When I was a kid, sometimes I knew I was going to get in trouble for something I had done. Like maybe hitting my little brother or coming home ten minutes late. And I am hoping some of you out there can relate to this. Secretly, I would say, DEAR GOD, please don't let me get into alot of trouble, I am very sorry for what I did. And then my dad would get home (he was the one who gave out punishments) and there were days that I would just get yelled at and others I would get grounded and even others I got a good smack on the ass. But I always felt it was because God listened to me praying. As I got older, I would try it at the oddest times. OH GOD, I just ran the red light, don't let me get caught and I will say ten Hail Mary's tonight. And then I would. I would pray when I took a test at school, please Lord, I didn't study, but let me pass this and I will study 10 ten times harder for the next one. And on and on I made deals like this. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But I still did it. When Adam was born, there were some complications, he wasn't breathing when he was born and he was purple, and I prayed. Let me hear him cry God, let me have him and love him and I promise you no one will love him more. And then this small cry came out of him and I knew my prayers had been answered. While the kids grew, I found out through their religious classes that they took at church that when you pray, you shouldn't ask for anything, you should pray for guidance to make the right decisions, be thankful for blessings in your life, and of course, live by the Ten commandments. WELL, rude awakening for me. I did the best I could, and felt bad for the times I asked and asked and should have been more gracious. So I made a promise that day to be a better person, to give more, and love deeper. The morning after Alex passed, upon awakening, I remembered the day before. I was crying and praying harder then I had ever prayed. Please God, PLEASE, let this all be a dream, I will do anything, just don't let this be real. It's just a bad dream, please, I will go to church every Sunday, no excuses, I promise.............on and on this went for a few minutes until Mark walked in and wrapped his arms around me. Then I knew, it was real. There was no going back, no deals to be made, no prayers could change anything. I kept telling myself this is my fault for being selfish because I asked for so much my whole life. I didn't pray every night and thank God for all my blessings. I didn't live completely by the Ten commandments and now I was paying for it. It ran over and over in my head and no matter what anyone said, I truly believed it. I was being punished for all my sins. I went to church and I talked to the priest and told him my story. He was a very kind man, and listened to every word and was very sympathetic. After I was done talking he took my hand in his and told me something, and then sat with me as I cried for a bit. "My dear woman, our God does not punish nor wish harm to anyone. We live our lives, make our choices, and God helps guide us with what we are given." I went home feeling a little relieved, because I KNEW in my heart God doesn't punish, I even brought up my children that way. I just wasn't being honest with myself. That losing Alex was an accident, and the choices he made cost him his life. So no matter how much love and guidance you give, once they're adults, the choices they make are the ones we have to learn to LIVE with. That's the hardest part right now. Living without him.
I still pray. And when I tell my kids and friends for whatever situation it is, I WILL SAY A PRAYER FOR YOU, I do. My love and faith in God hasn't changed. I am very thankful everyday for my blessings, because I still have many blessings. Learning to live with the loss isn't even the hardest part. Letting go of all the things I just thought he would be here for, to enjoy with us, and celebrate with us, that's the hardest. I guess that's when I have to more grateful for the years we did have. And I am, YES, I am, because I know others who had had less. Amen.