Today (August 1) is an anniversary for me, but it is not one I celebrate. I even hesitate to call it an anniversary, but I don’t know what else to call it. You see, eleven years ago today our precious daughter, Crystal, died from leukemia at age thirty-six. I was with her in the hospital as she passed from this life to the next. As I have thought about this today, even though I do not celebrate, there are things for which I am thankful:
I am thankful for the presence of God and His comfort through His Spirit who abides in me.
I am thankful for my wife, Iris, who has walked together with me through our grief journey these past eleven years, and I am thankful for family and friends who have given their support.
I am also thankful for the opportunity I now have of directing the BASIS ministry. For some who may not be familiar with BASIS it stands for Brothers and Sisters In Support, and it is a ministry to bereaved parents, parents who have experienced the loss of children of various ages.
I was thankful today as several people connected to BASIS sat around the lunch table at our office and gave me the opportunity to share some thoughts and remembrances; but more importantly, they gave me the opportunity to thank them for their love and support through my journey of grief.
Thankfulness is not just a blessing to the one receiving thanks but it is also a blessing to the one who gives the thanks. Think how awful it would be if there was no one to thank for the comfort, encouragement and support YOU have received along your grief journey! Most of all, thank our God, Who is…the God of all comfort… [II Corinthians 1:3].
On second thought, there is a reason to celebrate and we did celebrate at Crystal's funeral. We celebrated her life and we celebrated her entrance to heaven where she resides with her Lord and Savior, Jesus. We also celebrate that, one day, we will be reunited with Crystal forever!!!