Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I won't let it erase the good memories...

For the first time ever, I am thankful my paternal grandparents are with the Lord so they were spared the pain.
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it. The quiet time away helped settle my heart a bit.
I lost my cousin Jerry to suicide eight days ago. He was the oldest of the local cousins. When we were children, I thought he could do anything and everything.
When he got his driver's license, he took me and another cousin out driving. I thought he was so cool! I remember him patiently teaching me to throw a crab line at my grandparent's pier. He took me to a little spot he knew would fill his trap with minnows he could use to catch bigger fish. He showed me how to find the path through my grandfather's thick bamboo patch to the well house. To younger me, it was as exciting as going through the wardrobe into Narnia! He and I played horseshoes together at my grandparents. I'm pretty sure he let me win. After Clint and I were married, we spent some time with Jerry in a lake cabin he was renting at the time and created many fun memories. I still use a recipe he gave me and will make sure that I tell my children today who it came from.
Like most of the men in my paternal family, Jerry could do anything with wood from building houses to making furniture. He could fish, hunt, and trap with the best of them and then shared whatever he had. I can't remember him and I ever having a harsh word between us. He was so much fun to be around! I can still see him smiling, cutting up, and laughing. He was a compassionate, gentle, down to earth, give you the shirt off his back country boy.
I've lost so many friends and family to suicide. I can remember crying my heart out for days the first time it happened when I was a teenager. I burst into tears 20 years later when visiting his grave. The sharpness of it so many years later took me by surprise. I still miss him! The pain suicide leaves just sticks around. It's not how we should leave one another. I use to get angry about it, but I soon learned to look past the act to see their pain and forgive them.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone, and if they aren't helpful, reach out again to someone else. Keep moving until you get the help you need. The first few people you reach out to might be in the midst of something of their own and not see your need because their own pain. Help IS out there! I have friends who have been there and found their way through with various treatments. I am proud of them!
To my family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances: If you ever need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a hug, a swift kick in the pants, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a mama...I am here. Don't make a permanent choice that will end forever the chance of your circumstances changing. You could be missing out on something better that was out of your sight only because it was right around the next corner. Let the pages of your life keep turning, and see where you end up. My heart is very burdened for my aunt, uncle, an cousins. Please pray for them.