desire to protect, shelter and nurture my children has strengthened in its urgency, but also growing is the sense to prepare them for a world completely different that I grew up in. There is great reason to hope, our Father God is sovereign and is committed to his sons. The guidance we need to be the strong fathers our families (and our nation) need is there for the asking. We will be challenged as providers, as leaders, as comforters, as men of action and as men of faith.
Our fatherhood will be shaped by trials and difficult times, we will need to believe more fervently in what the Father says and obey Him with the tenacity of committed men. Let us pray as men that God will adjust and fine-tune the priorities we have in day-to-day life, our legacy must be one of life changing love. We are briefly here, but our daily pursuit of a closer walk with the father will impact our families for eternity
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
(4) who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“I care not if God is on my side; my constant hope and prayer is that
I may be found upon God's side.” - Abraham Lincoln