April 25, 2011

The Memory

Dear Carter,

Check out the candle that grandma gave us for you. We light it on important days, or whenever we have a family get-together. It sits right by a picture of you.

I promise that I'm still going to share pictures from our Easter celebration, but I wanted to write out this post while it was still fresh in my mind.

We went to church on Easter Sunday, and what a beautiful service it was. I'm not sure if I remember going to church on Easter day before....we usually go the night before for the Easter Vigil where you can watch the new members be baptized. This year the service seemed even more meaningful to me.

I know that it's because of you.

Without Easter, I wouldn't have the faith that we will be together again. During the service I could actually feel the full weight of what Jesus did for us. It was emotional in a good way, and I hope I can carry that feeling throughout the year. That feeling of thankfulness.

The priest gave his homily, and he talked about what it must have been like for Jesus' family and friends to mourn His death, and then to find out He had risen. The priest told us a story about a woman who had been notified of her son's death by the military, and mourned for him for two days before finding out that he was actually alive. It brought back a memory for me which I had completely forgotten about.

When I was sixteen I had a friend named Jake. He was one of my very best friends, but we had drifted a bit since starting high school. Mostly I hung out with him in the summertime when we would work for the city's recreation department.

I was working at McDonald's late one night when my mom came in (yes, I was the stereotypical teenager....at least when it came to my workplace). I could tell from the moment that she walked in that something was wrong. She came up to me and asked if she could talk to me. We walked into the corner of the restaurant and she gave me news that nobody ever wants to hear.

Jake had been killed in a car accident.

My heart sunk. I started to feel as though I couldn't breathe. I wanted to throw up.

This was my very first experience with death as an adult, and at that time I remember being incredibly angry at God for taking him away. I remember not being able to wrap my head around it....I would never see him again. How could this be??

I left work early, and my mom drove me home. I remember my friend Melissa came over, and we talked and cried all night long. I felt as though I might never get out of bed. It was one of the longest nights of my life (that is until last year of course). My Daddy was working nights, and when he came home I remember him just holding me and telling me it would be OK. Oddly enough, I have practically the same memory when my mom told me my great-grandmother had passed away, and I think I was only nine years old then. I love my Daddy.

The next morning, the craziest thing happened.

My mom came to tell me that Jake was alive.

Unfortunately, a Jake had been killed in an accident (God bless him), but it wasn't MY Jake. No, my mom doesn't have a sick sense of humor (love you mom!).Somewhere along the line of spreading news, the information had been twisted.

I remember feeling that intense feeling of relief, and wanting to spend as much time with him as possible. I had lost my friend forever, but now he was here....he had never left.

I wonder if that's how Jesus' family and friends felt when they found out He had risen. That they had lost Him forever, but then found out that in a way He had never really left. Can you imagine the relief and joy that must have been flowing through their hearts?

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